The Perham boys and girls cross country teams swept the Heart O’Lakes Conference championship meet last Tuesday in Breckenridge.
The Yellowjackets were led by eighth-grader Gracie Morris and senior Jakob McCleary, who each came away with individual conference titles. Morris finished with a time of 19:18, beating out West Central Area’s Lexi Bright by 18 seconds.
Quincy Anderson took fifth with a time of 19:54. Leelou Novotny (20:08) and Liz Birkeland (20:09) finished within a second of each other in eighth and ninth. Avalee Brown (21:14, 14th), Kaia Starlz (21:15, 15th) and Aspen Rohde (21:57, 19th) all finished inside the top 20.
The Perham girls took first place with a team score of 30–edging out Hawley by five points. West Central Area (80), Breckenridge-Wahpeton (112), Pelican Rapids (118) and Frazee (153) rounded out the last four team scores.
“The girls won over a really good Hawley team by five points,” Perham head coach Jeff Morris said. “We have some really important training to do in the next two weeks, so it’s back to work. But I’m really excited about how well this team is progressing.”
The Yellowjackets are still the No. 2 ranked team in Class A behind St. Cloud Cathedral. Morris slid herself into the top 10 individual rankings at No. 6. Morris, Anderson, Novotny, Birkeland, Brown and Starlz all received all-conference honors.
On the boys side, McCleary’s time of 15:55 was the fastest over a half of a minute. He beat out West Central Area’s Alex Salwasser by 32 seconds and Kade Runge by 34 seconds. Salwasser and Runge are the Nos. 8 and 9-ranked runners in the state for Class A. McCleary, the second-ranked boys runner in Class A, helped lead top-ranked Perham over fourth-ranked WCA.
The Yellowjackets finished with 34 team points to the Knights’ 59. Caden Doll took fifth with a time of 16:47. Micah Thomspon (17:15) and Bjorn Anderson (17:25) finished in seventh and eighth place. Carter Flatau took 13th with a time of 17:45 before Brayden Glorvigen fished in 18th-place (18:16).
McCleary, Doll, Thompson, Anderson and Flatau were all-conference finishers.
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton took third as a team with 95 points. Hawley (116), Lake Park-Audubon (127), Pelican Rapids (147), Breckenridge-Wahpeton (156) and Frazee (190) rounded out the team scores.