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The hits just keep on coming for the Park softball team. As do the wins. The Wolfpack have now won nine in a row after wins over Roseville, East Ridge, White Bear Lake and two over Cretin-Derham Hall last week. “We’re doing everything right, right now,” Park’s Gwen Warling said in the middle of last week’s action. “We’ve got young players and we really want to compete really hard.
Hannah Schwartz continues to provide the points for Park’s girls track and field team. She netted 53 of the Wolfpack’s 390.5 points at Park’s home invite April 24.
East Ridge and Stillwater went blow for blow with one another April 24. Until the Raptors packed a little extra punch. East Ridge scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to walk-off with a 6-5 win over Stillwater at home. The Raptors had answered Stillwater every step of the way up to that point. Stillwater scored three in the fourth. East Ridge scored three in the fourth. Stillwater scored one in the sixth. East Ridge scored one in the sixth. Stillwater scored one in the eighth. Then East Ridge decided the cat-and-mouse game had gone on long enough, and the Raptors claimed victor
Park senior Ryan Tolkinen often toyed with the idea of competing in hurdles. Two weeks ago he asked coach Mike Moran if he could go for it. “I think we found a race for (him),” Moran said. Tolkinen won the 300 hurdles in Hudson two weeks ago, and won the event by more than a second at the Park Invitational April 24, finishing with a time of 42.22 seconds. “With the hurdles you’ve got to do one of two things -- you’ve either got to be a spectacular hurdler, or you have to really, really fire at them,” Moran said.
No Suburban East Conference team beats Mounds View. And Park wasn’t an exception, dropping a 6-1 match to the Mustangs last week. But even the one win is notable against the No. 2 team in the state. That came at the top of the lineup, as Mekdim Dejene pulled out a victory at No. 1 singles in a super tiebreaker. “Their normal No. 1 was sick, but any No. 1 singles that those guys have is going to be good,” Park tennis coach Tony Townsend said.
Park’s team of mostly freshmen and sophomores ran into veteran-laden White Bear Lake -- the No. 6 team in the state -- April 22. The result wasn’t pretty. The Wolfpack fell 21-0. “At the end of the day we didn’t play our game,” Park coach Greg Rinzel said. “We let them get into our heads and we let them control it.” Rinzel hopes his squad doesn’t take the loss to heart. “What you do after a game like this is the true character of a man, and that’s what I told my team,” Rinzel said. “We’ll bounce back from this.
Brenley Goertzen felt like she was about to run a race April 15. “I was nervous,” she said. But Goertzen wasn’t in her Raptors uniform, getting set to take off on on a track or cross-country course. She was sitting on The Loft stage at East Ridge High School in a purple Texas Christian University light jacket, ready to sign her national letter of intent to run for the Horned Frogs for the duration of her collegiate career. “It gave me those pre-race jitters,” she said. One of the only similarities between race day and National Signing Day was the person next to Goertzen — fellow East Ridg
Both the Park boys and girls track and field teams placed fifth in Hudson, Wis., last week in the Hudson True Team meet. The Wolfpack won three events, with Ryan Tolkinen placing first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.85 seconds, Hannah Schwartz blowing away the competition in the discus with a toss of 113-07 feet and the Park boys 4x400 relay winning with a time of three minutes, 32.11 seconds. Schwartz and Tolkinen shined in other events as well. Schwartz placed second in the shot put, missing out on first by one inch.
Eagles head coach Mick Ramey makes a point to have his squad face tough competition — often against bigger schools — in the nonconference slate to help prepare his team for the postseason. “It really sharpens our metal,” he said. The Eagles played three higher-class opponents April 18 in Zumbrota, going 2-1 on the day. New Life lost its opener to the host school Zumbrota-Mazeppa — a Class 2A school — in five innings, 14-0. Ramey didn’t know if his squad had ever made as many errors as it did in that game, and Zumbrota-Mazeppa hit three home runs to quickly expand the lead. But the Eagles
The only person who likely doesn’t think New Life is off to a perfect start is Eagles head coach Dave Darr. Darr figured the Eagles were going to get a stiff test from Southwest Christian April 14. That didn’t happen. New Life bounced Southwest Christian 12-1 in five innings. It was Southwest Christian’s first loss of the spring. “I figured we were going to have to grind out a few runs to win a close ball game, but we made (Southwest Christian starter Graham Burke) throw pitches and when he did, we hit it well,” Darr said.