Perham claims Minnesota Class A girls and boys state cross country titles

NORTHFIELD, Minn.-In the end, it was the depth of Perham that helped it capture both the girls and boys Minnesota Class A cross country championships at St. Olaf College Saturday, Nov. 4.It was a measure of redemption for both teams when they wer...
Perham's Caitlin Covington dashes to the finish line during the Minnesota Class A girls cross country meet Saturday, Nov. 4, in Northfield, Minn. Jason Groth / Forum News Service

NORTHFIELD, Minn.-In the end, it was the depth of Perham that helped it capture both the girls and boys Minnesota Class A cross country championships at St. Olaf College Saturday, Nov. 4.

It was a measure of redemption for both teams when they were narrowly defeated last year by two points for the girls and seven points for the boys. The Yellowjackets became the third school in Class A history to sweep the girls and boys titles. St. Cloud Cathedral accomplished that feat in 2011.

The Yellowjacket girls edged out Winona Cotter for the title, finishing with 86 points, while Cotter ended with 87 points. It wasn't as close for the boys, as they cruised to a 30-point victory finishing with 118 points. They bested St. James Area, who finished with 148 points.

The Yellowjackets did not have a runner in the top 10 of either race, but it was the tight pack they have used all season long that propelled them to the No. 1 ranking.

"It's awesome. I don't even know what to say right now. It;s really neat to see how the team came together on both sides. We had Caitlin Covington and Carson Speicher make All-State but no one in the top 10," Perham head coach Jeff Morris said. "Our team was so tight as a pack and that's what makes it really cool."

The Yellowjacket girls were led by Caitlin Covington. She led the Yellowjackets with a 19th-place finish, earning all-state honors. She finished with a time of 19:25.4. While the Yellowjackets did not have a runner in the top 10, they had three in the top 30. The depth showed when Perham's final four runners bested Cotter's fifth runner, helping them secure the victory. Perham was trailing in points until the final stretch when they overcame Cotter.

"Our girls did amazing and push through with their very best and that's what matters," Covington said. "I told the girls to think about all the runners who have ran before us, to think about our town and our families and show them who the Perham girls really are."

Carson Speicher was the top finisher for the Perham boys. He finished 12th, earning a time of 16:25.4. Perham finished with two runners inside the top 35, but ran a tight pack for team scoring, helping them pull away from St. James Area. The Yellowjackets went wire-to-wire as the state's No. 1 ranked team.

"It's relieving to say that we did it. We did all the hard work, we put in all the miles and knew we could do it," Speicher said. "To go out there and show it is fun. We are really excited that we did it and we are going to enjoy the moment and not take anything for granted."

Matt Steiger of La Crescent won the Class A boys individual title, finishing with a time of 15:44.8-just 0.8 seconds ahead of second-place Declan Dahlberg of St. Paul Mounds Park Academy.

Tierney Wolfgram of Woodbury Math & Science Academy won the girls Class A race with a time of 17:31.6-48.7 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

In the Class AA competition, Wayzata also swept, winning both boys and girls races. The boys scored 37 points to beat second-place Stillwater's 79. Khalid Hussein took first individually, running the race in 15:22.6. The Wayzata girls scored 51 points to beat Edina. Minneapolis Washburn's Emily Cover took first with a time of 17:30.1.

Class A Girls

Team results

Perham 86, Winona Cotter 87, Annandale 131, Stewartville 137, Fairmont 165, Luverne 203, Maple Lake 211, Minnehaha Academy 219, Jordan 238, Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson Boyd 257, Belle Plaine 261, Eden Valley-Watkins 265, North Shore 266, Proctor 270, West Central Area 272, United North Central 347

First place and area finishers

1. Tierney Wolfgram, Match and Science, 17:31.6. 19. Caitlin Covington, Perham, 19:25.4. 27. Liz Birkeland, Perham, 19:41.8. 28. Ellie Morgan, Frazee, 19:43.5. 29. Hailey Wegscheid, Perham, 19:45.3. 50. Ashley Hokanson, Perham, 20:10.0. 59. Abby Tweeton, Perham, 20:14.6. 69. Abby Syverson, Pelican Rapids, 20:23.7. 88. Mya Morris, Perham, 20:36.3. 95. Lauryn Rustad, Perham, 20:44.6. 109. Teagan Nelson, West Central, 20:54.5. 110. Ella Vankempen, West Central, 20:54.5. 121. Megan Danielson, Frazee, 21:13.2. 131. Katie George, Ottertail Central, 21:22.9. 160. Kennedy Porter, West Central, 22:07.1.

 

Class A Boys

Team results

Perham 118, St. James Area 148, Mankato Loyola 154, Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 172, North Shore 175, Jordan 184, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 195, West Central 220, La Crescent 223, Staples-Motley 229, Mora 247, Mounds Park Academy 251, Heritage Christian Academy 264, Mountain Lake Area 272, RAACHE 323, Ada-Borup/Norman County West 351

First place and area finishers

1. Matt Stieger, LaCrescent, 15:44.8. 9. Jake Bright, West Central, 16:18.5. 12. Carson Speicher, Perham, 16:25. 4. 14. Christian Sterton, Ada-Borup/NCW, 16:31.2. 20. Hunter Gowin, Breckenridge, 16:41.5. 25. Zach Haire, Breckenridge, 16:46.3. 31. Clayton Anderson, Perham, 16:54.0. 55. Brandon O'Hara, Perham, 17:15.2. 58. David Johnston, Pelican Rapids, 17:18.0. 69. Bailey Evenson, Perham, 17:21.8. 70. Jack Vankempen, West Central, 17:21.9. 78. Jakob McCleary, Perham, 17:25.6. 82. Bereket Loer, Wadena-Deer Creek, 17:28.1. 88. Dan Wilson, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 17:31.5. 91. Kade Runge, West Central, 17:33.3. 95. Chase Belka, Perham, 17:37.7. 112. Isaac Scheidecker, Perham, 17:51.0. 121. Kyle Schill, West Central, 17:56.6. 126. Satchel Tickel, Hawley, 18:01.2. 134. Kaleb Getz, West Central, 18:08.7. 143. Tyrel Quick, Ada-Borup/NCW, 18:18.1. 145. Connor Thompson, Ada-Borup, NCW, 18:18.9. 146. Eli Carlson, Ottertail Central, 18:20.9. 148. Nick Mathsen, Ada-Borup, NCW, 18:21.7. 149. Alex Salwassser, West Central, 18:22.0. 158. Reubens Swanson, West Central, 18:41.7. 159. Tommy Stewart, Ada-Borup/NCW, 18:42.2. 160. Jace Thompson, Ada-Borup/NCW, 18:42.6. 162. Evan Borgen, Ada-Borup/NCW, 18:45.3.

 

Class AA girls

Team totals

Wayzata 51, Edina 72, St. Michael-Albertville 102, Willmar 144, Forest Lake 150, Farmington 168, Marshall 190, Andover 218, Lakeville South 254, Rosemount 285, White Bear Lake 290, Alexandria 307, Stillwater 319, East Ridge 326, Moorhead 359, Maple Grove 368.

First place and area finishers

1. Emily Covert, Minneapolis Washburn, 17:30.1. 88. Taylor Melton, Moorhead, 19:47.1. 107. Sofie Overturf, Moorhead, 20:04.2. 118. Lexi Maddux, Moorhead, 20:11.5. 149. Kate Ludwig, Moorhead, 20:42.0. 158. Rylie Polomny, Moorhead, 20:49.5. 166. Cassidy O'Meara, Moorhead, 21:08.6. 169. Mickayla Allen, Moorhead, 21:11.7.

 

Class AA boys

Team totals

Wayzata 37, Stillwater 79, Edina 107, White Bear Lake 136, Mounds View 193, Sartell 197, Red Wing 230, Rosemount 238, Buffalo 268, Forest Lake 271, Alexandria 276, Willmar 277, St. Michael-Albertville 261, Prior Lake 303, Winona 315, Cloquet 413.

First place and area finishers

1. Khalid Hussein, Wayzata, 15:22.6. 56. Tanner Olson, Detroit Lakes, 16:28.1. 79. Dawson Strom, Moorhead, 16:41.9. 112. Zach Johnson, Moorhead, 16:56.9.