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Perham's depth shines through at Bagley Invitational

The Perham girls cross country team traveled north for the annual Bagley Cross Country Invitational ahead of the Milaca Mega Meet on Sept. 19. The Yellowjackets rested many of their varsity runners, yet still came away with a second place finish.

East Grand Forks won the meet, finishing with 79 points. The Yellowjackets came in second place with 105 points. Staples-Motley came in third place, followed by Thief River Falls in fourth and United North Central in fifth place.

“I’m just super excited about our depth this year, this is the first year on both sides where both girls and guys are so deep that the competition for the top seven is driving us every day,” Perham cross country head coach Jeff Morris said. “I did hold out our top 14 boys and top nine girls to prepare for the Milaca Mega Meet and super excited to see the whole team in action this Saturday.”

Thief River Falls’ Jerzie Finstad came in first place. She finished with a time of 20:01.4. She was followed by Lake Park-Audubon’s Lily Peterson. Peterson came in second with a time of 20:05.5. Staples-Motley’s Kira Sweeney was third at 20:12.5, while Frazee’s Ellie Morgan was fourth at 20:36.1.

Rounding out the top five and the top finishing Perham runner was Ashley Hokanson. The junior runner finished with a time of 20:46.8. Overall, the Yellowjackets had three runners in the top 20, showcasing the depth at the junior high level.

The next four runners in the top five for Perham were seventh graders, led by Liz Birkeland. She finished in seventh place overall, finishing with a time of 20:58.0. Lauryn Rustad cracked the top 20 when she crossed the line with a time of 22:08.6.

Mya Morris was the next Yellowjacket across the line. Morris finished with a time of 22:50.1. Perham’s Trinity Covington came in 55th place overall. Covington crossed with a time of 23:42.5. Ludovica Sciuto came in 74th place overall. She earned a time of 24:57.1. Olivia Rosenthal rounded out the field for Perham with a time of 24:57.

Both Yellowjacket squads will be in action on Saturday, Sept. 23 when they compete in the annual Milaca Mega Meet. The Mega Meet is the largest cross country running meet in the world. The event will host more than 140 schools and 5,900 runners will compete in the event. The first race of the day is set to begin at 8:40 a.m., while the final race of the day is set to go off at 2:15 p.m. at the Stones Throw Golf Course.

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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