State XC: Girls third place at Class A championships
NORTHFIELD — The Perham girls cross country team improved on a seventh place finish in 2012 placing third at this year’s Minnesota Class A state cross country meet at St. Olaf.
The result is the best finish for Perham since back-to-back runners-up finishes in 2008-09.
“We, definitely, wanted to go out and win it, but we knew it was going to be tough,” Head Coach Jeff Morris said.
Senior Lizzie Fudge led the Yellowjackets with a team placing of ninth and 29th overall in a time of 15:38.6.
“I’m glad I got to be on the podium my last year,” Fudge said. “I hope I’ve been able to lead them into a position where they can go out next year with even more confidence.”
Fudge, Mary Riestenberg and Racole Karels are the three departing seniors from this year’s team leaving a large group of underclassmen to pick up the chase for the Perham girls’ first state championship.
Fudge and Brynnan Covington led Perham all season with the senior Fudge taking over in the section and state championships. The two runners flipped positions midway through the race jockeying for spots in the front pack of runners.
Emi Trost, a senior from Cannon Falls won the girls’ individual title in 14:40.3, 10 seconds in front of runner-up Mary Naas of St. Paul Academy and Summit.
Top-ranked Annandale won the girls’ team title with 85 points. Lac Qui Parle Valley was second with 113, followed by Perham with 138.
Annandale was led by sophomore Elizabeth Schlafke and senior Courtney Alama who placed fourth and fifth overall, second and third in team placings.
For Perham, Freshman Brynnan Covington placed 18th, Sydney Karels was 28th, Jenna Wegscheid 40th, Caitlin Covington 43rd, Racole Karels 79th and Mary Riestenberg 95th in team placings.
Caitlin Covington only ran twice the prior week nursing an ailing knee, while she and sister Brynnan both raced Saturday under the weather.
“We’ve got to play the hand we’re dealt, and they did,” Morris said. “Our six and seven runners, Mary and Racole, ran great races today. It’s great when they can go out and not make excuses.”
Perham’s overall finishes were: Fudge 29th, Brynnan Covington 47th, Sydney Karels 68th, Wegscheid 89th, seventh-grader Caitlin Covington 92nd, Racole Karels 142nd and Riestenberg 158th in the field of 174 runners.
For full meet results visit the MSHSL website.