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Perham boys cross country move up to No. 1 in the state, girls ranked fourth

Results from Perham cross country on Sept. 25, 2021.

The Perham cross country teams had statement performances at the Milaca Mega Meet on Saturday.

The Yellowjackets ran in the third division in the United States' largest cross country meet. The boys took first overall, beating out Park Rapids by two points.

Perham was without its top boys runner in Jakob McCleary, who ran in the University of Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational on Friday afternoon. McCleary took second place in the gold division with a time of 16:30. He is now the second-ranked Class A runner in Minnesota.

The rest of the Yellowjackets narrowly beat out a talented Park Rapids team to not only win their heat in Milaca but also move into the top spot in the Class A rankings.

"We knew going in without Jakob things were gonna be tough, but our team needed this for themselves and to prove they can compete at the top of the state," Perham head coach Jeff Morris said. "What people forget is that our entire lineup is made up of guys who are really young and don't have much varsity experience. Each meet, we are discovering ourselves, and wow, we found out something great about this group with the response they had today."

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Caden Doll took fourth place with a time of 17:20. Bjorn Anderson was nine seconds behind him in 11th with Micah Thompson in 14th (17:36). Carter Flatau (18:03) and Brayden Glorvigen (18:38) rounded out the Perham top five.

The Perham girls were also extremely impressive on Saturday. The Yellowjackets took second place in the third division behind second-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral. Gracie Morris finished fourth with a time of 19:40. Quincy Andersson (20:09), Leelou Novotny (20:10) and Liz Birkeland (20:15) took 10th, 11th and 12th. Aspen Rhode clocked a time of 21:17 for third place.

After this weekend, the Perham girls are ranked fourth in the state.

"The girls were just plain awesome today and are making jumps of their own," Morris said. "We have so much depth in our girl's program right now with our eighth grade and sophomore groups both finishing third in Milaca, which is not easy as the grade races do not separate the classes. This depth from junior high and junior varsity are pushing our varsity girls to breakthroughs. It is just awesome."

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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