Cross country: Perham sweeps Dragon Twilight Invitational among some of Class A's top programs
The Perham cross country teams each took first place at the Dragon Twilight Invitational, beating top-ranked Staples-Motley and Park Rapids.
MOORHEAD – Some of the top Class A cross country teams met at the Dragon Twilight Invitational on Friday, and Perham came out on top.
The Perham girls beat defending state champion Staples-Motley by seven points to win first place with a score of 61. Gracie Morris paced the Yellowjackets with a time of 19:16.07. Her sister, Mya Morris, was behind her, who clocked in an 11th-place time of 19:57.23.
Ella Hendrickson took 17th with a time of 20:09.16, while Leelou Novotny (20:19.52) and Quincy Anderson (20:21.8) finished 20th and 22nd. Avalee Brown (20:22.94) was right behind Anderson in 23rd, while Aspen Rohde took 42nd with a time of 21:11.60.
Nevis’ Jade Rypkema dominated the individual standings with a first-place time of 17:31.5. The next fastest was Staples-Motley’s Kyana Burton at 18:57.36.
The boys varsity race was a little closer and saw Perham’s Bjorn Anderson come out on top. Anderson ran the fastest time of the night at 16:04.69 to beat Bemidji’s Carson Maish by 17 seconds.
Anderson’s first-place finish was more than enough to help secure a first-place team title for the Perham boys. The Yellowjackets beat Bemidji (98) and Class A’s top-ranked team Park Rapids (115), according to the State Cross Country Coaches Association polls.
Micah Thompson took sixth place with a time of 16:30.31, followed by Dylan Guck in 15th (16:40.75). Caden Doll (16:43.91, 17th) and Carter Flatau (17:02.88, 22nd) rounded out the top five for Perham. Brayden Glorvigen (17:27.27, 33rd) and Blake Swenson (17:20.63, 34) also clocked in varsity times.
Coming into Friday’s meet, the Perham boys were ranked second in the state behind Park Rapids, while the girls were ranked fourth. Staples-Motley holds the top spot in the girls standings as of Sept. 5.
Gravie Morris is the 11th-ranked runner in Class A for the girls, while Bjorn Anderson is No. 10 in the boys standings.
“Friday night was just different,” Perham head coach Jeff Morris said. “The temp outside finally changed, and the competition between some top Class A teams and individuals was set. After our first two meets, our boys and girls in practice this week looked much more focused. Both teams competed well in the first two races but had not found that rhythm as a team. Both boys and girls teams put in one of the best summers, and we have had some good first races individually but not as an entire team. Well, that changed Friday, and it was fun. We talked about this week getting out better and being able to touch a teammate. We wanted to establish our pack right away.”