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Panthers repeat as Mid-State swimming champions

Isaac Zinniel finished seventh in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:52.36 during Friday's Mid-State Conference meet. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Believing in the process helped the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team repeat as Mid-State Conference champions Friday night at the Area High School pool.

The Panthers set meet records in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay while winning nine of the other 10 events in compiling 713 points. Detroit Lakes was second with 591 points while Perham/New York Mills took third with 307 points.

"I'm proud of the guys. We've come a long way from where we started this season to where we are now," said Park Rapids head coach Todd Fritze. "I keep telling the guys to trust the process and they've bought into it. Repeating was good for our guys. They've been working hard and the result is we're conference champs."

In addition to having seven swimmers and divers earn all-conference honors by taking first in 11 events, the Panthers had three swimmers and divers earn all-conference honorable mention honors by placing second in five events and five swimmers earn all-conference honorable mention honors by placing third in three other events.

Spencer Fritze and Seth Breitweser opened the meet with a 1-2 showing in diving with Fritze scoring 414.95 points and Breitweser following with 366.60 points.

Marcus Benson, Breitweser, Zach Fritze and Thomas Williams won the 200 medley relay in 1:50.00 while Matthew Benson followed with a winning time of 1:55.16 in the 200 freestyle.

Zach Behrens took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.08, Marcus Benson was second in 2:14.65 and Sam Huot took third in 2:33.51 as the Panthers swept all-conference honors in that event.

The Panthers posted another 1-2 showing with Spencer Fritze's 23.02 and Zach Fritze's 24.18 leading the way in the 50 freestyle. Behrens won the 100 butterfly in 57.48 while Zach Fritze took third in 1:03.87. Matthew Benson clocked a winning time of 50.93 in the 100 freestyle and Williams clocked a runner-up 5:32.30 in the 500 freestyle.

Spencer Fritze, Behrens, Zach Fritze and Matthew Benson broke the meet record in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:32.83, topping the old record of 1:34.36 set by Detroit Lakes in 2013.

Marcus Benson's 58.31 and Williams' 59.61 resulted in a 1-2 showing in the 100 backstroke before Breitweser won the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.49.

Matthew Benson, Spencer Fritze, Marcus Benson and Behrens ended the meet with a winning time of 3:29.45 in the 400 freestyle relay. That broke the previous conference record of 3:29.97 set by Detroit Lakes in 2012. Winning the final relay gave Matthew Benson, Behrens and Spencer Fritze four all-conference honors.

Now the Panthers will prepare for the Section 5A meet, which will be held Feb. 23-24 at Alexandria.

"This was a good test for us. We got to see what we're made of," said Fritze. "I'm glad with what we've done so far this year, but I'm not satisfied. Hopefully we haven't peaked yet. We have to fine tune some things, but I think the guys are ready to start resting and get ready to go fast at sections."

Team scores: Park Rapids 713, Detroit Lakes 591, Perham/New York Mills 307.

Individual results

Diving: 1, S. Fritze, PR, 414.95 points. 2, Breitweser, PR, 366.60. 3, Metelak, DL, 328.65. 5, Cempa, PR, 306.60. 6, Runyan, PR, 206.10.

200 medley relay: 1, Park Rapids (Mar. Benson, Breitweser, Z. Fritze, Williams), 1:50.00. 2, Detroit Lakes (Gulon, Bakken, Lindsey, E. Kitzmann), 1:54.06. 3, Detroit Lakes (Zurn, Oakes, Bellefeuille, Bunn), 2:05.88. 4, Park Rapids (I. Zinniel, Walsh, Huot, Nichols), 2:08.59.

200 freestyle: 1, Mat. Benson, PR, 1:55.16. 2, Strawsell, DL, 1:58.25. 3, Parzyck, DL, 2:02.31. 6, Backmann, PR, 2:27.12. 7, J. Zinniel, PR, 2:31.66. 9, Cempa, PR 2:43.84.

200 individual medley: 1, Behrens, PR, 2:12.08. 2, Mar. Benson, PR, 2:14.65. 3, Huot, PR, 2:33.51. 7, I. Zinniel, PR, 2:52.36.

50 freestyle: 1, S. Fritze, PR, 23.02. 2, Z. Fritze, PR, 24.18. 3, Olson, DL, 24.45. 7, Walsh, PR, 27.38. 11, Nichols, PR, 28.03.

100 butterfly: 1, Behrens, PR, 57.48. 2, Lindsey, DL, 1:00.05. 3, Z. Fritze, PR, 1:03.87. 4, Huot, PR, 1:07.17. 7, Nichols, PR, 1:10.37.

100 freestyle: 1, Mat. Benson, PR, 50.93. 2, G. Kitzmann, DL, 54.22. 3, Olson, DL, 54.78. 6, Walsh, PR, 1:02.62. 10, Odor, PR, 1:08.33. 12, Graham, PR, 1:19.60.

500 freestyle: 1, Strawsell, DL, 5:19.37. 2, Williams, PR, 5:32.30. 3, Ky. Swanson, PNYM, 6:21.22. 4, Runyan, PR, 6:24.16. 5, Backmann, PR, 6:41.12. 6, Hemenway, PR, 7:00.97.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Park Rapids (S. Fritze, Behrens, Z. Fritze, Mat. Benson), 1:32.83 (meet record; old record: 1:34.36 by Detroit Lakes, 2013). 2, Detroit Lakes (G. Kitzmann, Parzyck, Strawsell, Olson), 1:39.58. 3, Detroit Lakes (Gulon, Bellefeuille, Lindsey, E. Kitzmann) 1:43.29. 5, Park Rapids (Nichols, Cempa, Backmann, Runyan), 1:58.91.

100 backstroke: 1, Mar. Benson, PR, 58.31. 2, Williams, PR, 59.61. 3, Gulon, DL, 1:02.57. 8, I. Zinniel, PR, 1:15.76. 10, Odor, PR, 1:21.40.

100 breaststroke: 1, Breitweser, PR, 1:11.49. 2, Bakken, DL, 1:12.88. 3, Parzyck, DL, 1:13.03. 7, J. Zinniel, PR, 1:30.79. 8, Graham, PR, 1:46.91.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Park Rapids (Mat. Benson, S. Fritze, Mar. Benson, Behrens), 3:29.45 (meet record; old record: Detroit Lakes, 3:29.97, 2012). 2, Detroit Lakes (G. Kitzmann, Olson, Parzyck, Strawsell), 3:41.26. 3, Park Rapids (Williams, Huot, Walsh, Breitweser), 4:01.44.