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Perham boys run out front at Milaca Mega Meet

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Perham's Brandon O'Hara was the top finisher for the Yellowjackets at the Milaca Mega Meet. O'Hara finished in fourth place, helping the Yellowjackets to a third place finish during the Division 1 race at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham boys cross country running team is used to running at the front of the pack. This time, the Yellowjackets were running up front with the big schools during the annual Milaca Mega Meet at the Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca on Sept. 21.

The Milaca Mega Meet is the largest of its kind in the nation. The event features four varsity boys races and four varsity girls races and the teams are split up by size. However, with Perham's run of success, the Yellowjackets were opted up to the Division 1 race to race against the large schools.

The Yellowjackets finished third overall, behind Eden Prairie and Mounds View. The Yellowjackets finished with 130 points, while Eden Prairie won the meet with 87 points. Mounds View was a close second with 96 points. Hopkins finished fourth, while Bismarck Century came in fifth with 159 points.

The Yellowjackets had two runners finish inside the top 10 in the race that featured 206 individuals. Perham's Brandon O'Hara and Jakob McCleary captured top 10 finishes, helping the Yellowjackets to their third place finish as a team. O'Hara finished in fourth place with a time of 16 minutes and 45.2 seconds. McCleary came in eighth place at 17:03.5.

St. Paul Central's Mickies Kiros was the individual winner. He finished with a time of 16:33.7. Mounds View's Finn Sokolowski came in second at 16:35.0, while Eden Prairie's Zach Spears was third at 16:37.5. Forest Lake's Daniel Vanacker came in fifth at 16:50.3.

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The Yellowjackets had three runners inside the top 20 and four inside the top 50 overall in the race. Bailey Evenson finished in 19th place with a time of 17:22.1, while Tesfaye Young came in 39th place. Young closed with a time of 17:55.9 for Perham.

Carson Hespe was the fifth runner across the line for the Yellowjackets. Hespe finished with a time of 18:24.3 for 61st place overall. Chase Belka followed in 68th place. Belka crossed the line with a time of 18:30.6. Owen Werner rounded out the field for Perham in 74th place. Werner finished with a time of 18:35.6.

The Yellowjackets have a busy week ahead with a pair of meets in Fergus Falls and at the University of Minnesota. The Yellowjackets will compete at 4 p.m. at the Fergus Falls on Sept. 26, before the top 10 runners will compete at the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.

Milaca Mega Meet
Boys Team Results-Division 1
Eden Prairie 87, Mounds View 96, Perham 130, Hopkins 154, Bismarck Century 159, Stillwater 200, East Ridge 239, Maple Grove 254, St. Paul Central 268, Wayzata 273, Roseville 315, Forest Lake 319, Minot 327, Champlin Park 400, Osseo 403, New Prague 428, Anoka 449, Coon Rapids 492, Elk River 557, Andover 587, Centennial 606, Park Cottage Grove 630, Blaine 631, Spring Lake Park 640, Tartan 687, Park Center 704, Woodbury 719, Duluth East 726, Sauk Rapids-Rice 782.
Individual Top 10
1 Mickies Kiros, SPC, 16:33.7; 2 Finn Sokolowski, MV, 16:35.0; 3 Zach Spears, EP, 16:37.5; 4 Brandon O’Hara, PER, 16:45.2; 5 Daniel Vanacker, FL, 16:50.3; 6 Max Charlsen, FL, 16:58.4; 7 Shuayb Hussein, WAY, 17:01.9; 8 Jakob McCleary, PER, 17:03.5; 9 Mackinon Mokoro, Osseo, 17:03.6; 10 Will Sacay, MV, 17:06.2.
Perham Individual Results
4 Brandon O’Hara, 16:45.2; 8 Jakob McCleary,17:03.5;19 Bailey Evenson, 17:22.1; 39 Tesfaye Young, 17:55.9; 61 Carson Hespe, 18:24.3; 68 Chase Belka, 18:30.6; 74 Owen Werner, 18:35.6.

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