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Cross-country teams conference champs again

Front row L to R: Lizzie Fudge, Raegan Vaughan, Cassie Beseman, Jessica Dreier, Racole Karels, Sydney Karels; Middle row: Tanya Berns, Darriean Stokke, Emily Tobkin, Mary Riestenberg, Allie Hoeft, Sam Dreier; Back row: Maegan Stammen, Kellyn Barney, Ciarrin Covington, Emily Swyter, Emma Sweere.1 / 2
Front row L to R: Matthew Siira, Nathan Coleman, Billy Beseman, Mark Shipman, Keith Schornack, Alec Bjerke, Austin Gray, David Misheski, John Huber; Middle row: Tyler Wieser-Matthews, Chris Knutson, Levi Swyter, Daniel Hill, Nick Carignan, Elliot Werner, Kanyon Edvall, Brady Speicher; Back row: Tanner Monson, Jayden Cullen, Kiowa Wieser-Matthews, Brandon Karels, Shane McClellan, David Altstadt, Klaus Weber, Jack Stigman, Mark Huebsch, Dalton Dahms, Hunter Salathe, Seth Stafki, Johannes Goedeking, Andrew ...2 / 2

Like clockwork, the boys and girls cross-country teams continued their reign at the top of the Heart O' Lakes Conference winning both titles in Warroad.

The boys were chasing their ninth straight title and the girls were after their seventh in a row.

By the end of the day, both teams had once again captured the HOL crowns and did it in blazing fashion.

The girls team went out poised and with confidence running the first half of the race with patience. They started out in a nice pack right in the top 15 and slowly worked to the front.

"Really showing her potential today was freshman Racole Karels," Head Coach Jeff Morris said.

Karels kept pace at the front of the pack before taking the lead after passing the mile and never looked back winning her first individual conference title in a time of 15:44.

Cassie Beseman followed closely finishing third overall in 15:52.

The girls put five girls on the HOL All-Conference team with Lizzie Fudge in 12th, Ciarrin Covington in 13th and Mary Riestenberg finishing 15th.

Seventh grader Sydney Karels stepped up in the six-spot running a best time of 16:47 and finishing 20th. Tanya Berns rounded out the top seven Yellowjackets at 17:31.

"We are so excited about our girls team."

Perham took victory with 44 points. Warroad and Roseau finished second and third nearly 40 points back.

"The girls are gaining confidence and I believe are going to be a team that surprises a lot of people as we enter championship racing."

One final tune-up race remains at Park Rapids before the Section meet in Bagley, Friday October 29.

Taking a seventh straight conference title in a year where injuries and a few question marks appeared over the course of the season shows the depth and historical pride laden in the Perham girls cross-country program.

Other highlights were the Junior Varsity girls winning the team title sweeping the top five spots and Jessica Dreier winning the individual title. In the Junior High race, Emily Swyter and Alli Hoeft finished first and second, respectively.

In boy's action, Keith Schornack again led the Yellowjackets just missing the individual title by three seconds behind state-ranked individual Brendan Skimme from Thief River Falls.

The boys ran in a group separated by under a minute giving runners from other schools a healthy dose of yellow and black to chase.

The Jackets proceeded to put seven runners in the top 10 placing their entire varsity team on the All-Conference team for the second consecutive year.

Klaus Weber was fourth, with sophomores Nick Carignan and Brady Speicher taking the fifth and sixth spots overall.

Brandon Karels, Dalton Dahms, and Andrew Riestenberg rounded out Perham's top seven finishing eighth through tenth overall.

"On top of the conference title we were so pumped with how well our team ran. We had a spread of 49 seconds from our first runner to our seventh and on top of that we put together the best top seven performance in school history."

Schornack led the Yellowjacket pack at 16:21 while the tail end of the lead group, Riestenberg, finished close behind at 17:10.

"Our guys, like the girls, are also gaining a ton of confidence, but just talking to them they're ready to see what they can do as we get into championship racing."

The underclassmen from opposing teams got a good look at what is to come in the future chasing every Perham team as the Yellowjackets completed the sweep of all the races on both the girls and guys side, winning the Junior High and Junior Varsity races to match the upperclassmen.

Billy Beseman, Kanyon Edvall, and Tanner Monson went one-two-three in Junior High race to lead team to the title.

The JV boys finished one through five led by Johannes Goedeking, Jayden Cullen, Chris Knutson, Mark Shipman and David Altstadt.

As of rankings posted October 18, the Varsity boys remain ranked number one in the state and girls move up to the nine spot.

For more information and full results visit

Boys Varsity Conference Tournament results:

Perham 25, Thief River Falls 60, West Central Area 112, Roseau 127, Warroad 131, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 156, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 157, Frazee 227, Breckenridge 239, Pelican Rapids 250.

Girls Varsity Conference Tournament results:

Perham 44, Warroad 82, Roseau 84, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 118, Pelican Rapids 138, West Central Area 139, Thief River Falls 167, Breckenridge 173, East Grand Forks 189, Frazee 280.



Oct. 18:


1. Perham

2. St. Cloud Cathedral

3. Plainview-Elgin-Millville

4. Minnehaha Academy

5. Glencoe-Silver Lake

6. Waseca

7. Holy Family Catholic

8. Fairmont

9. Mora

10. Byron

11. Esko

12. LaCrescent


1. Adrian

2. St. Cloud Cathedral

3. LaCrescent

4. Holy Family Catholic

5. Blake

6. Dover-Eyota/St. Charles

7. Waseca

8. Fairmont

9. Perham

10. Albany

11. Esko

12. Trinity River Ridge

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

(218) 844-1442