PHS CC: Perham runs well with elite field at Lucky Lindy
The No. 1-A ranked Perham boys and girls cross country teams ran in a hot race in Little Falls at the Lucky Lindy.
Not only was the temperature in the 80's when runners took the course, but the competition was extremely hot as well. The race was packed with ranked teams and the top male and female individually ranked runners in both class A and AA. There were also over 20 complete teams in the team scoring.
The Jacket runners more than held their own in the heat as the boys finished second and the girls came in fourth.
On the boys side, Class AA powerhouses like No. 5, Moorhead and No. 8 Alexandria headed up a field with the Perham, Staples-Motley (No. 8), and St. Cloud Cathedral (No. 9) representing ranked schools in Class A.
Moorhead featured the top ranked individual in Class AA and fastest returning runner in Minnesota, Lukas Gemar, headed up the individual field, with a few other Class AA ranked individuals and a pair of Class A race ranked individuals with S-M's Jordan Benson (No. 8) and Cathedral's Grant Wintheiser (No. 7).
The Perham boys took the field by surprise to finish second overall, 41 points ahead of Hopkins and 60 points ahead of Alexandria. The biggest surprise was finishing just 27 points behind Moorhead.
Sam Stoll and Keith Schornack ran extremely well provided a nice 1-2 punch for the Yellowjackets and finished as the first two class A runners to come across the finish. Stoll (17:06) finished ninth overall and Keith Schornack (17:18) finished 14th. Coming across in 18th and 19th were Isaac Werner (17:29) and Klaus Weber (17:32), both just one second behind Wintheiser. Rounding out Perham's top-five was freshman Nick Carignan (17:54) who ran a solid race finishing 35th overall. Brandon Karels (18:07) and Andrew Riestenberg (18:19) had solid finishes for us in the 6 and 7 spot.
"The guys got out to the front of the pack despite the heat and just ran with a tremendous amount of confidence and guts," head coach Morris said. "We are just excited about the jump we made today on the guys team."
Gemar won the boys race with a time of 16:14.
The girls race was probably even more competitive with four ranked Class AA teams: No. 5 Hopkins, No. 8 Monticello, No. 9 Moorhead, and No. 12 Grand Rapids.
Top-ranked Perham and Staples-Motley (No. 9) girls were the only ranked Class A teams. The girls race found the top-four teams at the end separated by just 16 points with Perham finishing fourth just ahead of Monticello.
Moorhead (102) won the race, followed by Hopkins (106), Grand Rapids (110) and Perham (118).
Maddie McClellan and Abby Anderson continue to lead the Yellowjackets. Both got out extremely hard and ran solid races. McClellan finished fourth overall (15:04) just behind three of the top runners in Class AA, including the top ranked individual, Jamie Piepenburg from Alexandria, who is also the fastest returning girl in the state. Piepenberg's first place time was 14:32.
"Maddie ran a 15:04 which she has never ran this early in the season in really tough conditions," Morris said. "She is looking stronger each week."
Abby Anderson (15:42) finished 11th overall as she and McClellan were top Class A finishers. Holly Sheets (25th) and Shayla Fulford (35th) closed the gap on the team's top-two runners, finishing in 16:13 and 16:26.
"The big surprise was first year runners, Racole Karels and Lizzie Fudge who are 8th graders, in their 2nd varsity races of their careers," Morris said. "Racole ran good enough for 43rd overall and Lizzie Fudge was 60th overall with Racole running an impressive 16:35 and Lizzie at 16:55."
Ciarrin Covington had a solid race at the seven-spot, finishing 71st.
"The nice thing about our girls is that no one is content with settling into a position," Morris said. "They race for every spot and are not afraid to mix it up. It is also really nice to have girls step up after one of our top runners (Cassie Beseman) has been sidelined due to an injury in her foot."
Morris does expect Beseman to come back to racing in a few weeks.
On Sept. 22, Perham will go to Bagley for an invitational that will preview the Section 8A course that will be run on Oct. 30.
Thursday, September 17
Little Falls Invitational
Boys Team Scores
1. #5AA Moorhead, 2. #1A Perham, 3. Hopkins, 4. #8AA Alexandria
Medalist: #1AA Lukas Gemar (M) 16:14
Perham Individuals: 9. Sam Stoll 17:06, 14. Keith Schornack 17:18, 18. Isaac Werner 17:29, 19. Klaus Weber 17:32, 35. Nick Carignan 17:54, 44. Brandon Karels 18:07, 56. Andrew Riestenberg 18:19.
Girls Team Scores
1. #9AA Moorhead 102, 2. #5AA Hopkins 106, 3. #12AA Grand Rapids 110, 4. #1A Perham 118, 5. #8AA Monticello 125, 6. Sartell-St.Stephen 171, 7. Brainerd 252, 8. Bemidji 269, 9. Forest Lake 275, 10. Little Falls 300, 11. St. Michael-Albertville 318, 12. Rocori 321, 13. Becker 330, 14. Alexandria 344, 15. Roseau 355, 16. #9A Staples-Motley 361, 17. Detroit Lakes 379, 18. Fergus Falls 427, 19. St. Cloud Tech 509, 20. St. Cloud Apollo 513.
Medalist: #1AA Jamie Piepenberg (A) 14:32
Perham Individuals: 4. Maddie McClellan 15:04, 11. Abby Anderson 15:42, 25. Holly Sheets 16:13, 35. Shayla Fulford 16:26, 43. Racole Karels 16:35, 60. Lizzie Fudge 16:55, 71. Ciarrin Covington 17:24.
Boys Class A Poll Section Rank
1. Perham 8 1
2. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 5 2
3. Albany 6 4
4. Pequot Lakes 7 3
5. Minnehaha Academy 4 5
6. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 6 7
7. Byron 1 9
8. Staples-Motley 8 6
9. St. Cloud Cathedral 5 8
10. Waseca 2 10
11. Jackson Cty Central 2 12
12. The Blake School 4 11
Girls Class A Poll Section Rank
1. Perham 8 1
2. Waseca 2 3
3. Fairmont 2 4
4. Adrian 3 5
5. Canby-Minneota/LinHi 3 2
6. LaCrescent 1 6
7. Mora 5 9
8. Park Rapids 8 10
9. Staples-Motley 8 7
10. The Blake School 4 11
11. Paynesville 6 12
12. Pierz 5 ---
Maddie McClellan (P) No. 1
Abby Anderson (P) No. 6