Graduation left the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team with four key spots to replace.
Head coach Todd Fritze is still trying to figure out who will replace those positions.
Fritze continued to put his swimmers in different events in an attempt to figure out his best lineup during a dual meet against Thief River Falls at the Area High School pool on Thursday, Sept. 9. The Panthers relied on their depth and versatility to improve to 2-0 in dual meets this season by winning nine events, including going 1-2 in six of them, in a 115-68 victory.
“We have some big holes to fill, so we’re moving kids around to try and fill those holes,” said Fritze. “We did all right, but we have a lot of things to clean up, especially our turns and finishes.”
Thief River Falls took an early 8-6 lead by winning the 200-yard medley relay as the Panthers’ Addison Lauwagie, Massie Lee, Emma Vrieze and Allison Offerdahl clocked a runner-up 2:09.95 while Claire Voigt, Nora Cederstrom, McKenzie Himango and Gabi Shepersky took third in 2:20.51.
The Panthers took the lead for good with a 1-2 showing in the 200 freestyle behind Lizzie Seifert’s winning time of 2:13.24 and Amelia Bagstad’s runner-up 2:21.52.
After Emma Vrieze won the 200 individual medley in 2:30.33 and Himango took third in 2:52.16, Lauwagie led the field in the 50 freestyle in 26.59 before the Panthers swept diving as Allie Rowland’s 122.55 points, Laney Vrieze’s 115.50 points and Grace Officer’s 110.90 points produced a 48-27 advantage.
Lauwagie’s 1:07.65 and Voigt’s 1:12.08 led to a 1-2 showing in the 100 butterfly before Seifert won the 100 freestyle in 1:00.13. Vrieze clocked a 5:56.27 and Mylee Edevold followed in 6:31.81 as Park Rapids went 1-2 in the 500 freestyle for a 78-45 advantage.
A runner-up 2:04.14 by Shepersky, Maria Wagner, Cederstrom and Edevold in the 200 freestyle relay was followed by a 2-3 showing by Wagner (in 1:15.02) and Voigt (in 1:15.21) in the 100 backstroke as the Panthers extended their lead to 91-62.
The Panthers closed out the meet with a pair of 1-2 finishes as Lee clocked a 1:18.93 and Cederstrom followed in 1:23.02 in the 100 breaststroke while Seifert, Himango, Voigt and Lee won the 400 freestyle relay in 4:19.04 with Vrieze, Wagner, Bagstad and Edevold following in 4:20.35.
Park Rapids edged the Prowlers 69-62 in the junior varsity meet.
“We swam OK, but we have a lot of work to do,” said Fritze. “”We’re in a good spot, but we’re not where we want to be.”