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Perham shines on Day 2 of Minnesota state track meet

Senior Jacob McCleary won two events for the Yellowjackets to highlight Class A finals

Perham's Jacob McCleary wins the boys 800 meters at the Minnesota Class A state track and field meet on Friday, June 10, 2022, at St. Michael-Albertville.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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ST. MICHAEL, Minn. — Day 2 of the Minnesota high school state track and field meet is in the books and many area teams showed success in the Class 1A finals. Perham was perhaps the most notable team of the day, producing 10 placewinners across nine events.

The Yellowjackets received two first place-finishes from Jacob McCleary in the 800- and 1,600-meter events. The senior ran a season-best 4 minutes, 21.12 seconds in the 1,600 final to edge Nova Classical Academy senior Finn McCormick by 1/10 of a second to earn the victory. The margin was wider in the 800 final, with McCleary topping Sauk Centre junior Brandom Kampsen by 0.38 seconds with a time of 1:55.03, good for a new personal best.

Perham had three more podium finishes on the day, all coming in field events. The Yellowjackets took second in the girls pole vault final and third in both the girls triple jump and boys discus finals.

In the girls pole vault final, eighth-grader Gracie Morris earned her runner-up finish clearing a new personal best of 11 feet. She was edged by Legacy Christian Academy’s Cecily Fager who took first place clearing 11 feet, 3 inches. Yellowjackets junior Natalie Rooney took seventh place, while Park Rapids junior Morgan Koppelman earned a sixth-place finish. Moorhead Park Christian sophomore Ruth Harris rounded out the placewinners in ninth.

Perham's Jaden Hackel competes in the Class A girls triple jump during the Minnesota state track and field meet on Friday, June 10, 2022, at St. Michael-Albertville.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

In the girls triple jump, sophomore Jaden Hackel took third place with a personal-best leap of 36-7. She was bested by Montevideo junior Avery Koenen and Ottertail Central senior Grace VanErp, who had a winning jump of 37-5 1/4.


Ottertail Central's Grace VanErp competes in the Class A girls triple jump during the Minnesota state track and field meet on Friday, June 10, 2022, at St. Michael-Albertville.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

In the boys discus, Perham senior Connor Kostynick finished third with a throw of 158-1. He was topped by Montevideo sophomore Francis O’Malley and Maple River senior Ethan Fischer, who had a winning throw and new personal best of 191 feet. Park Rapids senior Tristan Hill and Pelican Rapids senior Nick Haugrud finished seventh and eighth in the event.

Perham also had placewinners in the girls and boys 3,200 relays, the boys 1,600 relay and the girls 100 hurdles.

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton also had a strong day, producing four placewinner finishes.

Rebels senior McKale Pierson competed in both boys hurdle finals, first earning an eighth-place finish in the 110 final with a personal-best time of 15.76 before improving in the 300 final with a fourth-place time and personal best of 41.27.

D-G-F senior Joshua Finsenth competed in both the boys 400 and long jump finals, finishing eighth place in the 400 and ninth in the long jump.

Crookston, Bagley/Fosston, Fertile-Beltrami, Barnesville and Ashby-Brandon-Evansville also produced solid performances in various events.

Crookston's Breanna Kressin competes in the Class A girls 300-meter hurdles during the Minnesota state track and field meet on Friday, June 10, 2022, at St. Michael-Albertville.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Class A action concluded Friday with Nova Classical Academy winning the boys team title with 47.5 points, edging out second-place Perham, which finished with 47. Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball won the girls team title with 81 points over Concordia Academy-Roseville (68). Perham placed 12th on the girls side.

Who to look out for in AA/AAA finals Saturday


The Minnesota high school state track and field meet wraps up Saturday with finals in both AA and AAA.

Moorhead is well-represented on the boys side in Class AAA with five individuals and two relay teams advancing to Saturday’s finals.

The team of Michael Haugo, Abe Carlson, Karson Wendt and Jamal Dixon ran a season-best time of 1:27.93 in the 800 relay preliminaries on Thursday, good for the top time going into Saturday’s finals. Forest Lake was right behind the Spuds with a 1:28.21.

In the 400 prelims, the team of Dixon, Haugo, Wendt and Alonn Salman finished sixth with a time of 42.38 to advance to Saturday’s finals. Topping the field is Rosemount with a qualifying time of 42.18.

Salman will also run in the 100 final, finishing fifth in the prelims with a time of 10.93. Carlson will compete in the 400 for the Spuds, finishing ninth in his preliminary race with a time of 50.78.

The Spuds will also compete in three field finals with Dixon, Haugo and Ellineus Davis. Dixon will compete in the high jump final with a seed mark of 6-2, while Haugo will take part in the long jump with a seed mark of 22-4.

Davis’ enters the discus final with the third-best seed mark of 163-10 behind Rosemount’s Hayden Bills and Woodbury’s Jordan Dunigan, who has a top throw of 178-6.

Moorhead sits tied for 16th in boys team scores with six points after Friday’s prelims and field finals.


Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls have contenders in AA

The Lakers and Otters each have an array of contenders in multiple events Saturday.

Detroit Lakes brings the team of Cameron Marxen, Mason Carrier, Hunter Zempel and Ethan Carrier to the boys 400 relay finals. The quartet ran a seventh-place time and season best of 43.39 in Friday’s preliminary race.

Brandton Marsh will compete in Saturday’s long jump final with a seed mark of 20-3 1/4, while Jerzie Horner will compete in the girls pole vault final with a seed mark of 10-1.

For Fergus Falls, Luke Newman will take part in the boys high jump final, holding a seed mark of 5-11 going into the competition.

The Otters also have two athletes competing in the boys discus final with Layten Drouillard and Alexander Jensen. Drouillard holds a mark of 140-3 going into the finals, while Jensen’s seed mark comes in at 140-10.

Fergus Falls' Ainsley Hansen also earned a win in the girls high jump final Friday with a mark of 5-7. She edged Cloquet's Olivia Jameson by one foot in the finals.

In Friday's boys pole vault final, Fergus Falls' Jordan Lee finished second with a mark of 14-3. Jensen finished third in the shot put final.

Fergus Falls leads the boys AA team scores with 18 points, followed by Grand Rapids with 16. Cloquet leads the girls side with 26 team points, followed by Foley with 16.

Festivities get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael-Albertville High School, beginning with AA finals. AAA finals kick off at 4 p.m.

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or rspitza@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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