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Perham's Hurley captures 3,200-meter run state championship

Perham's Keeghan Hurley celebrates as he wins the 3,200-meter run at Friday's Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet in St. Paul. Photo by Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ST. PAUL – Coming into Friday’s Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet, none of the 34 medals in swimming, cross country and track that Perham’s Keeghan Hurley owned said anything about being a state champion in track.

He had a second-place medal and a third-place medal and had taken those somewhat big steps on the podium at state track, but he had never taken the biggest step to the top spot. When Hurley crossed the finish line of the 3,200-meter run on Friday, the state championship and the top spot was his.

“I just fulfilled my promise I made to myself three years ago,” Hurley said after his run of 9 minutes, 36.58 seconds, which was 2.46 seconds ahead of anyone. “It was the best feeling I’ve had before. In cross country they don’t have a podium, so I’ve never gotten that big step. It was probably the best feeling of my life so far.”

Hurley said he hates leading the distance races at the beginning. The cross country state champion is bigger on leading at the end. Friday, Hurley led for the first three laps with the lead fluctuating in the middle three. In the final 100 meters, the track was his and Hurley was gone.

“This whole winter I did distance and I did a lot of speed work, so I knew I had a good kick,” Hurley said. “I always believed in my kick. Coming into today it was either go hard and try to break them or sit and kick. If I was going to lose, I was going to lose taking them all the way to the line.”

Hurley took no one to the line, but himself. He lifted his pointer finger on each hand in the air, as he crossed the finish line and was already thinking about his 1,600-meter race today.

“This was the perfect setup for tomorrow’s race,” Hurley said seconds after crossing the finish line. “I want two titles.”

Beachy second in pole vault

Pole vaulting is in the blood of Perham senior Eli Beachy. His grandfather, Ron Beachy, taught his dad, Ryan, and uncle, Arden, and Eli’s dad taught him. The lessons never stopped as Eli’s dad was right by his side as Eli took second in the state in Class 1A in the pole vault Friday.

After two 11th-place finishes at state, Beachy was headed to the podium.

“It was just the confidence,” Eli said. “I really started to take pole vault seriously. I love it. It’s such a fun sport. You have to be spot on with everything and it demands a lot of thorough work ethic.”

Beachy remembers his first pole vault in sixth grade when he was too small, but used his size to his advantage.

“I like being small,” Eli said. “I think it works to my advantage because then the poles fling you a little bit more, so I try to keep my weight down a little bit for track.”

Height aside, it was the end of a big career at Perham, as Beachy played varsity basketball for four years, varsity football for three years and varsity track and field for six.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Perham,” Beachy said. “Everyone who helped me along the way was just great. I have no regrets about my high school career. Can’t say I’d do anything differently.”

Class 1A boys team scores

1, Perham 22. 2t, Pequot Lakes 20. 2t, Ottertail Central 20. 4, St. Croix Lutheran 13. 5, Chatfield 12. 6t, St. Cloud Cathedral 10. 6t, Luverne 10. 6t, Breck 10. 9, Rochester Lourdes 8. 10t, Rushford-Peterson-Houston 6. 10t, St. Clair 6. 10t, Park Rapids 6. 10t, Byron 6. 10t, Windom 6. 15t, Jackson County Central 5. 15t, Park Christian 5. 15t, St. Paul Academy 5. 18t, South Ridge-Cherry-Northwoods 4. 18t, Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin 4. 18t, East Grand Forks 4. 18t, Minnehaha Academy 4. 22t, Litchfield 3. 22t, Belle Plaine-Holy Family Acade 3. 24t, Bold-BLH 2. 24t, Esko 2. 24t, Royalton 2. 24t, Jordan 2. 28t, Fairmont 1. 28t, St. James 1. 28t, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 1. 28t, Glenco-Silver Lake 1. 28t, G-F-W 1.

Class 1A boys area finishers

3,200: 1, Hurley, Perham, 9:36.58. 4, Overmyer, Park Rapids, 9:41.76. 12, Kvalvog, Park Christian, 10:13.51. 13, Cullen, Perham, 10:19.32.

Triple jump: 1, Ukkelberg, Ottertail Central, 44-11. 3, VanErp, Ottertail Central, 44-7 ¼. 5, Moberg, Park Christian, 43-5 ¼. 16, Tollefson, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 39-5 ¼.

Pole vault: 1, Tappe, Pequot Lakes, 15. 2, Beachy, Perham, 13-03.

Shot put: 1, LaPlante, Chatfield, 56-11 ½. 10, Kollar, Ottertail Central, 46-10 ¾.

Class 1A girls team scores

1, Mesabi East 13. 2t, New Richland-H-E-G 12. 2t, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose 12. 2t, St. Clair 12. 2t, Central Minnesota Christian 12. 2t, Cannon Falls 12. 7t, Mayer Lutheran 10. 7t, LCWM-Nicollet 10. 7t, Norman County 10. 10, Tracy-Milroy-Balton 8.7. 11t, Trinity School River Ridge 8. 11t, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 8. 13t, United North Central 6. 13t, Annandale 6. 13t, Lanesboro-Fillmore Central-Mab 6. 13t, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 6. 17t, St. Cloud Christian 5. 17t, Mounds Park Academy 5. 17t, Tri-City United 5. 17t, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 5. 21t, Belle Plaine-Holy Family Acade 4.7. 21t, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4.7. 23t, Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson-Boyd 4. 23t, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville 4. 25t, Barnesville 3. 25t, Breck 3. 25t, Luverne 3. 28, International Falls 2. 29t, Concordia Academy-Roseville 1. 29t, Adrian 1. 29t, Cromwell 1. 32, West Central Area, 0.7

Class 1A girls area finishers

3,200: 1, Trost, Cannon Falls, 10:56.30. 13, Van Kempen, West Central Area, 12:16.70.

Long jump: 1, Wubben, Central Minnesota Christian, 17-1 ¼. 8, Jansen, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 16-4 ¾. 12, Rockstad, Norman County, 15-2 ½. 13, Mercil, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 14-11 ½.

High jump: 1, Wagner, New Richland-H-E-G, 5-06. 2, Lee, Norman County, 5-04. 8t, Fernhoz, West Central Area, 5. 16t, Rockstad, Norman County, 5.

Discus: 1, Weber, St. Clair, 126-01. 7, Grosz, Barnesville, 105-02. 8, Campbell, Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, 104-09.

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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