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XC: Perham girls take big step winning Milaca Mega Meet

Mary Riestenberg, Kayla Hodgden, Lizzie Fudge and Racole Karels enjoy some time with the Milaca Mega Meet championship trophy - Perham's first. Submitted photo

MILACA — The No. 5A Perham Yellowjackets girls cross country put up their biggest performance of the year at the Milaca Mega Meet Saturday by winning the AA title for the first time in program history.

The result garnered the team their highest ranking of the season in the latest Coaches Association poll at No. 3.

Perham scored 88 points, five better than runners-up Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson Boyd and six better than No. 4A St. Cloud Cathedral.

“The girls are running workouts at a very high level and are gaining confidence and are starting to walk to the line knowing they can compete at the front of the pack and it showed,” Head Coach Jeff Morris said.

Brynnan Covington led the girls, as she has in each race this year, with a seventh place overall finish running 15:33.

Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson Boyd junior Alaysia Freetly won the race in 14:55.6. Freetly is currently unranked individually in Minnesota. Rachel Eickhoff, a Cathedra junior, ranked No. 6 in Class A, was runner-up in a time of 15:09.7.

Perham’s Lizzie Fudge was 13th (15:49), 7th grader Caitlin Covington in her first 4k race, was 17th (15:53) and Sydney Karels 18th (15:58).

“These four girls are starting to run with pack mentality.”

Rounding out the top seven were: Mary Riestenberg 42nd (16:50), Racole Karels 50th (17:07) and personal best Kayla Hodgden 51st (17:07).

The finish is one of the biggest in the history of the Perham girls’ program. According to Morris, when the official finishes were announced there was a lot of excitement, which led to tears and lots of jumping up and down.

“It was very special and definitely one of the biggest wins our girls have had since 2010 when we finished second at state. The girls are working towards winning the school’s first girls’ state title and this is definitely a race that will give us momentum towards that end destination on our journey as a team.”

Team Results - Milaca Mega Meet

1. Perham 88,  2. Lqpv-Db 93, 3. St Cloud Cathedral 94, 4. Fairmont 116, 5.Canby-Minneota/Linc Hi 137, 6. Mora 144, 7. Minnehaha Academy 159, 8. Esko 221, 9. Watertown - Mayer 239, 10. Martin County West 246, 11. Montevideo 295, 12. Jordan 334, 13. Greenway/Nashwk-Kewtn 334, 14. Byron 342, 15. CookCounty-TwoHarbors 346, 16. Virginia 458.

Perham finishes:

7 Brynnan Covington 15:33.7

11 Lizzie Fudge 15:49.6

15 Caitlin Covington 15:53.2

16 Sydney Karels 15:58.9

39 Mary Riestenberg 16:50.3

47 Racole Karels 17:07.5

48 Kayla Hodgden 17:07.6

Total Time = 1:20:05.7 Total Places = 88

Class A Coaches Association Poll

1. Waseca; 2. Annandale; 3. Perham; 4. Trinity School at River Ridge; 5. Holy Family Catholic; 6. Dover-Eyota; 7. Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson Boyd; 8. St. Cloud Cathedral; 9. Fairmont; 10. Canby/Minneaota LinHi; 11. Spectrum; 12. Mora.

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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