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Hurley, Speicher highlight day one at state track

ST. PAUL — In the first lap of the 3,200 meters at the Minnesota Class 1A state track and field meet, Perham’s Keeghan Hurley looked over at teammate Brady Speicher and said, “Let’s do this. Let’s do this together.”

The two formed a wall and for most of the race were holding the top two spots, but in the final sprint returning champ Charlie Lawrence broke away for the win Friday at Hamline University.

Just as Hurley and Speicher had done leading Perham’s cross country team to a state championship and the track team to a section championship, the runners finished together. Hurley took second with a time of 9 minutes, 34.67 seconds and Speicher used a dead sprint with Washington Technology Magnet’s Ashenafi Hatte inches away from the finish line to finish right where the senior belonged in his final race with Hurley: right next to him, 0.07 seconds ahead of Hatte at 9:39.36 for third place.

“We knew Charlie was defending, so we knew he was going to do what he needed to do to win,” Speicher said. “Neither of us were planning on leading at all in the race, but after the first 200 meters, Keeghan said for us to do this and from there on we almost did.”

Speicher couldn’t imagine a better note to end his individual high school running career before he runs at Minnesota State Moorhead next year.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Speicher said. “We’ve been working together all season. It’s something special when you put two of the top three in the state. I can’t think of a better way to go out as a senior than with my teammate in the top three.”

For Hurley, this was exactly what he was imagining when he transferred from Fergus Falls to Perham as a sophomore.

“I transferred in for that special moment,” Hurley said. “To come through and have another distance runner like Brady is exactly what I transferred for. I couldn’t ask for much more than Perham. It’s a great school, great town. It’s perfect.”

Hurley made the ultimate sacrifice to be with the Yellowjackets. After transferring, he was forced to sit out in swimming, cross country and track, all of which he qualified for state before coming to Perham. For nights like Friday, it was all worth it.

“It just feels good to be back at the state meet and to do it like this was nearly perfect,” Hurley said. “It was the last time I get to run with him before he goes off to MSUM, so it was a pretty special moment for us and Perham today. No one was taking a lead and we almost got one-two, but Charlie has the faster kick than everyone and he got it. We were close to perfect, and you can’t ask for much more than that. I think it really represents Perham distance and who we are.”

This story was written by Chris Murphy/Forum News Service. The embedded photo was taken by Michael Vosburg/Forum News Service.

Senior Miranda Lockhart, making her third appearance at the state meet throwing discus, finished seventh with a throw of 116-feet, two-inches. Her other throws in the prelims were measured at: 112-11, 112-04, 99-10, 104-03, 103-10 and 105-11. Nailah Hill of Breck School was the Class A girls discus champion with a throw of 139-11.

Freshman Sydney Karels placed 12th in the 3200m race with a time of 12:02.11, shaving eight seconds off her qualifying time of 12:10.10. Clare Flanagain of Blake School won the 3200 in a time of 10:27.85. Flanagan, a junior, is the reigning Class A state cross country champion.

Junior Eli Beachy improved one place from his 12th place pole vault finish in 2012 clearing 13-feet for an 11th place finish. Grant Keiger of Blake School won the event clearning 15-feet, six-inches.

The Perham boys finished day one in second place in team point standings, two points behind Blake School 20-18. All 18 points came from Hurley's 10 and Speicher's eight.

Eigth-grader Lydia Rutten, of New York Mills, had an impressive second place finish in her heat of the 400m finishing in a time of 59.54. Rutten, who does not line up in blocks to start the race, was the cause of a couple apparent false starts but came through to qualify for the finals when the starting gun finally fired.

Day two of the Class A state track meet will begin at 3:30 p.m. Click here to view the schedule of Saturday's events.

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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