Perham senior Bailey Evenson joins a long list of Perham Cross Country runners who will be running at the collegiate level. He signed his National Letter of Intent on Jan. 8 at Perham High School.

The senior will continue his running career at North Dakota State University. He made it official by signing his letter during a signing day ceremony at Perham High School.

“It feels great. I’m really excited to finally make my decision,” Evenson said. “I look forward to the future.”

Perham head coach Jeff Morris talked about some of the battles Evenson had to overcome early on during his career at the signing day event. He made the varsity team as a ninth grader, but suffered a stress fracture early in the season.

“He was in the top seven and our team was really good that year. He had some high hopes and right after the time trial and first meet, he got a stress reaction, stress fracture in his shin,” Morris said. “Anyone that has been through an injury knows what that’s like. What’s cool about Bailey is he flipped the narrative. He said he wasn’t going to let this injury define him and said his perseverance was going to be his defining mark."

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Morris touched on another moment that Evenson used as a motivating factor when he missed out on state his sophomore year in track. Morris said he told him it’s the moment that will make him really good.Evenson followed it by becoming an all-state runner for the Yellowjackets. Morris said Evenson said he didn’t let the adversity define him, instead it was a motivating factor in what made Evenson the runner he is today.

Evenson said the decision process was a tough one. He said he had a couple of schools that really interested him, but NDSU really felt at home. Evenson said he made visits to Augustana and Concordia-Moorhead, before deciding on running with the Bison.

“The group of guys that I met on my visit were just awesome to be around,” Evenson said. “It felt like home. The team and the coaching staff were great. It felt like Perham there.”

Evenson said his career was a roller coaster with some ups and downs during his time at Perham.

“It was awesome, and I loved every minute with teammates and awesome coaching,” Evenson said. “Without them, I would not be here right now.”

Evenson hasn’t decided on a major, but said NDSU has several of them that interest him. He is looking at something in the health area.

Evenson said competing at the Division I level at NDSU will come with a learning curve. But when he gets used to it, he thinks it will be really fun. Evenson said he isn't sure about his goals at the collegiate level, but he has a couple at the high school level he'd like to hit. He hopes to finish is career at the Class A Track and Field Championships.