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Cross-country teams second at Moorhead

The girls cross-country huddles up in Moorhead.

The Perham boys and girls cross-country teams opened up the season at the Shocky Strand Invite at MB Johnson Park in Moorhead finishing second to the hosts.

"The biggest obstacle of the race was the muggy weather with the temperature approaching 90 and with 25 mph winds," said Head Coach Jeff Morris.

Both teams set the tone for the season and came out running tough despite the conditions. The varsity girls were up first and finished just 23 points behind ninth ranked double A school Moorhead.

The girls lost 4 seniors from last year's team that had a second place state finish.

"We knew we were going to have a lot of new faces to the top seven. Our girls have trained hard and are ready to keep the tradition going in the girls program and showed yesterday they are ready to mix it up with anyone."

The girls finished ahead of double A schools Willmar and Bemidji who were third and fourth and also outdistanced #6 ranked class A Park Rapids by 46 points and Staples by 50.

"It was a great showing for the girls team."

Junior Cassie Beseman led the team with a seventh place finish. Beseman missed the entire season due to injury last season, but is back and ready to contribute. Racole Karels posted a top 20 finish as well while Ciarrin Covington, Mary Riestenberg, and Lizzie Fudge just missed top 20 finishes.

Rounding out the top 7 for the jackets were Tanya Berns and Kellyn Barney.

"What is so exciting about this group is that they are young so we know each race we are going to keep getting better as we gain more experience.

The top seven is made up of three freshman, three sophomores and one junior.

The boy's teams were ready to come out and have a great first showing and did just that. The Perham harriers finished six points behind #5 double A ranked Moorhead High School.

Moorhead has also been recognized as the #34 ranked team in the Powerade FAB 50 ESPN Rise national rankings.

"Our guys are just really excited knowing that all the summer work has prepared them to mix it up with the best across the state.

Coming down the homestretch the boys were running in first place.

"The heat just took its toll on a lot of our guys the last 800 meters and we lost a few points, but as coaches we are just excited for the boys and how they ran today."

Leading the way for the Jackets the senior trio of Klaus Weber, Keith Schornack and Brandon Karels finishing seventh, eighth and tenth overall.

Sophomores Brady Speicher and Nick Carignan were the last scoring positions today for our team finishing 13th and 15th overall.

Rounding out the top seven were Dalton Dahms and Andrew Riestenberg who finished 28th and 29th overall.

As a team, the boys outdistanced double A powerhouse Willmar by 36 points who is honorable mention in double A rankings.

They also finished ahead of Bemidji, Fergus Falls, and other double A schools. The second class A school behind Perham was Thief River Falls in seventh place.

This group returns five runners of seven from last year and are really fired up about this year.

"We look forward to seeing the gap close between our first three runners and our next four," Morris said.

See full race results at: