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Track and Field: Park Rapids boys enjoyed 'awesome' season

The Panthers won the Mid-State Conference title, sent 12 athletes to the state Class A meet.

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Logan Jackson (left) and Tristan Hill capped off their senior seasons by competing at the 2022 state Class A track and field meet in the 4 x 100-meter relay. Hill also was a state qualifier in the discus.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Winning five meet titles, sending 12 athletes to state and placing in three of the eight events while scoring 13 points at the Class A meet highlighted an ‘awesome’ season for the Park Rapids boys track and field team.

Earning state berths for the Panthers were seniors Parker Harmon, Tristan Hill, Logan Jackson, Kaleb Stearns and Sam Warne; juniors Eli Bervig, Luke Hartung, Blaine Hensel and Cameron Runyan; sophomore Noah Huot; freshman Ephraim Bervig; and eighth grader Jaydon Walen. Also playing key roles for the Panthers this spring were the other letterwinners: seniors Darryl Etter, Anthony Reese, Sam Reish, Zach Van Batavia and Kiergon Wilkins; juniors Matt Dahring, Pierce DeBlieck, Logan Maanum and Malachi Martin; and freshmen Thomas Lopez and Landon Strasburg.

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Luke Hartung capped off the season by placing eighth in the shot put at the 2022 Class A meet to earn all-state honors.
Contributed / Mike Hartung

The Panthers opened the season by winning two of their five indoor meets. Park Rapids compiled 83 points to top the 25-team field at the Little Amik Invitational at Bemidji State University, 62 points to place fourth at the 16-team Thundering Herd Invitational at North Dakota State University (Moorhead took first with 153 points), and 89 points to lead the 19-team field at the Beaver Relays at BSU. The Panthers then placed third at the 14-team Mankato Relays with 1,112 points (Stillwater finished first with 1,254 points) and second at the 15-team Craig Hougan Invitational at BSU with 73 points as Wadena-Deer Creek took first with 89 points.

In the outdoor debut at the Ed Babcock Invitational at Rocori, the Panthers finished third with 101.11 points as Willmar topped the eight-team field with 140.83 points. Park Rapids followed with a pair of wins by compiling 152.33 points to top the 10-team John Reimer Classic at Pillager and 166.50 points to lead the six-team Craig Fredrickson Invitational at Detroit Lakes. Fergus Falls won the Section 8AA True Team title at Fergus Falls with 540.50 points as the Panthers took second with 525 points.

Park Rapids captured the Mid-State Conference title for the first time since 1996 by racking up 163 points at Vern Weekley Field. Winning conference titles were Eli Bervig (800), Ephraim Bervig (1,600), DeBlieck (300 hurdles) and Hill (discus) along with Lopez, Harmon, Huot and Eli Bervig in the 4 x 800 and Eli Bervig, Jackson, Hartung and Warne in the 4 x 400. Finishing second were DeBlieck (110 hurdles), Hill (shot put) and Hartung (discus) as well as Runyan, Walen, Jackson and Hill in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays. Those athletes earned all-conference honors.

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Eli Bervig ran on Park Rapids' 4 x 800-meter relay team that placed third and the 4 x 400 relay team that finished 12th while also competing in the 800 at the 2022 state Class A boys track and field meet.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

The Panthers captured the subsection title for the fifth straight year and for the 10th time in the last 11 season by compiling 227 points at the Subsection 8A East meet at Roseau. Winning individual subsection titles were Runyan (pole vault), Huot (3,200), Eli Bervig (800) and Hill (discus and shot put). Park Rapids also led the pack in three relays with Stearns, Harmon, Huot and Eli Bervig winning the 4 x 800; Runyan, Walen, Jackson and Hill taking first in the 4 x 100; and Eli Bervig, Jackson, Warne and Hartung leading the way in the 4 x 400.

Finishing second were Ephraim Bervig (3,200), Hartung (discus and shot put), Van Batavia (pole vault) and Reish (long jump and triple jump) while Runyan (100 and 200), Stearns (800), Hensel (1,600), DeBlieck (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Jackson (long jump), Warne (400) and Walen (long jump) placed third. Also qualifying for the Section 8A meet were Lopez (fourth in the 800), Harmon (fourth in the 400), Hensel (fourth in the 3,200), Etter (fifth in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Ephraim Bervig (fifth in the 1,600), Van Batavia (fifth in the triple jump), Maanum (sixth in the 1,600), Martin (sixth in the 400), Walen (seventh in the 100) and Jackson (seventh in the high jump).

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Noah Huot capped off the season by competing in the 3,200-meter run and the 4 x 800-meter relay at the 2022 state Class A meet.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

The other subsection competitors were Dahring (seventh in the 200 and pole vault), Strasburg (ninth in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Wilkins (11th in the discus and 12th in the shot put), Harmon (11th in the high jump), Etter (13th in the high jump) and DeBlieck (15th in the triple jump).

At the Section 8A meet, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton tallied 133 points to edge out the Panthers’ 125 points for the team title in this 20-team meet. Section champs for Park Rapids were the 4 x 800 relay team, Huot in the 3,200, Eli Bervig in the 800, Hill in the discus and Hartung in the shot put while the 4 x 400 and 4 x 100 relay teams along with Ephraim Bervig in the 1,600 and Hensel in the 3,200 finished second to advance to state. Hensel also contended for a state berth by placing third in the 1,600.

Also scoring points at the section meet were Runyan (fourth in the pole vault and seventh in the 200), Lopez (fourth in the 800), Hartung (fourth in the discus), Warne (fifth in the 400), Maanum (fourth in the 1,600), DeBlieck (fifth in the 300 hurdles and seventh in the 110 hurdles), Hill (sixth in the shot put), Ephraim Bervig (seventh in the 3,200) and Harmon (seventh in the 400).

The other section competitors were Stearns (ninth in the 800), Martin (ninth in the 400), Runyan (12th in the 100), Etter (10th in the 110 hurdles and 11th in the 300 hurdles), Jackson (tied for 10th in the high jump), Walen (13th in the long jump and 14th in the 100) and Van Batavia (13th in the triple jump).

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Ephraim Bervig qualified for the 2022 state Class A track and field meet in the 1,600-meter run.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

The Panthers brought home three medals from the state meet with Stearns, Harmon, Huot and Eli Bervig placing third in the 4 x 800 relay; Hill placing seventh in the discus and Hartung taking eighth in the shot put. That group earned all-state honors. Huot was 11th in the 3,200, Eli Bervig was 12th in the 800, Hensel finished 16th in the 3,200 and Ephraim Bervig placed 16th in the 1,600. Runyan, Walen, Hill and Jackson took 12th in the 4 x 100 relay while Warne, Stearns, Hartung and Eli Bervig were 12th in the 4 x 400 relay. Nova Classical Academy won the state title with 47.5 points.

Also scoring points for the Panthers this season were Asher Bervig, Damien Dejarlais, Jarrett Galzki, Gannon Hrdlicka and Aidan Maanum. There were 32 athletes who competed on varsity for Park Rapids this spring.

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Team awards went to Hill (MVP and Most Points Scored), Reish (Most Dedicated), Van Batavia (Best Leader), Wilkins (Best Attitude), Maanum (Rookie of the Year), Hensel (Most Improved), Eli Bervig (Hardest Worker), Harmon (Coaches Award), Jackson (Coaches Award) and Hartung (Coaches Award). Harmon, Hill, Stearns and Van Batavia served as captains.

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Jaydon Walen earned a trip to the 2022 state Class A track and field meet as a member of Park Rapids' 4 x 100-meter relay team.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

“It was a great season for Park Rapids boys track and field. We had very high expectations coming into the season and we were able to live up to them by having an awesome season,” said Park Rapids head coach Andrew Lachowitzer. “We were able to place second in True Team sections in our first year getting moved up to Class AA, win conference for the first time in many years, win our subsection and place second in our section meet. We also sent individuals to state in eight events, including three relay teams, and we ended up having three events getting on the podium. It was truly awesome to have so many kids compete at state. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to bring a bus of boys to state this season and they were able to make that happen. I couldn't be more proud of this awesome group of young men.”

Even with a heavy graduation loss, Lachowitzer is counting on the Panthers to produce another successful season next spring.

“We graduated a very special group of athletes that have meant so much to the track and field program. This is one of our biggest groups of seniors we have ever had and each one of them helped make this program better than where it was when they started. I am very thankful for all the hard work they have put in over the years and am excited to see what they do in the future,” said Lachowitzer. “Even though we graduate a lot of seniors, I expect that we will be putting together another great team next season. Lots of athletes are already putting in hard work to be prepared for an exceptional year. We have tons of talented, hard working underclassmen that will be hungry to make next season a season to remember. We are already excited to get the next season started.”

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Winning Section 8A title, placing in three events at the state Class A meet highlighted season.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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