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Perham runners Isaac Werner (2727), Brandon Karels (2722) and Klaus Weber (2726) stay with the pack during the Griak Invite in St. Paul last weekend. (Photo by Brent Hanson)

PHS CC: Jacket runners in elite national field at Griak

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John George

There are few cross country meets that can meet the intensity of a State meet. Among the biggest and best are the Milaca Mega Meet, the St. Olaf Classic, and the Apple Valley Invitational. But at the top of that list is the Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul.

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This year's boys race started at 1:40 p.m. and featured 48 teams and 456 runners from around the country.

The cream of the crop was Wayzata. The Trojans, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, No. 3 in the Heartland region, and No. 26 nationally, finished first with 138 points. In second place was Bismarck (ND). Bismarck is ranked No. 2 in the Heartland region and No. 24 nationally.

The top-10 finisher's featured seven teams ranked in the Heartland region. Edina, No. 3 in Class AA, was the second best team from Minnesota, finishing sixth with 445 points. They are No. 6 in the Heartland.

The Heartland is one of nine regions at dyestat.com that ranks cross country teams across the nation.

Perham finished 19th overall with 593 points. They were the top Minnesota Class A team and the eighth place team from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The top individual was Jake Erschen of Wisconsin's Marquette University High School. He finished the 5K race with a time of 15:57.01. Paul Koullick, the No. 1 ranked Class A runner from The Blake School, was Minnesota's top finisher, placing seventh with a time of 16:17.

The Yellowjackets were lead again by Sam Stoll who ran a great race finishing 45th overall with a time of 17:01. Keith Schornack (17:36) and Klaus Weber (17:48) ran in the two and three spots for Perham and provided solid races. Schornack finished 104th, and Weber came in 129th place. Nick Carignan and Brandon Karels rounded out the team's top-five runners.

"We were very proud of how are teams ran today," Morris said. "This is the toughest course we will run on all year. Our guys love this course and like that it is tougher."

"We look forward to some smaller meets now before conference and section and will work on tightening up our pack."

The Perham girls ran next at 2:20 p.m. among a field of 36 teams and 321 individuals. The Lady Jackets more than held their own, finishing 14th overall, and seventh among Minnesota teams.

Winning the race was Dowling Catholic (IA) with 106 points. Dowling Catholic is No. 1 in the Heartland region and No. 34 in the nation. They were led by the top two individuals in the 5K race, seniors Katie Flood (18:06.6) and Ashlie Decker (18:06.8).

Lee's Summit West (MO), the No. 3 ranked team in the Midwest region, was the team runner-up with 112 points. Iowa City High (IA) was third. They are ranked No. 2 in the Heartland region.

The top Minnesota team was Wayzata in fourth place. They are currently ranked No. 15 in Class AA.

Maddie McClellan showed why she is No. 1 in Minnesota's Class A. The Jacket senior finished sixth overall with a time of 19:16. Perham was without their No. 5 ranked runner, Abby Anderson, who was forced to drop out due to illness.

"Maddie gave us a strong race at the front of the pack, recording the highest finish for a Perham runner ever at the Roy Griak race," Morris said.

McClellan's time was a personal best over the 5K distance. Minnesota normally runs a 4K for girls races. She was the top Minnesota finisher overall today in all high school races, both Class A and AA.

"Maddie just continues to get stronger with each race and is giving the other girls the confidence to go out and mix it up at the front," Morris said.

"Senior Holly Sheets did a fabulous job getting the rest of the pack out today, which allowed Racole Karels and Shayla Fulford to step up and have extremely strong races," Morris added.

Karels was the team's second runner, finishing 99th overall with a time of 21:16. Fulford was close behind, finishing a second later in 101st (21:17).

Ciarrin Covington (21:49) and Sheets (21:50) rounded out the top-five for the Jackets while Lizzie Fudge and Mary Riestenberg made up the six and seven spots.

"We were pleased to see Ciarrin, Racole, Lizzie, and Mary all ran so well on this challenging course, considering it was all their first 5K race and first time being at this meet," Morris said. "We are looking forward to getting all the girls healthy and seeing how tough this team can be when we all the girls are running at their best."

Alum race

Before the Perham boys and girls took to the course, the college race took over the course. Former Perham runners Kevin Lachowitzer (University of MN Gophers), Eddie Stenger (SDSU), Maddie Covington (Concordia) and Alex Barney (NDSU) competed in the college races.

Closer to home

The Jacket runners will be closer to home for their next two events. They will compete in the Otter Invitational in Fergus Falls at Pebble Lake Golf Course today (Oct. 1).

On Oct. 8, Perham will host the Yellowjacket Invitational at their course at Arvig Park. Teams expected to take part include: Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Roseau, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal, Frazee, Detroit Lakes, Little Falls, East Grand Forks, West Central Area, Pelican Rapids, Breckenridge, and D-G-F. Races are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 8

Staples-Motley Invite

Boys Team Scores (5K)

1. #2-AA Wayzata 138, 2. Bismarck (ND) 198, 3. Brandon Valley 247, 4. Marquette University (WI) 284, 5. City High (IA) 314, 6. #3-AA Edina 445, 7. Pleasant Valley 447, 8. Sioux Falls Roosevelt (SD) 464, 9. #5-AA Moorhead 469, 10. Iowa City West (IA) 489, 11. Hudson (WI) 505, 12. Lakeville North 517, 13. Rosemount 520, 14. Ankeny 522, 15. Marshalltown (IA) 567, 16. #13-AA Totino Grace 573, 17. Hopkins 576, 18. Madison West (WI) 588, 19. #1-A Perham 593, 20. St. Paul Central 617, 21. Des Moines Roosevelt 627, 22. Minnetonka 631, 23. Nekoosa-Port Edwards 635, 24. Coon Rapids 645, 25. Bay Port 649, 26. Dowling Catholic (IA) 665, 27. Shawnee Mission North 681, 28. Shorewood 691, 29. Bloomington Jefferson 726, 30. Minneapolis South 753, 31. St. Thomas Academy 755, 32. Maple Grove 783, 33. Roseville 785, 34. Sioux Falls Washington 799, 35. Brainerd 826, 36. Blake 843, 37. Minnehaha Academy 887, 38. Lee's Summit West 896, 39. Forest Lake 898, 40. Mounds View 904, 41. Holmen (WI) 1009, 42. Rogers 1025, 43. Onalaska (WI) 1046, 44. Eau Claire Memorial 1049, 45. Waverly-Shell Rock 1102, 46. Irondale 1115, 47. Staples-Motley 1153, 48. St. Francis 1207,

Medalist: Jake Erschen (Marquette Unitersity) 15:57.01.

Perham Individuals: 45. Sam Stoll 17:01, 104. Keith Schornack 17:36, 129. Klaus Weber 17:48, 158. Nick Carignan 17:56, 177. Brandon Karels 18:05, 182. Isaac Werner 18:07, 228. Andrew Riestenberg 18:29. (456 Individuals)

Girls Team Scores (5K)

1. Dowling Catholic 106, 2. Lee's Summit West 112, 3. City High (IA) 190, 4. #15-AA Wayzata 224, 5. #6-AA Elk River 228, 6. Sioux Falls Roosevelt 242, 7. Whitefish Bay 279, 8. #5-AA Moorhead 292, 9. #7-AA Hopkins 311, 10. #14-AA Lakeville North 393, 11. #9-AA Grand Rapids 425, 12. Coon Rapids 429, 13. Fargo South 447, 14. #1-A Perham 473, 15. Raymore-Peculiar (MO) 481, 16. Pleasant Valley 505, 17. White Bear Lake 532, 18. Mounds View 544, 19. Decorah 549, 20. Eastview 557, 21. Totino Grace 567, 22. Greely West 577, 23. Eau Claire Memorial 583, 24. Johnston (IA) 598, 25. Burnsville 604, 26. River Falls (WI) 613, 27. Forest Lake 633, 28. Brainerd 649, 29. Holmen (WI) 655, 30. Onalaska (WI) 675, 31. Des Moines-Roosevelt 722, 32. Maple Grove 724, 33. Staples-Motley 791, 34. Bay Port 861, 35. St. Francis 871, 36. Sioux Falls Washington 893.

Medalist: Katie Flood (Dowling Catholic) 18:06.6

Perham Individuals: 6. Maddie McClellan 19:17, 99. Racole Karels 21:16, 101. Shayla Fulford 21:17, 142. Ciarrin Covington 21:49, 144. Holly Sheets 21:50, 181. Lizzie Fudge 22:17, 222. Mary Riestenberg 23:05. (321 Individuals)

9/21

Boys Class A Poll Section Rank

1. Perham 8 1

2. Minnehaha Academy 4 5

3. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 5 2

4. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 6 3

5. St. Cloud Cathedral 5 9

6. Albany 6 7

7. Holy Family 4 11

8. Waseca 2 8

8. Jackson Cty Central 2 10

10. The Blake School 4 12

11. Fairmont 2 ---

12. Adrian 3 ---

9/21

Girls Class A Poll Section Rank

1. Perham 8 1

2. Waseca 2 2

3. Holy Family 4 ---

4. St. Cloud Cathedral 5 11

5. Park Rapids 8 8

6. Adrian 3 3

7. Fairmont 2 4

8. Canby-Minneota/LinHi 3 5

9. LaCrescent 1 6

10. Mora 5 7

11. Minnehaha Academy 0 ---

12. Paynesville 0 ---

Maddie McClellan (P) No. 1

Abby Anderson (P) No. 5

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