The Perham girls cross country team closed the gap on the second-ranked Staples-Motley Cardinals during the annual Minnesota State University-Moorhead Twilight Invitational on Sept. 6 at Bluestem in Moorhead.
The Cardinals hold an edge on the Yellowjackets, but the gaps has narrowed since the two teams competed with each other at the St. Olaf Showcase in Northfield.
Staples-Motley came in first place with 52 points, while Perham came in second place with 56 points, just four behind the second-ranked Cardinals. Perham is currently ranked third in the state in the most recent coaches poll. Moorhead finished in third place with 87 points, while Bemidji was fourth with 93 points. East Grand Forks rounded out the top five with 131 points.
First and second place individually mirrored the team results with Staples-Motley's Kyanna Burton taking first place honors with a time of 19 minutes and 1.7 seconds. Perham's Aspen Rohde finished in second place. She came in 14 seconds behind Burton with a time of 19:15.9.
Moorhead's Taylor Melton came in third place at 19:17.5, followed by Legacy's Jadyn Guidinger at 19:24.8 in fourth and fifth was West Fargo's Onnica Standbury at 19:27.7.
Perham had five inside the top 20 as did the Cardinals. Perham's Mya Morris finished 12th overall with a time of 20:13.1. She was followed by a pair of Yellowjackets, who finished on each other's heels. Lauryn Rustad finished in 15th place at 20:23.4, while Quincy Anderson came in 16th place at 20:26.1.
Perham's Liz Birkeland finished in 19th place with a time of 20:32.5, rounding out the top five finishers for Perham.
Senior Abby Tweeton was just outside the top 20 when she came in 21st place at 20:37.5 and Emily VanWatermulen finished in 35th place overall with a time of 21:58.3.
The Yellowjackets are back in action with a meet at Little Falls on Sept. 12.