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Yellowjackets hope to continue deep run

The Perham cross country running teams are rich in tradition and history. Now, the 2017 group hopes to add to it. The top-ranked Perham cross country running teams will defend their Section 8A Championship on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Twin Pines Gol...

The Perham cross country running teams are rich in tradition and history. Now, the 2017 group hopes to add to it. The top-ranked Perham cross country running teams will defend their Section 8A Championship on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Twin Pines Golf Course in Bagley, Minn.

The Yellowjacket boys are hoping to extend their streak of Class A Championship appearances to 16, while the girls hope to extend theirs to 15. Both teams have already extended a long streak during the regular season when they finished first at the Heart O’Lakes Conference Championships in Perham. The boys extended their run at the front of the HOL to 16, while the girls stretched their run to 14.

Both teams are coming off narrow second place finishes at last year’s Class A Championships, but this year’s teams have a bit of a different look to them. Both teams suffered key losses at the front when the Yellowjackets graduated Brynnan Covington from the girls and Hunter Kjelshus and Jacob Dickerson from the boys.

The Yellowjackets don’t rebuild, they reload. They return a ton of section meet experience on both teams. The girls team features three juniors that have consistently run out in front. Leading the way is Caitlin Covington, followed by Ashley Hokanson and Hailey Wegscheid. Abby Tweeton is a sophomore member with valuable experience as well. This year’s team features a lot of youth as well with three seventh graders. Making their first section meet appearances will be Liz Birkeland, Mya Morris and Lauryn Rustad. They are no strangers to the course in Bagley, having competed there earlier in the season. Ninth graders Mary Wunderlich and Emily VanWatermulen are the alternates for this year’s team.

The boys team returns a ton of experience as well, led by senior Carson Speicher. One of the keys for the boys has been their pack running and team depth. The team continues to push each other from the 10-12th overall runner up to the top of the roster. Clayton Anderson has been up front most of the season as well, as has sophomore Brandon O’Hara. Isaac Scheidecker has come on strong as the season has progressed. Scheidecker and Anderson are the lone juniors on the section team. Bailey Evenson and Chase Belka join O’Hara as the sophomore members on the team and Jakob McCleary earned a spot as an eighth grader. This year’s alternates are Gunnar Anderson and Owen Werner.

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The girls race begins at 4 p.m., while the boys race will start at 4:40 p.m. at the Twin Pines Golf Course in Bagley, Minn., on Oct. 27.

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