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Boys cross-country team finishes strong at St. Olaf

The Perham boys and girls cross-country teams got a look at the state cross-country course for the first time this year at St. Olaf in Northfield, Minn.

"The boys ran just a great race," Head Coach Jeff Morris said.

Perham finished behind Minnehaha Academy and ahead of Blake for a fourth place finish.

Minnehaha is ranked second in Class A. Perham is fourth. Blake is ranked third.

White Bear Lake took the top spot. The Bears are ranked first in Class AA.

St. Cloud Cathedral holds the top ranking in Class A.

Leading the way for the Yellowjackets for the third meet was Brady Speicher, who ran a personal best time, on the St. Olaf course, of 16:54. Speicher finished 13th overall and was the third Class A runner in the race.

Speicher finished four seconds ahead of #8-ranked Jesse Delgado from Waseca.

Nick Carignan ran 16:59 finishing 21st overall and second on the team.

"Brady has been battling sickness so for he and Nick to go out so confident and be present in the front pack was huge for our guys team. People don't realize, but we have five new faces to the varsity team this year, which means so much room for improvement."

Billy Beseman and Dalton Dahms came within a few places of each other both running very solid races in 17:20 and 17:27.

Sophomore Jayden Cullen, freshmen Tanner Monson and Kanyon Edvall rounded out the top seven with 17:45, 17:57, and 18:05 respectively.

"What was really cool was that our eighth runner Mark Huebsch was also 18:08. I am super pumped with the guys for beating Blake."

Number two-ranked Blake ran without their top two runners.

"Even if you substitute their top two in the first two positions, our boys still would have beaten them."

Girls suffer bad luck

On the girls side, Cassie Beseman once again led the Lady Jackets.

A three-meet jinx following Jacket harriers addled the girls.

For the third meet in a row, the Yellowjackets had one of their runners lose a shoe.

The first race it was Billy Beseman. The next race Lizzie Fudge, and this time the Zola Budd jinx struck Sydney Karels, who ran the entire race except the first 400 meters barefooted.

Budd was an Olympic track and field competitor who, in less than three years, twice broke the world record in the women's 5,000 meters and twice was the women's winner at the World Cross Country Championships. Budd's career was unusual in that she mainly trained and raced barefoot.

Fudge was Perham's second finisher, followed by the Karels sisters of Racole and Sydney.

In the five and six positions were Mary Riestenberg and seventh-grader Brynnan Covington.

Rounding out top seven was Kellyn Barney.

"What is not shown in the final results is the face that Lizzie's race number fell off so she carried it, but it did not score her at the finish and Sydney Karels, who lost her shoe did not have a chip when she finished. These two girls, however, ran 16:43 and 16:54 respectively. The girls had a great week of training and were a little bummed with their finish with two of our girls not scoring because of the loss of running chips."

The loss of both chips skewed the finishing time for the team to the point their 14th place result is less than accurate.

"I know our girls are so far ahead of where we were last year and look forward to seeing them drop more time."

Full meet results can be found at

St. Olaf Boys Results:

1. White Bear Lake (16:47 1:23:54 0:35)

2. Centennial (17:01 1:25:05 0:36)

3. Minnehaha Academy (17:11 1:25:53 0:49)

4. Perham (17:17 1:26:25 0:51)

Perham Individuals:

13. Brady Speicher 16:54

21. Nick Carignan 16:59 42. Billy Beseman 17:20 50. Dalton Dahms 17:27

60. Jayden Cullen 17:45

73. Tanner Monson 17:57

82. Kanyon Edvall 18:04

St. Olaf Girls Results:

14. Perham (16:56 1:24:37 1:44)

Perham Individuals:

31. Cassie Beseman

77. Racole Karels 16:55

86. Brynnan Covington 17:00

87. Mary Riestenberg 17:00

118. Kellyn Barney 17:43

130. Tanya Berns 18:00

143. Ciarrin Covington 18:16

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. 

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