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Senior Brady Speicher went out in style finishing his final cross country race as a Yellowjacket leading the team to a fifth place overall finish at the Nike Cross Heartland Regionals. Robert Williams/FOCUS

XC: Both Perham teams impress at Nike Regionals

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Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The remarkable Perham cross country season came to a close at the Nike Cross Heartland Regionals Sunday, Nov. 11 with both Yellowjacket teams ending their year with impressive finishes.

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The boys' team entered the meet as the newly named Division II National Champions on the back of their state title victory and finished at Regionals in fifth place overall with 141 points.

The top two teams automatically qualify from the eight regional races to nationals at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore.

Including those 16 teams, another four at-large bids are awarded.

"Our region was ranked the toughest region in the nation this year," Perham Head XC Coach Jeff Morris said. "It is the first time our team has competed this well in a national ranked meet."

Senior Brady Speicher, running in his last high school cross country race, beat out regular number one runner Keeghan Hurley to lead Perham.

"Beating teammates usually isn't a goal for me, but being my last race I wanted to be the No. 1 runner for the last time," Speicher said.

Speicher was 34th overall and 17th in team standings with a time of 16.16.97.

Hurley finished 37th/19th in 16:18.76. Jayden Cullen was third for Perham with finishes of 38th/20th in 16.18.99.

The remainder of Perham results were: Billy Beseman 71st/40th in 16:40.42; Nick Carignan 78th/45th in 16:44.66; Dalton Dahms in 128th/79th in 17:03.97, and Ben Sullivan in 219th/140th in 17:43.63.

"The guys ran so well and are super happy to compete that well, not just with the big schools, but some of the best large schools in the country," Morris said.

In head-to-head match-ups Perham defeated Edina, the State runners-up 27-28 and 2A State Champions Stillwater, 27-30.

In essence, solely based on that result, the Yellowjackets finish their season as the best team in the state of Minnesota.

Bismarck, No. 9 in the NHSCA USA Super-50 National Rankings, won the Nike Regional led by Jake Leingang's winning time of 15:16.04.

Edina finished in third place, followed by Stillwater and Perham.

Edina is ranked No. 13, Stillwater No. 14 and Perham is No. 15 in the Super 50, to go with their No. 1 ranking amongst D-II schools.

Monticello, Iowa, the No. 2-ranked team in DII, finished 13th with 429 points.

Monticello and Perham had been tied in the D-II rankings, but Perham's finish solidifies xcnation.com's move prior to the state meet of giving Perham sole possession of the top spot.

Perham defeated Monticello by over 200 points.

32 teams and over 330 runners participated in Sioux Falls.

The Perham girls competed in the open race and finished in fourth place out of 20 teams.

The Lady Jackets did so without their two top runners Brynnan and Ciarrin Covington.

Familiar names dotted the top four spots for Perham.

Sydney Karels took over the top spot finishing in seventh place with a time of 20:29.03.

Lizzie Fudge-22nd, Racole Karels-25th, and Mary Riestenberg-26th all finished in a pack, Perham-style, with times around the 21:30.00 mark.

Emma Sweere-53rd and Marlee Curtis-68th, got some big-time experience to cap off their cross country seasons.

The girls' totaled 133 points.

Wayzata took the Open title handily with only 34 points.

THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL COACHES ASSOCIATION SUPER-50 NATIONAL RANKINGS

The Super 50 comprises the top 50 high school cross country programs in the nation. All-American program status and commemorative award will be sent to teams in final rankings. All team scores are a computer power ranking of a team's strength.

NHSCA USA SUPER-50 BOYS TEAM RANKINGS

1. 1.000 Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, NJ

2. .9979 Highland Milford HS, Highland, MI

3. .9976 North Central HS, Spokane, WA

4. .9971 Southlake Carroll HS, Southlake, TX

5. .9970 Arcadia HS, Arcadia, CA

6. .9697 American Fork HS, American Fork, UT

7. .9550 York HS, Elmhurst, IL

8. .9523 St. Xavier HS, Louisville, KY

9. .9408 Bismarck HS, Bismarck, ND

10. .9401 Dowling Catholic HS, Des Moines, IA

11. .9365 Davis HS, Kaysville, UT

11. .9365 Herriman HS, Herriman, UT

13. .9363 Edina HS, Edina, MN

14. .9358 Stillwater HS, Oak Park Heights, MN

15. .9355 Perham HS, Perham, MN (DII US#1)

16. .9349 WC Henderson HS, West Chester, PA

17. .9342 The Woodlands HS, The Woodlands, TX

18. .9340 Carmel HS, Carmel, IN

19. .9339 Cardinal O'Hara HS, Springfield, PA

20. .9334 Sue Cleveland HS, Rio Rancho, NM

21. .9310 Blacksburg HS, Blacksburg, VA

22. .9305 Chantilly HS, Chantilly, VA

23. .9205 Los Alamos HS, Los Alamos, NM

24. .8562 College Park HS, The Woodlands, TX

25. .8425 St. Xavier HS, Cincinnati, OH

26. .8420 Saratoga Springs HS, Saratoga Springs, NY

27. .8272 Carlsbad HS, Carlsbad, CA

28. .8216 Don Bosco Prep HS, Ramsey, NJ

29. .8175 Fayetteville Manlius HS, Manlius, NY

30. .8155 St. Anthony HS, Huntington, NY

31. .8134 Council Rock North HS, Newtown, PA

32. .8097 North Allegheny HS, Wexford, PA

33. .7906 Kamiakin HS, Kennewick, WA

34. .7894 Northport HS, Northport, NY

35. .7780 Waterford Mott HS, Waterford, MI

36. .7773 Columbus North HS, Columbus North, IN

37. .7645 Wayzata HS, Wayzata, MN

38. .7489 Madison West HS, Madison, WI

39. .7472 Bonneville HS, Ogden, UT

40. .7471 Notre Dame BG HS, Schenectady, NY (DII US#2)

41. .7470 Arlington HS, LaGrangeville, NY

42. .7464 Tatnall HS, Wilmington, DE (DII US#3)

43. .7398 LaGrange HS, Lyons, IL

44. .7345 Warwick Valley HS, Warwick, NY

45. .7343 Rush Henrietta HS, Henrietta, NY

46. .7339 Bishop Hendricken HS, Warwick, RI

47. .7335 Valparaiso HS, Valparaiso, IN

48. .7334 Carroll HS, Fort Wayne, IN

49. .7333 Cabell Midland HS, Ona, WV

50. .7219 Palos Verdes HS, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

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