MILACA — In dominating the first half of the season winning every race entered, the Perham boys cross country team jumped up to the 4A race at the Milaca Mega Meet to go head-to-head with two-time defending Minnesota Class AA state champions Stillwater.
At Milaca, the normal two classifications in MN become four because of the number of teams - so class A is split into A and AA. and class AA is split into AAA and AAAA.
As the defending Class A state champs and small school division national champions, Perham and Stillwater were headed for a nail biter of a race. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally.
The remainder of the field was loaded with state-ranked teams: No. 5 Hutchinson, No. 6 Rosemount, No. 7 Robbinsdale Armstrong, No. 8 Mounds View, No. 10 Centennial, No. 11 Totino Grace and Grand Forks Central, ranked No. 2 in North Dakota.
Perham ran past all those teams and finished second overall to Stillwater by only 14 points.
The team ran an average time of 16:23 and finished a whopping 100 points ahead of third place showcasing the two-team race.
Keeghan Hurley won another individual title in a personal best time of 15:33 and was the second fastest time of the day just behind Isaac Barlow of Hutcinsonh in the class AAA race who ran 15:30.
The time is also a new school record for Hurley and was just eight seconds off the class AAAA course record.
Hurley has won every race entered this year and has been near a course record each time. He heads into this coming weekend’s Griak at the University of Minnesota on a roll.
“My race went really well,” Hurley said. “I just kind of took the lead and wasn’t really planning on taking it. I got to the mile marker and just took off. I kind of walked away with it.”
Billy Beseman and Jayden Cullen finished 11th and 12th running 16:16 and 16:23. Ben Sullivan who has dealing with a minor injury ran 16:38 finishing in 20th place and rounding out the top five was Chris Knutson who ran a personal best of 17:04 finishing 40th. Kanyon Edvall and Tanner Monson ran 17:26 and 18:30 to round out the top seven.
“Both teams know there is lots of work to be done in the next five weeks leading up to championship racing” said Head Coach Jeff Morris. “We will get back to the laboratory, as some of our kids call it - which is practice and have fun working really hard.”
Next race for the boys and girls is the Roy Griak Invite at the University of Minnesota this Saturday, Sept. 28. This meet not only draws some of the best runners in the state but in the country and also features college races in Division I,II and III.
Top class A runners of day in all races
Keeghan Hurley 15:33
Ephirim Bird 15:55
Isaac Overmeyer 16:05
Billy Beseman 16:16
Ethan Wagner 16:18
Ryan Phillips 16:23
Jayden Cullen 16:23
Perham remains No. 1 in Class A with a number of team members ranked individually. See the latest poll here.