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Perham girls take second at 8AA True Team

Perham's Mesa Schultz hits the landing during the long jump competition during the Section 8AA True Team Championships. Schultz set a new record in that event for the Yellowjackets. Jason Groth/FOCUS

For the second straight Section 8AA True Team Championships, Pequot Lakes Patriots edged out the Perham Yellowjackets for a trip to the Class AA True Team Championships on May 8 in Fergus Falls.

The Patriots finished the event with 501 points, while Perham was second with 433 points. Pierz came in third with 410.50 points, while Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes rounded out the top five.

“(It was a) very strong performance from everyone on the boys and girls team,” Perham head coach Mike Peterson said. “We needed everyone to do their job and they did that, to the very best of their ability.”

The Yellowjackets still have a chance at qualifying for the Class AA True Team Championships in Stillwater, Minn., when they compete in a virtual meet for the four wild-card spots. This year’s tournament expanded the field from nine to 12 teams with the addition of four wild-card teams. The teams that finished in second-through-fifth place in each section will compete in a virtual meet to determine those wild card spots. The Yellowjackets advanced two years ago as section champions and hope to make their second overall appearance after the wild-card meet is held.

Perham's Sydney Bahls sprints against the competition.

The Yellowjackets had several strong performances across the board in the event. Peterson said they have another deep team.

“The scoring was spread out through many events which made the meet very close,” Peterson said. “Detroit Lakes and Pequot Lakes girls teams are very good teams and it was a fight all day long, back and forth, with them. They should be commended in their efforts in making this an intensely competitive meet.”

Mesa Schultz was victorious in the long jump, setting a new school record in the process. She finished with a jump of 17 feet, one inch.

The pole vaulters claimed their usual spot at the top of the standings. Ashley Hokanson finished first when she cleared 11 feet, while Sydney Bahls finished second, clearing 10 feet, six inches, vaulting past the competition by more than a foot. The next closest competitor came in with a vault of nine feet.

Caitlin Covington earned first place honors in the 1600m run and finished in second place in the 800m run. She ran a winning time of five minutes, 32.80 seconds in the 1600 and finished with a time of 2:29.44 in the 800. Liz Birkeland followed behind Covington in both events. Birkeland was third in the 800 at 2:29.58, while finishing second in the 1600m run at 5:36.26. Abby Tweeton earned second place honors in the 3200m run at 12:50.64.Perham's Makayla Melvin takes the baton and drives forward in the relay race.

The Perham 400m relay team of Bahls, Shalie Lipp, Ashley Hokanson and Schultz finished in second place at 52.55, while the 1600m relay team of Lacy Richter, Mary Wunderlich, Covington and Hokanson finished second at 4:17.23.

The Yellowjackets now wait to see if they advance to the Class AA True Team Championships in Stillwater, Minn. If the Yellowjackets advance, they will compete on May 19. The field events are set to begin at 3:45 p.m., while the track events take place at 4 p.m.

Section 8AA True Team Championships

Girls Team Scores

Pequot Lakes 501, Perham 433, Pierz 410.50, Fergus Falls 408.50, Detroit Lakes 338, Thief River Falls 330, Little Falls 324.50, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 314, Park Rapids Area 308, East Grand Forks 228.50

Perham Individual Results

100m dash-8, Sydney Bahls, 14.15; 18, Shalie Lipp, 14.81; 200m dash-6, Mesa Schultz, 28.46; 9, Ashley Hokanson, 28.76; 400m dash-13, Mary Wunderlich, 66.98; 20, Lauren Rustad, 70.34; 800m run-2, Caitlin Covington, 2:29.44; 3, Liz Birkeland, 2:29.58; 1600m run-1, Caitlin Covington, 5:32.80; 2, Liz Birkeland, 5:36.26; 3200m run-2, Abby Tweeton, 12:50.64; 9, Makayla Melvin, 13:15.14; 100m hurdles-12, Bradlyn Gniffke, 19.01; 19, Mesa Schultz, 20.54; 300m hurdles-7, Emily Martinson, 52.39; 8, Lacy Richter, 52.45; 400m relay-2, PER, Sydney Bahls, Shalie Lipp, Ashley Hokanson, Mesa Schultz, 52.55; 800m relay-4, PER, Sydney Bahls, Mary Wunderlich, Makayla Melvin, Mesa Schultz, 1:53.26; 1600m relay-2, Lacy Richter, Mary Wunderlich, Caitlin Covington, Ashley Hokanson, 4:17.23; 3200m relay-5, Lacy Richter, Quincy Anderson, Trinity Covington, Emily Van Watermulen, 10:31.97; High Jump-14, Anni Kovar, 4-4; Pole Vault-1, Ashley Hokanson, 11-0; 2, Sydney Bahls, 10-6; Long Jump-1, Mesa Schultz, 17-1; 11, Shalie Lipp, 15-4; Triple Jump-10, Bradlyn Gniffke, 31-3.5; 12, Mary Wunderlich, 31-2; Shot Put-8, Maggie Ingebrand, 31-11.5; 9, Samantha Charboneau, 31-7.75; Discus-8, Tayler Parks, 97-0; 12, Oakley McNair, 88-6.

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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