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Perham pole vaulters take three of the top-four spots in Bemidji

Perham sophomore Shalie Lipp makes her approach in the pole vault Thursday at the Beaver Relays at Bemidji State University. (Jillian Gandsey | Forum News Service)

Ashley Hokanson, Sydney Bahls and Shalie Lipp give the Perham Yellowjackets track and field team a dominant lineup in the pole vault competition. The trio showcased that when they took three of the top-four spots in that event in Bemidji on April 12 at the Bemidji Relays.

Hokanson set the bar for the Yellowjackets in her sophomore season when she started in the pole vault full-time for the first time in her athletic career. Hokanson finished third in the Class A championships and is off to a strong start during their first meet of the season. Hokanson finished first during the Bemidji Relays, clearing 11-0.

Bahls finished second for the Yellowjackets. The senior is coming off a state appearance at the Class A gymnastics championships and signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her track and field career at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Bahls cleared 10-0 earning second place honors.

Lipp rounded out the Perham contingent in the top four. The sophomore had a strong debut to the season at the Bemidji relays. She finished with a vault of 9-6.

Overall, the Perham girls team finished with 29 points, finishing in sixth place overall, tied with Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta. Pequot Lakes won the title with 91.5 points.

The Yellowjackets featured just one competitor on the track side of things. Junior distance runner Caitlin Covington earned third place honors in the 1600 meter run. Covington ended the race with a time of five minutes and 35.59 seconds.

Caitlin Covington

Oakley McNair competed in the high jump event for Perham as well. She finished in 21st place overall, clearing 4-6.

Martin LaFond and Carson Speicher helped the Perham boys track and field team to a fifth place finish. LaFond earned a first place finish in the long jump, while Speicher tied for first in the 1600 meter run. LaFond captured second place in the triple jump as well.

The Yellowjackets finished with 40 points for fifth place honors. Wadena-Deer Creek came in first place, earning 91.5 points.

LaFond finished first with a 22-0 in the long jump and came in second with a jump of 44-7 in the triple jump.

Speicher tied for first with a 1600 meter run. He crossed the finish line with a time of 4:54.74. Speicher, Logan Wallace, John LaFond and Martin LaFond finished third in the 1600 meter relay, finishing with a time of 3:43.81. Wallace finished fifth in the 400 meter dash, earning a time of 54.74.

The Yellowjackets were scheduled to host the Perham Invite on April 17, however, weather has already cancelled that event. The Yellowjackets hope to get outside on April 19 at Pelican Rapids.

Bemidji Relays

Boys Team Results

Wadena-Deer Creek 59, Bemidji 58, Pequot Lakes 51, East Grand Forks 48, Perham 40, Sauk Rapids-Rice 35, Staples-Motley 34, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 29, Minnewaska Area 21, Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck 20, Roseau 19.5, Clearbrook-Gonvick 18, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 17, Nevis 16, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 16, Park Rapids Area 14, Pillager 12, Fertile-Beltrami 12, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 12, Deer River/Northland 10, Ottertail Central 9, Thief River Falls 6.5, Osakis 6, International Falls 5, A.B.E 5, Pine River-Backus 5, Crookston 5, Warroad 2

Perham Individual Results

400m dash-5, Logan Wallace, 54.74; 1600m run-T1, Carson Speicher, 4:42.58; 200m dash-6, John LaFond, 24.34; 1600m relay-3, Perham A (Carson Speicher, Logan Wallace, John LaFond Martin LaFond), 3:43.81; Long Jump-1, Martin LaFond, 22-0; Triple Jump-2, Martin LaFond, 44-7.

Girls Team Results

Pequot Lakes 91.5, Park Rapids Area 45, Crookston 44, Thief River Falls 39.5, Roseau 33, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 29, Perham 29, International Falls 26.5, Mesabi East 26, Fertile-Beltrami 21, Wadena-Deer Creek 20, Bemidji 20, East Grand Forks 20, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 18.5, Pillager 18, Warroad 16, Osakis 13, West Marshall 12.5, Minnewaska Area 11.5, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 9.5, Sauk Rapids-Rice 9, Ottertail Central 6, TrekNorth 6, Nevis 6, Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck 5, United North Central 3.5, Staples-Motley 3, A.B.E 2, Clearbrook-Gonvick 1

Perham Individual Results

1600m run-3, Caitlin Covington, 5:35.59; High Jump-21, Oakley McNair, 4-3; Pole Vault-1, Ashley Hokanson, 11-0; 2, Sydney Bahls, 10-0; 4, Shalie Lipp, 9-6.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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