Nothing left but state championships for Perham cross-country
For both Perham cross-country teams there is no place to go but up one spot to the state championship.
Both the boys and girls squads have lists of accolades from last year and beyond. Winning is a tradition in this program and odds are that will continue this season.
The girls are the six-time defending Heart O' Lakes Conference Champions. The boys defend after winning for the eighth year in a row.
Dominance has been the norm for both teams.
Both were Section 8A champions and matched finishes at the state competition as runners-up in Class A.
For the boys team, it was the eighth consecutive state appearance and the second straight year as runners-up. The girls appearance was the seventh straight trip to state and also the second year as runners-up.
There is certainly a pattern here and it leads to state championships for both squads as the ultimate goal. The boys team did win back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.
Head Coach Jeff Morris should lead two deep teams to their typical titles and another trip to state.
The boys team loses two from their top seven from last year's team and adds a lot of new young talent.
"The guys have been just eight points combined the last two years from winning state titles and are definitely hungry to add a third state title to the program," said Morris. "They are definitely ready to get out and compete and mix it up with everyone in the state class A and AA. They have put in a great summer of running and have looked awesome the first few days of practice. I am just so excited to see them bust out of the gates and make a statement early on. As long as we realize that we have a lot of hard work to be done and stay healthy it should be an amazing season to watch."
Expectations are mirrored for the girls, as well. The girls are coming off their best finish in state meet history with a second place finish for the second year in a row.
"We are losing four seniors out of our top seven who are all going on to run in college, so this year will be a neat year to see a lot of new faces." Morris said. "The girls have worked really hard this summer to be prepared for the upcoming season and I believe we are going to surprise a lot of teams. I don't want to say much, but they have trained really hard and are looking forward to being the new girls on the block. They have been joking that it is their turn now, so looking forward to seeing a new wave of girls become familiar to the Perham cross-country fans."
Both teams return four all-section runners: Keith Schornack, Klaus Weber, Brandon Karels, Nick Carignan, Cassie Beseman, Ciarrin Covington, Racole Karels and Lizzie Fudge.
Both teams also boast a lot of new young runners to challenge for meet positions.
Four seniors captain the boys team: Klaus Weber, Brandon Karels, Keith Schornack and Andrew Reistenberg.
Three seniors lead the girls: Jessica Dreier, Cassie Beseman and Maegan Stammen.
3 @ Northfield
11 @ Staples
16 @Little Falls
21 @ Bagley
25 @U of M Invite
30 @Fergus Falls
7 Perham Invite
12 @ HOL Conference
18 @ Park Rapids Invite