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Quick start for Yellowjackets at Shocky Strand

The Perham Yellowjacket boys cross country running team gets ready at the start. Submitted photo

Moorhead-The Perham Yellowjackets cross country running teams kicked off the season at the annual Shocky Strand Rotary Invitational in Moorhead, Minn., on Aug. 31.

The Yellowjackets were the top finishing Class A school in the boys and girls events overall.

The Yellowjacket girls finished third overall, while the boys came in fourth place.

Willmar swept the event, winning both the boys and the girls titles.

Willmar finished with 46 points in the boys event, while the girls team recorded 33 points.

The Yellowjacket girls team ended the day with 62 points, while the boys recorded 72.

“The temperature and the wind made conditions extremely tough, but that did not slow down the Yellowjackets,” Perham Head Coach Jeff Morris said in an e-mail. “We ran smart early in the race, and that allowed for a strong second half.”

It was a new test for the Yellowjacket girls team, running the 5K distances. This is the first year that the Minnesota State High School League has adopted the 5K race for the state meet.

“The girls had a great showing with the new distance,” Morris said. “At around the 800 meter mark, the girls were around 30th, and then they started to move up.”

Leading that charge was junior Brynnan Covington. She finished second overall. Covington finished with a time of 19 minutes, 23.6 seconds.

She was followed by Jenna Wegscheid in ninth place. Wegscheid crossed the line at 20:20.4.

Caitlin Covington finished in 11th place. Covington surged to a time of 20:22.9.

Sydney Karels came in 18th for the Yellowjackets. Karels had a finishing time of 21:16.2. Hailey Wegscheid followed in 22nd place overall. Wegscheid finished with a time of 21:23.8.

The Yellowjackets finished with five runners inside the top-25.

Lourdes Anderson came in 34th, finishing with a time of 23:51.0, while Brooklyn Koetke came in 39th at 24:22.1.

“For a first race our coaching staff is super excited about the girls and where they are at,” Morris said. “Our girls put in a great summer and today were without one of their top-seven from their team time trial a week ago, who is resting a sore knee. The goal now is to keep putting in the work and not forget how they got here.”

Willmar’s Kayla Rudie finished first overall. She finished with a time of 19:12.4.

The Yellowjacket boys quickly adjusted to life without Billy Beseman. Beseman is now running at the University of Sioux Falls.

“The boys return everyone else from their state roster and are hungry to get back to the top,” Morris said. “All of our boys from junior high to varsity put in great summer miles. They really want to compete, not only with the class A teams, but the AA teams, and it showed today.”

The Yellowjackets showcased their strong pack running and depth. They had five runners finish inside the top-20.

“The boys ran as a pack for the first half, starting out in 40th place and then working up to the top-20,” Morris said. “Our boys have so much more in them, due to the fact our top-three at the time trial and from spring track had a tough time with the heat today. A few of them worked through some pretty tough side cramps in the race.”

Chase Lietz led the way for the Yellowjackets. He finished in 11th place with a time of 17:41.2. Hunter Kjelshus came in 12th at 17:43.7.

Jacob Dickerson finished 14th at 17:48.6 and in 17th place was Carson Speicher. Speicher crossed the line at 18:03.8. Nick Listrom finished in 18th place, with a time of 18:07.6.

Adam Siira ended in 28th place at 18:42.2, while Nathan Coleman finished in 35th at 19:00.3.

“What really gets us pumped up is that this team had just a 26 second spread from one to five,” Morris said. “We are super excited to see what these boys will do on Friday at St. Olaf.”

Willmar’s Nadir Yusuf won the boys race. He finished the event with a time of 16:21.6.

The Yellowjackets are back in action on Friday, Sept. 4 with the St. Olaf Showcase in Northfield, Minn.


Shocky Strand Invitational

Moorhead, Minn.

Aug. 31

Boys Team Results

Willmar 46, Bemidji 54, Fargo Davies 59, Perham 72, Moorhead 101, Thief River Falls 189, Pelican Rapids 226, Hawley 229, Fergus Falls 257



1. Nadir Yusuf, Willmar, 16:21.6

2. Hunter Lucas, Davis, 16:24.5

3. Caleb Appleton, Bemidji, 16:24.8

4. Mohamed Noor, Willmar, 16:27.3

5. Jacob Henne, Davies, 16:56.2


Perham Results

11. Chase Lietz, 17:41.2

12. Hunter Kjelshus, 17:43.7

14. Jacob Dickerson, 17:48.6

17. Carson Speicher, 18:03.8

18. Nick Listrom, 18:07.6

28. Adam Siira, 18:42.2

35. Nathan Coleman 19:00.3


Shocky Strand Invitational

Moorhead, Minn.

Aug. 31

Girls Team Results

Willmar 33, Fargo Davies, 51, Perham 62, Bemidji 101, Moorhead 118, Thief River Falls 172, Fergus Falls 222


1. Kayla Rudie, Willmar 19:12.4

2. Brynnan Covington, Perham, 19:26.3

3. Jessa Hanson, Willmar, 19:32.0

4. Sophie Schmitz, Willmar, 19:43.3

5. Ali Matter, Davies, 19:48.3


Perham Results

2. Brynnan Covington 19:26.3

9. Jenna Wegscheid, 20:20.4

11. Caitlin Covington, 20:22.9

18. Sydney Karels, 21:16.2

22. Hailey Wegscheid, 21:23.8

34. Lourdes Anderson, 23:51.0

39. Brooklyn Koetke, 24:22.1

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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