Park Rapids' Julia Johnson, Hannah Morgan, Kendra Scholz, Holly Johnson and Kamree Carlson had to overcome adversity in order to bring home medals from the state Class A girls track and field meet.

The first four had to regroup after a disqualification while Carlson had to rebound from an injury to reach the podium at Klas Field on the campus of Hamline University in St. Paul on Saturday (June 8).

Scholz (a sophomore), Holly Johnson (a freshman), Julia Johnson (a senior) and Morgan (a sophomore) were disqualified after dropping the baton during the finals of the 4 x 200-meter relay, but regrouped to finish seventh in the 4 x 100-meter relay in 51.42. Carlson, who qualified for state two years ago but couldn't compete in the shot put because of a shoulder injury last spring, ended up placing ninth in that event with a throw of 37 feet, 3.25 inches.

Park Rapids scored 4 points to tie for 54th place in the team standings. Blake won the Class A title with 57 points.

Those two finishes highlighted the state meet for the Panthers, who qualified nine girls in four events and eight boys in four events.

Juniors Paige Johnson and Jade Renneberg and eighth graders Natalie Lopez and Morgan Koppelman advanced in the 4 x 800 relay for the girls while the boys qualified seniors Jerry Engst, Zach Fritze, Spencer Fritze and Chris Day in the 4 x 100 relay; junior Kolby Brandt, freshman Kaleb Stearns, senior Seth Breitweser and sophomore Lane Monaghan in the 4 x 800 relay; Breitweser in the 800 run; and Spencer Fritze in the pole vault.

Relay rebounds

Scholz, Holly Johnson, Julia Johnson and Morgan were looking to bring home two state medals in the sprint relays.

That group was in position to accomplish that goal following two solid performances during the preliminaries on Friday (June 7).

At last year's state meet, that group finished 14th in 51.80 in the 4 x 100 relay while the Johnsons and Morgan placed 14th in the 4 x 200 relay in 1:48.54. Entering this year's state meet, the Panthers were seeded No. 7 out of 16 qualifiers in the 4 x 200 relay after winning the Section 8A title in 1:47.38 and shared the No. 10 seed out of 16 qualifiers in the 4 x 100 relay after winning the section title in 51.55.

During the preliminaries, Park Rapids' relay unit clocked a 1:46.93 in the 4 x 200 race to finish third in the first heat and fifth overall. Rockford had the fastest preliminary time of 1:45.20. In the preliminaries of the 4 x 100 relay, the Panthers claimed the final spot in the finals with a 50.98, which was fourth in the first heat and ninth overall. Byron took first with a 49.32.

In the finals, the Panthers were disqualified after a bad exchange in the 4 x 200 relay. Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland ended up taking first in 1:44.47.

That foursome quickly regrouped to finish seventh in the 4 x 100 relay with a 51.42 for 3 points. Rochester Lourdes captured the state title in 49.62.

Carlson recovers

In her state debut as a freshman, Carlson placed 16th in the shot put with a throw of 35-3.

A shoulder injury kept Carlson from attempting to return to state in that event as a sophomore.

Despite not being 100 percent recovered from that injury, Carlson was able to fulfill her goal by earning another trip to state as a junior.

Carlson advanced as the section runner-up with a throw of 36-7.25 to earn the No. 12 seed out of state qualifiers.

During the state finals on June 8, Carlson earned the final spot in the finals with a distance of 37.3-25 on her third attempt. Carlson followed a throw of 34-1.50 on her first attempt with a throw of 36-1.25 on her second attempt.

Carlson wasn't able to move up in the standings as she followed a scratch on her first attempt with distances of 36-2 and 34-9.75 on her other throws in the finals. That contributed 1 point to the Panthers' team score. Pequot Lakes' Desera Engholm took first at 43-11.25.

Missing medals

The other five state qualifiers for the Panthers missed out on their goal of bringing home medals.

During the finals of the pole vault on June 7, Spencer Fritze finished 20th out of 22 qualifiers by clearing 12 feet. Fritze entered state tied for the No. 17 seed after clearing a personal-record 12-3 to place second at the section meet. Fritze cleared 11 feet on his first attempt, 11-6 on his second attempt and 12 feet on his third attempt before missing all three attempts at 12-6. Plainview-Elgin's Jacob Munsch won the state title by clearing 15 feet.

"Spencer had a great day vaulting and all but cleared his best-ever height," said Park Rapids head coach Andrew Lachowitzer.

In the preliminaries of the 4 x 100 relay on June 7, Engst, the Fritzes and Day finished seventh in the first heat and 12th overall with a 45.24, which just missed topping the school record of 45.18 set by Pat Kenney, Dean Martin, Frank Schaap and Kris Knutson in 1990. That relay unit entered state as the No. 14 seed after clocking a section runner-up time of 45.81. Jordan had the fastest preliminary time of 42.74 and broke the Class A record in the finals with a 42.79. That finish helped Jordan win the team title with 87 points.

"The 4 x 100 was able to run their best time of the year and were within .07 seconds away from breaking the school record," said Lachowitzer.

Breitweser entered state as the No. 14 seed out of 18 qualifiers in the 800 with a section runner-up time of 2:00.65. Breitweser placed fifth in the second of three heats and 15th overall in 2:00.98 during the preliminaries on June 7. Ely's Luke Olson had the fastest preliminary time of 1:55.84 and followed with a winning time of 1:55.48 in the finals.

Park Rapids began the finals on June 8 by competing in both 4 x 800 relays.

Lopez, Paige Johnson, Koppelman and Renneberg finished 15th out of 17 qualifiers in 10:04.39 as Luverne won the state title in 9:22.92. The Panthers entered state as the No. 14 seed after clocking a runner-up time of 10:00.36 at the section meet.

In the boys 4 x 800 race, Brandt, Stearns, Breitweser and Monaghan entered as the No. 11 seed out of 17 qualifiers with a runner-up 8:19.81 at the section meet. That time broke the school record. That foursome finished 11th in the finals with an 8:23.31. Nova Classical Academy won the state title in 8:03.05.

"The 4 x 800 really ran well in the heat, which we were not used to at all," said Lachowitzer about the 90-degree temperature. "We had maybe two days like that to get ready for that type of heat and I believe that affected them. However, I thought they ran a great race. Seth was able to break the 2:00 barrier on his leg of the relay and that was pretty exciting."

Of the state qualifiers for the boys, only Breitweser had competed in the Class A track meet before.

"Overall, I thought the boys really did a great job," said Lachowitzer. "It was a new scene for most of the boys, but they really came out and competed. It was fun to get five seniors to state. They put in so much work this year and should be very proud of their accomplishments. Our underclassmen got great experience at the state level and they can't wait to get back to work for an opportunity to get to state again. It was a great experience to bring so many boys to state."

Girls team scores: Blake 57, Winona Cotter 44, Rockford 42.5, Pequot Lakes 34, Moorhead Park Christian 34, Rochester Lourdes 30, Belle Plaine 29, Mesabi East 28, Watertown-Mayer 27, Luverne 26, Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Kingsland 26, Stewartville 24, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 23.83, Concordia Academy-Roseville 22, Maple Lake 22, Maple River 20, Minnewaska Area 18.5, Perham 17, Heron Lake 16, Osakis 16, Pelican Rapids 16, Albany 15, Canby-Minneota 15, Lanesboro 14, Morris Area 13.33, Windom Area 13, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 12, Frazee 11, Melrose 11, Triton 11, Providence Academy 11, East Grand Forks 10, Northome-Kelliher/Blackduck 10, SWMCH-EHS 10, Byron 10, Spectrum 9.33, Plainview 9, Barnum 8, Brooklyn Center 8, Braham 8, Minnehaha Academy 8, Rush City 8, Milaca 8, Eden Valley-Watkins 7, Jordan 7, St. Charles 6, United North Central 6, Eveleth-Gilbert 5.5, Mounds Park Academy 5, Mora 5, Bigfork 5, Lake City 5, Fairmont 5, LCWM-Nicollet 4, Glencoe-Silver Lake 4, St. Croix Lutheran 4, Park Rapids 4, Barnesville 4, United Clay-Becker 4, St. Croix Prep Academy 3.5, Northwest 3, Pine Island 3, Two Harbors 3, Clearbrook-Gonvick 2, Crookston 2, Crosby-Ironton 2, Annandale 2, Ottertail Central 2, Cannon Falls 2, Martin County West 2, Breck 1, Pine City 1, Jackson County Central 1, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 1, Janesville 1, Pillager 1, St. Peter 1, St. Clair 0.5.

Individual results

4 x 100 relay preliminaries: 1, Byron, 49.32. 2, Rochester Lourdes, 49.37. 3, Waterville-Elysian, 50.08. 4, Grand Meadow, 50.28. 5, East Grand Forks, 50.41. 6, Eden Valley-Watkins, 50.83. 7, Annandale, 50.95. 8, Melrose Area, 50.95. 9, Park Rapids (Scholz, H. Johnson, J. Johnson, Morgan), 50.98. 10, Perham, 51.00. 11, Redwood Valley, 51.14. 12, New Life Academy, 51.25. 13, Luverne, 51.35. 14, Mesabi East, 51.39. 15, Blake, 51.49. 16, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, 52.95. 17, Barnum, 53.40.

4 x 100 relay finals: 1, Rochester Lourdes, 49.62. 2, Byron, 49.81. 3, Grand Meadow, 50.14. 4, Melrose, 50.93. 5, East Grand Forks, 51.29. 6, Eden Valley-Watkins, 51.31. 7, Park Rapids (Scholz, H. Johnson, J. Johnson, Morgan), 51.42. 8, Annandale, 51.58. 9, Waterville-Elysian, DQ.

4 x 200 relay preliminaries: 1, Rockford, 1:45.20. 2, Stewartville, 1:45.27. 3, Mesabi East, 1:45.36. 4, Grand Meadow, 1:45.41. 5, Park Rapids (Scholz, H. Johnson, J. Johnson, Morgan), 1:46.93. 6, Luverne, 1:47.04. 7, Glencoe-Silver Lake, 1:47.53. 8, Ottertail Central, 1:47.87. 9, Mora, 1:48.48. 10, Frazee, 1:48.55. 11, Fairmont, 1:49.32. 12, Hills-Beaver Creek, 1:49.47. 13, Providence Academy, 1:49.51. 14, South Ridge, 1:49.70. 15 (tie), Perham DQ, Blake DQ.

4 x 200 relay finals: 1, Grand Meadow, 1:44.47. 2, Mesabi East, 1:44.73. 3, Rockford, 1:44.97. 4, Stewartville, 1:45.23. 5, Luverne, 1:46.84. 6, Glencoe-Silver Lake, 1:47.58. 7, Mora, 1:48.07. 8, Ottertail Central, 1:48.12. 9, Park Rapids (Scholz, H. Johnson, J. Johnson, Morgan), DQ.

4 x 800 relay finals: 1, Luverne, 9:22.92. 2, Minnewaska Area, 9:27.33. 3, Albany, 9:29.85. 4, Pequot Lakes, 9:33.97. 5, Perham, 9:48.77. 6, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 9:49.09. 7, Eden Valley-Watkins, 9:49.75. 8, Stewartville, 9:49.76. 9, St. Peter, 9:50.65. 10, SWMCH-EHS, 9:51.21. 11, Mesabi East, 9:53.41. 12, Warroad, 9:56.29. 13, Two Harbors, 10:00.69. 14, LCWM0Nicollet, 10:03.69. 15, Park Rapids (Lopez, P. Johnson, Koppelman, Renneberg), 10:04.39. 16, Providence Academy, 10:12.84. 17, Mounds Park Academy, 10:32.98.

Shot put: 1, Engholm, Pequot Lakes, 43-11.25. 2, Johnson, Northome-Kelliher, 42-8. 3, Smith, Windom, 42-6. 4, Pahl, Osakis, 41-11.50. 5, Guptill, Rush City, 39-6.75. 6, Carter, LCWM-Nicoolet, 37-8.50. 7, Haley, Bigfork, 37-6.75. 8, Larson, Martin County West, 37-6.50. 9, Carlson, Park Rapids, 37-3.25. 10, Bunker, Concordia Academy, 37-1. 11, Busch, International Falls, 36-1.75. 12, Theobald, Stewartville, 35-8.75. 13, Johnston, Hayfield, 35-7.50. 14, Kapplinger, Jackson County, 35-0.25. 15, Mobley, Breck, 34-3.75. 16, Groos, Howard Lake-Waverly, 33-2.25.

Boys team scores: Jordan 87, Providence Academy 58, Pierz 36, Wadena-Deer Creek 32, Pipestone 28, St. Peter 28, Perham 26, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 24, Morris Area 24, Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin 24, Stewartville 24, Minnehaha Academy 22, Fairmont 22, Breck 22, Nova Classical Academy 20, Rockford 19.5, Hinckley-Finlayson 18, Ellsworth 18, Lake City 16, Mounds Park Academy 16, Pine Island 15.5, Lanesboro 15, Caledonia 15, LeSueur-Henderson 14, Minnewaska Area 14, Lewiston-Altura 13.5, Ely 12, Clearbrook-Gonvick 10, International School 10, Mountain Iron-Buhl 10, Cook County 10, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 10, Mora 10, Maple River 10, New Richland 9, Virginia 9, Southwest Minnesota 9, Blue Earth 9, Mesabi East 9, Ada-Borup 8, Roseau 8, Staples-Motley 8, Dover-Eyota 8, Luverne 7, Chatfield 7, Howard Lake 6, East Grand Forks 6, Two Harbors 6, Christs Household of Faith 5, St. Charles 5, Nicollet 4.5, Pillager 4, Waterville 4, Northome-Kelliher/Blackduck 4, Byron 4, Math & Science Academy 4, Canby 4, Pelican Rapids 3, Evelth-Gilbert 3, Murray County Central 3, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 3, West Marshall 3, Rushford-Peterson 3, Osakis 3, Eden Valley-Watkins 3, Pine City 2, Deer River 2, United North Central 2, East Central 2, Moose Lake-Willow River 2, Frazee 2, St. Croix Lutheran 2, Medford 2, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 1.5, New London-Spicer 1.5, Triton 1, Holy Family Catholic 1, Wabasso 1, Royalton 1, Mankato Loyola-Cleveland 1, Annandale 1, St. Clair 0.5.

Individual results

4 x 100 relay preliminaries: 1, Jordan, 42.74. 2, Providence Academy, 43.85. 3, Pipestone Area, 43.89. 4, Waterville-Elysian, 44.03. 5, Ellsworth, 44.13. 6, Stewartville, 44.14. 7, Mora, 44.65. 8, Chatfield, 44.74. 9, Pierz, 44.75. 10, Minneapolis North, 44.80. 11, Pequot Lakes, 45.19. 12, Park Rapids (Engst, Z. Fritze, S. Fritze, Day), 45.24. 13, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 45.41. 14, Esko, 45.36. 15, Greenway, 47.09. 16, Minnewaska Area DQ.

4 x 100 relay finals: 1, Jordan, 42.79. 2, Providence Academy, 43.41. 3, Pipestone Area, 43.74. 4, Stewartville, 44.04. 5, Ellsworth, 44.24. 6, Waterville-Elysian, 44.27. 7, Chatfield, 44.43. 8, Mora, 44.78. 9, Pierz, 45.01.

4 x 800 relay finals: 1, Nova Classical Academy, 8:03.05. 2, Jordan, 8:04.01. 3, Perham, 8:06.55. 4, Mora, 8:06.90. 5, Pine Island, 8:07.09. 6, Two Harbors, 8:12.94. 7, St. Charles, 8:18.15. 8, SWMCH-EHS, 8:18.30. 9, Mounds Park Academy, 8:20.17. 10, Ottertail Central, 8:20.44. 11, Park Rapids (K. Brandt, Stearns, Breitweser, Monaghan), 8:23.31. 12, Spectrum, 8:24.11. 13, Sibley East, 8:28.81. 14, East Grand Forks, 8:32.29. 15, Luverne, 8:38.70. 16, Ely, 8:44.99.

800 run preliminaries: 1, Olson, Ely, 1:55.84. 2, Gifford, Minnehaha Academy, 1:56.20. 3, Maanum, Morris Area, 1:56.39. 4, Stocke, Virginia, 1:56.83. 5, Kaiser, Jordan, 1:57.01. 6, Moeller, Fairmont, 1:57.40. 7, Peters, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 1:58.53. 8, Akinmusire, Nova Classical, 1:58.56. 9, McCleary, Perham, 1:58.65. 10, Pater, SWMCH-EHS, 1:58.77. 11, Diercks, St. Charles, 1:59.98. 12, Duffy, Rockford, 1:59.99. 13, Rasmussen, St. Agnes, 1:59.11. 14, Tirkkonen, Bagley/Fosston, 1:59.63. 15, Breitweser, Park Rapids, 2:00.98. 16, Vinaja, Pine City, 2:07.07. 17, Clark, Redwood Valley, 2:07.73. 18, Allen, St. Paul Academy, DQ.

800 run finals: 1, Olson, Ely, 1:55.48. 2, Maanum, Morris Area, 1:56.18. 3, Akinmusire, Nova Classical, 1:56.23. 4, Keiser, Jordan, 1:58.29. 5, Gifford, Minnehaha Academy, 1:59.38. 6, Moeller, Fairmont, 1:59.72. 7, Peters, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 2:00.27. 8, Pater, SWMCH-EHS, 2:00.28. 9, Stocke, Virginia, 2:01.07. 10, McCleary, Perham, 2:03.36.

Pole vault finals: 1, Munsch, Plainview, 15-0. 2, Schloeder, Rockford, 14-6. 3, LIndsey, Blue Earth Area, 14-3. 4, Schaefer, Stewartville, 14-3. 5 (tie), White, Pine Island, and Petron, Rockford, 14-0. 7, Backes, Osakis, 13-9. 8 (tie), Lynch, New London-Spicer, and Oldenburg, Janesville, 13-6. 10, Gross, Annandale, 13-0. 11, Wheeler, Wadena-Deer Creek, 13-0. 12, Frank, BOLD, 13-0. 13, Askegaard, Minnehaha Academy, 13-0. 14, Thoreson, St. Charles, 13-0. 15, Christansen, Minnehaha Academy, 13-0. 16, Bring, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River, 13-0. 17, Nesmoe, Tri-City United, 12-6. 18, Vogel, Rockford, 12-6. 19, Maxwell, International Falls, 12-6. 20, S. Fritze, Park Rapids, 12-0. 21, Hansen, Redwood Valley, 11-6. 22, Thompson, Moose Lake, NH.