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XC: Yellowjackets conclude season in style

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Editor's note: There are times when there is little a writer can add to a heartfelt and concise coaches report.

It is with great respect and gratitude that I am able to run Jeff Morris' column with little to add other than watching this year's cross country team has been a lesson in consistency.

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Perham fans can expect nothing but big time performances to come in sections and at state.

I look forward to helping weave those tales and wish both teams the best of luck in the coming portion of the season they have been working toward since last November.

Thanks to connections to the team on Twitter, I know exactly how long they have prepared for the coming winner-take-all events in Bagley and at St. Olaf.

The goal of this team has always been to continue what is an inspiring legacy left by each class of XC seniors, who then notch a lofty mark for next year's team.

Dynasties are made from hard work. The cross country teams in Perham are prime examples of such dedication.

That comes from the top down and witnessing how this season has transpired has been inspiring, like the stories to come.

PARK RAPIDS - The Perham boys and girls both won their last regular season meet in Park Rapids Tuesday.

Coming off conference titles last week for both the girl and boys, this meet is the last final chance for the Yellowjackets to preview the section with almost all the teams in the section represented at Park Rapids.

As a coaching staff, we really felt this would be especially important confidence booster going into sections so we did not want to take it lightly on either side.

The girls have been somewhat overlooked up to this point in the season, but really showed why they are going to be a team in mix.

The girls really ran a great race led by the Covington sisters with both finishing in the top 10.

Brynnan has been our number one runner all year and now her older sister is moving up to the front to, both posting personal bests of 15:20 and 15:40.

Another pair of sisters (Sydney and Racole Karels) along with Lizzie Fudge gave us five girls all round the 16:00 barrier.

It is exciting to see our pack coming together. We had a really big workout on Friday and you can just see the girls ready to make the jump in their performances and today was an indication of that.

We put seven girls well under 16:00 with Mary Riestenberg and first-year cross country runner Maren Anderson rounding out the top seven.

I am so excited for our girls because all year we have been telling them they can compete with the best in the state and you can certainly see from the conference meet and today that they are starting to see it themselves.

The girls ended up 42 points ahead of second place Detroit Lakes and 44 points ahead of Warroad who is one of the teams the girls will have to compete with for the section title.

The girls will run at 4 p.m. next Friday, October 26 in Bagley at Twin Pines Golf Course at the Section 8A Championships.

The guys continued to run strong as a pack at the front of the race.

For the first time in school history, we almost put three runners under 16:00 on a pretty tough course.

Keeghan Hurley captured another individual meet title with Brady Speicher and Billy Beseman both just under 10 seconds behind Keeghan. Jayden Cullen and Nick Carignan finished 5th and 6th overall just missing another perfect score that was broken up by Isaac Overmeyer from Park Rapids who was just seconds in front of Jayden.

Dalton Dahms and Ben Sullivan rounded out our top seven.

For our guys this was one last chance to work on some pack running which is how we ran the first mile with allowing different guys to take the pace.

We tried to change leaders in our pack three different times before the mile where the plan was for Keeghan and Brady to take over.

We did a great job in a meet where we knew that if you fall off the pace just a little you get caught in no-mans land. We have done some pretty intense workouts in the last week so we are super excited to see what the boys can do when they are fresh and sharpened up.

The boys will follow the girls in Bagley with a 4:30 p.m. start time.

Also wining titles today were the JV girls and guys and the JH boys.

Mark Huebsch, Emma Sweere and Carson Speicher were also individual champions today in their respective races.

One final note was how emotional today was knowing that this was the last regular season meet for our 10 senior boys and girls.

They are Brady Speicher, Nick Carignan, Mark Huebsch, Dalton Dahms, and John Huber for the boys and the girls are Emily Tobkin, Tanya Berns, Ciarrin Covington, Maren Anderson, and Kellyn Barney.

They have been such a special class and as we get closer to the end it gets more special but tough to know they are in their last moments on this great journey we have shared in the Perham CC family.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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