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Before the season started, head coach Brianne Morris knew the Park Rapids girls tennis team had the talent to contend for the Section 8A title, send a singles player and doubles team to state, and produce a winning record in dual meets. The Panthers just missed fulfilling all of those predictions as the Panthers advanced to the section title match, qualified a singles player and doubles team for the state Class A tournament, and posted a 14-8 record in dual meets.
Morris/Benson scored three unanswered goals, including two to start the third period, to spark a 3-2 win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team Saturday afternoon at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.
For head coach Kerry Johnson, watching team scores wasn't as important as watching the improvement the Park Rapids cross-country teams made this season. The Park Rapids boys finished in the middle of the pack in most meets this fall while the Park Rapids girls competed with an incomplete team all season with only three runners in the majority of the meets. Despite not contending for team titles, the Panthers consistently dropped times all season.
A former player is taking over as the new head coach of the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team. Rachel Landquist, a 2006 Park Rapids graduate, scored 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists) in four seasons as a defenseman for the Panthers. Landquist made the Minnesota Select team in 2005 and had offers to play hockey after high school.
Ellie Ulvin was hoping to drop time and advance to the finals in her debut at the state Class A girls swimming meet. The Park Rapids sophomore just missed reaching the consolation finals despite moving into the No. 2 spot all-time in school history in the 50-yard freestyle.
Excelling at the Section 8A meet has become a tradition for the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team. That was the case again this year as the Panthers used 29 season-best times during Friday's preliminaries to finish fifth in the team standings after Saturday's finals at Warroad. Providing the main highlight for the Panthers was sophomore Ellie Ulvin, who qualified for the state Class A meet with a runner-up finish in the 50-yard freestyle. Ulvin extended the Panthers' streak of being represented at the state meet to 25 straight years.
Ellie Ulvin knew what was at stake when she stepped onto the starting block prior to Saturday’s finals of the 50-yard freestyle at the Section 8A meet at Warroad. Not only was Ulvin looking to earn her first trip to the state Class A meet, but the Park Rapids sophomore wanted to keep an impressive streak alive.
Head coach Stephanie Hanson couldn't be more proud of the way the Park Rapids volleyball team played in its first trip to the state Class AA tournament. Despite not winning a match, the Panthers pushed both their opponents and proved they belonged competing against the best teams in the state.
Park Rapids will be represented at the state Class A girls swimming and diving meet for the 25th year in a row. Ellie Ulvin kept that streak alive with a runner-up time of 25.09 in the 50-yard freestyle during the Section 8A finals Saturday at Warroad. Ulvin clocked a 25.40 to place second during Friday's preliminaries before duplicating that finish in the finals to earn her first trip to state. Bemidji's Paige Andersen won the section title in 24.75.
Park Rapids qualified 19 individuals and relay teams to the finals during the preliminaries of the Section 8A girls swimming and diving meet at Warroad on Nov. 9. The Panthers qualified the 200-yard medley relay team and 200-yard freestyle relay team to the finals after both posted top-eight finishes. The 200 medley relay team of Analise Smee, Jess Kaseman, Mary Rose Nichols and Savana Damar placed seventh while the 200 freestyle relay team of Ellie Ulvin, Aleah Voigt, Olivia Ulvin and Emma Vrieze finished fifth.