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Perham girls edge out S-M, claim No. 1 ranking after Griak race

The Perham girls cross country running team sat behind Staples-Motley in the rankings for much of the season, but after a strong showing at the Gary Wilson Girls Gold Race at the Roy Griak Invitational, the Yellowjackets now hold the No. 1 spot in state. The Class A two-time defending champions finished 32nd overall, but were the top Class A team in a heavily contested field in the premier high school race at the University of Minnesota on Sept. 28.

The Yellowjackets finished with 931 points, while Staples-Motley, who was No. 1 for most of the year, finished with 1015 points for 38 points.

Cherry Creek won the team title with 75 points, while Naperville (North) finished second with 165 points. Stillwater came in third with 186 points, while Edina was fourth with 188 points and in fifth was Wayzata at 237 points.

Cherry Creek's Riley Stewart captured the individual title. She finished with a time of 17 minutes and 29.3 seconds for first place honors. Farmington's Anna Fenske came in second at 18:08.6, while Rosary's Liana Sturtz came in third at 18:08.9. Wayzata's Abby Nechanicky came in fourth at 18:13.9, while Iowa City-Liberty's Ashlyn Keeney came in fifth at 18:15.4.

Perham's top four runners finished ahead of Staples-Motley's third runner, while the top six came in front of the top four for Staples-Motley, helping the Yellowjackets finish six spots higher in the team standings.

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Aspen Rohde was the top finisher for Perham. She finished with a time of 20:36.8 for 140th place overall. Quincy Anderson was the second Perham girl across the line with a time of 21:04.0 for 193rd place. Mya Morris finished in 207th place with a time of 21:12.1, while Lauryn Rustad followed in 245th place with a time of 21:31.4.

Abby Tweeton followed right behind Rustad when she crossed the line at 21:31.6 for 247th place. Kaia Starzl finished with a time of 21:42.4 for 265th place and rounding out the varsity field was Liz Birkeland in 292nd place. Birkeland finished with a time of 21:55.1.

The Yellowjackets will now compete in the annual Perham Invitational on Oct. 3 at Arvig Park. The event will feature 26 teams and will feature several area teams, along with several teams coming from North Dakota and the surrounding areas. The varsity girls race is set for 4:55 p.m. at Arvig Park. The event starts at 3:45 p.m. with the fifth and sixth grade girls race, while the award ceremony is set for 6:05 p.m.

Gary Wilson Girls Gold Race
Team Results
Cherry Creek 75, Naperville (North) 165, Stillwater 186, Edina 188, Wayzata 237, Batavia 246, Lincoln 252, Farmington 298, St. Paul Highland Park 323, St. Michael-Albertville 354, Ballard Community 437, Rosemount 446, White Bear Lake 451, Middleton 518, Olathe North 529, Forest Lake 532, Lakeville South 534, Linn-Mar 546, Madison West 554, Discovery Canyon 594, Andover 616, Davies 629, Marshall 636, Iowa City-Liberty 719, Eau Claire Memorial 749, Maple Grove 788, Cheyenne Mountain 816, Santa Monica 840, O’Gorman 897, Waconia 909, Washington 912, Perham 931, Lakeville North 943, West Des Moines Valley 945, St. Thomas Aquinas 957, Hononegah 1010, Olathe West 1010, Staples-Motley 1015, Hudson 1057, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 1061, Rochester Century 1080, Bloomington Jefferson 1111, Bemidji 1123, Visitation 1130, Decorah 1156, Mankato East 1213, Shawnee Mission North 1263, Bay Port 1287, Mesabi East 1296, Assumption 1323,
Individual Top 10 Results
1 Riley Stewart, CC, 17:29.3; 2 Anna Fenske, FARM, 18:08.6; 3 Liana Sturtz, Rosary, 18:08.9; 4 Abbey Nechanicky, WAY, 18:13.9; 5 Ashlyn Keeney, IC-LIB, 18:15.4; 6 Maggie Gamboa, NA-N, 18:16.2; 7 Analee Weaver, SW, 18:17.7; 8 Genevieve Nashold, MW, 18:19.6; 9 Lauren Pansegrau, MDN, 18:24.2; 10 Kayci Martensen, BENT, 18:27.3.
Perham Individual Results
140 Aspen Rohde, 20:36.8; 193 Quincy Anderson, 21:04.0; 207 Mya Morris, 21:12.1; 245 Lauryn Rustad, 21:31.4; 247 Abby Tweeton, 21:31.6; 265 Kaia Starzl, 21:42.4; 292 Liz Birkeland, 21:55.1.

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