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Covington, Yellowjackets first at MSU-M Twilight Invite

The Perham girls cross country running team celebrates their team win at the MSU-M Twilight Invitational in Moorhead on Sept. 7. Photo courtesy of PerhamXC Twitter.

The top-ranked Perham girls cross country team picked up another victory, this time capturing top honors at the annual Minnesota State University-Moorhead Dragon Twilight race on Sept. 7 in Moorhead.

Senior Caitlin Covington earned her first individual win of the season. She has finished in the top five in two of the three races for the Yellowjackets, earning a second place finish at the Spartan Duals earlier this season.

Covington led the strong field of 42 runners with a finishing time of 19 minutes and 43.5 seconds. Covington posted her best time of the season. She was followed by eighth-grader Liz Birkeland. Birkeland helped the Yellowjackets secure the team title with a time of 19:58.2, forming a potent one-two punch at the top of the order for the Yellowjackets. Birkeland posted her fastest time of the season as well.

Moorhead’s Rylie Polomny came in third place. She finished with a time of 20:10.7. She was followed by Bemidji’s Regan DeWitt in fourth place at 20:26.9 and Moorhead’s Cassidy O’Meara finished in fifth place at 20:36.6.

It was a narrow competition for the team title with Perham earning the win by two points over Moorhead. Perham finished with 44, while Moorhead came in with 46 points. West Central Area came in third with 64 points. Bemidji was fourth and Northern Cass was fifth.

Emily VanWatermulen was the third Yellowjacket across the line and was the third to finish inside the top 15. The sophomore runner finished with a time of 20:52.6. Lauryn Rustad followed in 16th place, while Mya Morris was 19th. Hailey Wegscheid came in 21st place and Quincy Anderson rounded out the varsity field for Perham when she finished in 22nd place.

The Yellowjackets return to the course on Thursday, Sept. 13 when they compete in Little Falls at 4 p.m.

MSUM Dragon Twilight

Team Scores

Perham 44, Moorhead 46, West Central Area 64, Bemidji 69, Northern Cass 144

Individual Top 10

1 Caitlin Covington, PER, 19:43.5; 2 Liz Birkeland, 19:58.2; 3 Rylie Polomny, MH, 20:10.7; Regan DeWitt, BEM, 20:26.9; 5 Cassidy O’Meara, MH, 20:36.6; 6 Alice Bauroth, FS, 20:37.9; 7 Ella Grafstrom, MH, 20:42.6; 8 Kayla DeWitt, BEM, 20:42.8; 9 Teagan Nelson, WCA, 20:43.8; 10 Lexi Bright, WCA, 20:48.7.

Perham Individual Results

1 Caitlin Covington, 19:43.5; 2 Liz Birkeland, 19;58.2; 13 Emily Vanwatermulen, 20:52.6; 16 Lauryn Rustad, 21:01.3; 19 Mya Morris, 21:31.9; 21 Hailey Wegscheid, 21:41.0; 22 Quincy Anderson, 21:42.4.

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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