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Christenson wins conference title, advances to state again

On the fifth and final week of the 2017 Minnesota State High School clay target league, the Panthers of NRHEG posted two scores of 49/50, four rounds with perfect 25s, and a few personal records to hold tight on their place as runner-up for Conference 3 of Class 7A.

The team leaders, Collin Christenson and Zachary Eustice, each posted the 49s, which not only helped the team secure its spot in the conference but also locked in their invitations to attend the MSHSL State Individual Tournament in Prior Lake on June 24.

For Christenson, it also locked in the top spot of all conference shooters with a final average of 24.2 out of 25. He managed to nudge out two shooters from the conference winners out of Monticello and one shooter from third-place Big Lake in the final week.

For Christenson, this will be his third trip to the individual tournament in four years while Eustice will be making the trip for the first time. The other two perfect rounds of 25 were shot by Jaden Holtus and Charlie Pittman. For Pittman, this was his first career 25 round and his best overall round of 48/50.

According to coach Duey Ferber, the Section 5A Track and Field Meet — for both boys and girls — can be summed up in one word: tough.

The Panthers faced strong competition, especially from Fairmont, while competing at the sub-section level Thursday, May 25 at United South Central.

The top four individual placewinners in each event and the top two relays advance to section, and the Panthers advanced seven boys and two girls while taking home two gold medals.

Brady Agrimson led the boys, qualifying in four events. He won the 300 intermediate hurdles in 41.99 seconds, was second in the triple jump at 40-5 and third in the 110 high hurdles in 17.18.

Teddy Gushwa, Jerret Utpadel, Agro Gushwa and Agrimson combined for second in the 4x400 relay in 3:42.63.

Season ends in section tournament

The opportunities were there for the NRHEG baseball team. Unfortunately, the key hits were not.

The result was a season-ending 5-0 loss to LeSueur-Henderson Friday, May 26 in the opening round of section play. Combined with a 9-1 nonconference loss to Zumbrota-Mazeppa earlier in the week, the Panthers finished 6-14 overall. They were 4-8 in the Gopher Conference.



After playing the heavily favored Giants close for four innings, the Panthers’ season came to an abrupt end with the home team plating three runs in the sixth to put it away.

“Overall, I thought we played a solid four innings of baseball,” said NRHEG coach Drew Paukert. “We had our opportunities offensively. We just couldn’t come through with a clutch hit when we needed it.”

Jack Schultz started on the mound and pitched well, allowing three earned runs on five hits, walking five and fanning four. The defense let him down with three errors.