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4x800 team wins state title, boys team finishes second

Dalton Dahms hands off to Nick Carignan on the third leg of Perham's state championship 4x800m run Saturday at Hamline University. Robert Williams/FOCUS

ST. PAUL — The Perham boys 4x800m relay team, consisting of lead runner Billy Beseman, Dalton Dahms, Nick Carignan and anchor Brady Speicher, blew away the competition in the first of two heats and put up a time of 7:57.58 which broke the Perham high school record, was one second short of the the all-time Class A state record, and good for the 2013 state championship.

Chris Murphy - FORUM News Service

Perham’s boys 3,200-meter relay team may have won because of the hair, but they certainly didn’t win the Class 1A title by a hair at the Minnesota state track and field meet Saturday at Hamline University.

The Yellowjackets wanted to make a statement, so all four members shaved their heads. After seeing no one within distance of the finish line in the second heat and the clock keep ticking past Perham’s time of 7 minutes, 57.58 seconds, Brady Speicher wiped away tears and made a statement.

“We wanted to be different, since we were in the slow heat,” Speicher said about the new haircut. “We wanted people to know who we were and we weren’t afraid of them.”

Perham, made up of Speicher, Dalton Dahms, Billy Beseman and Nick Carignan, was put in the “slow” heat, which runs first at state, because of their time of 8:18.72 at the section meet.

“I put an asterisk next to our qualifying time,” Speicher said. “Dalton was hurt at sections, so he didn’t run. We wanted to come in and show the Minnesota (State) High School League that their system is flawed and what they are doing is not right for the (3,200 relay). We ran the third-best time coming into today at sub-sections, but they put us in the slow heat because of our section time.

We wanted to show them that it’s not all about sections, it’s about sub-sections and the whole season that matters.”

Perham destroyed the first heat, finishing 20 seconds ahead of any team. It finished with the foursome’s best time, a school record by one second. and fell short of the Class 1A record by .97 seconds. All that was left, was waiting for the second heat.

“If I had any hair, I would have pulled it out,” Speicher said. “You don’t want to cheer against other teams, but you want to win so bad.”

And Perham did just that. The relay team includes three seniors who had been running together since seventh grade and running the 3,200-meter relay since freshman year. Additionally, there’s Beseman, a sophomore who helped them become a sixth-place team last season.

“We wanted to go out with a bang,” Dahms said. “We came in knowing that if were in the fast heat, we could have gone out there and done it, but we said it didn’t matter what heat we were in. We wanted to show the state that we can run in whatever heat you put us in.”

For the three seniors, it was the perfect ending to their high school running careers.

“I could not think of a better way to go out with my boys,” Carignan said. “We do everything together.”

Together, Perham finished tied for second with Murray County Central and behind Foley in the boys team rankings. Keeghan Hurley’s third-place finish gave Perham its final points, but not without some inspiration from the relay team.

“When I saw them do that, I just wanted to jump on the track and start running,” Hurley said. “It’s an individual sport, but at the same point we’re all here for each other, doing it for each other.”


Hurley, Perham's top distance runner, completed a successful weekend of top finishes with a third place time of 4:25.62 behind state champion Shane Streich of Waseca (4:17.32) and Nick Golebiowski of St. Cloud Cathedral (4:17.52) in the 1600m to go along with Hurley's second place finish Friday in the 3200m run. Golebiowski and Hurley, both juniors, will meet again in November as Hurley will lead Perham as the Yellowjackets cross country team defends their title against Golebiowski's 2011 XC champions.

Jayden Cullen added a top 10 finish in the 1600m with an eighth place time of 4:32.32. Cullen ran his typical style of quick out of the gate and was in the front of the pack for the majority of the race before Streich and Golebiowski sprinted to the finish. 

In Saturday girls action, the 4x800 relay team of senior Ciarrin Covington, juniors Racole Karels and Lizzie Fudge, and freshman anchor Sydney Karels finished 15th with a time of 10:20.48. The Yellowjackets had a muddled first handoff in a pack of other teams handing batons and it set the Perham team back in the pack.

Eighth-grader Brynnan Covington placed 10th in the 3200m race with a time of 5:20.69. 

The Perham girls finished in a tie for 61st place in team standings with three points, which came off of senior Miranda Lockhart's seventh place discus finish on Friday.

The New York Mills girls team, which consisted of eighth-grader Lydia Rutten, finished in 30th place on the back of Rutten's runner-up finish in the 400m race. Rutten ran 58.41 finishing behind only sophomore state champion Madalyn Kammer of Chatfield's 57.79.

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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