Having raced at Arvig Park in Perham, Ellie Morgan, Megan Danielson of Frazee, and Lily Peterson of Lake Park-Audubon, knew what they were getting into and all three runners came out with top 10 finishes at Tuesday’s Heart O’ Lakes championships.
With 13-time defending champion Perham on their home course, room in the top 10 was tight as the Yellowjackets grabbed five spots, led by Caitlin Covington’s conference title winning time of 18:59.73.
Perham runners placed fourth, fifth, eighth and 10. Their sixth and seventh runners were in the top 20 in 17th and 18th in a typical team performance from head coach Jeff Morris’ teams.
At the Perham Invitational last week, Morgan was the top finisher in seventh place. Peterson placed ninth and Danielson came in 23rd. Tuesday, Peterson got the better of Morgan running 19:50.37 for sixth place. Morgan was in the backstretch 2.5 seconds behind in seventh (19:53.25). Danielson finished behind eighth-place Hailey Wegscheid of Perham for a ninth place result (19:56.37).
The three runners were awarded all-conference honors. The top 15 runners earned the distinction, which included Lake Park-Audubon’s second finisher Taytum Nelson in 14th place (20:19.32).
Perham picked up a 14th straight HOL title scoring 28 points. West Central Area placed second with 68, followed by the Raiders in third place with 91, Frazee 127, Pelican Rapids 128, Thief River Falls 133, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 141, and Breckenridge-Wahpeton 205.
Beth Schauer (22nd-21:47.05), Izzy Olson (23rd-21:51.95) and Thea Mattson (26th-21:56.13) completed the scoring quintet for the third place Raiders.
Frazee’s three other scoring runners were Braylee Riewer (29th-22:15.29), Tevia Sannes-Venhuizen (38th-23:56.77) and Bailey Larsen (46th-25:23.64).
The Hornet boys team placed fifth in team standings and the Raiders came in eighth.
Perham had all seven runners earn all-conference finishing in a pack from second to 14th place. Carson Speicher led the Jackets to a 16th consecutive conference team championship finishing in second place (16:23.52), exactly 13 seconds off the pace of West Central Area’s Jacob Bright.
The Jackets scored 26 points, to finish well ahead of Bright’s Knights in second place with 60 points. D-G-F came in third scoring 94, followed by Breckenridge-Wahpeton 111, Frazee 113, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 166, Thief River Falls 181 and LP-A 233.
A trio of Hornets cross together to lead Frazee with Alex Beck in 18th place (17:59.29), followed by teammates Michael Miller (17:59.91), and Grady Larsen (18:01.81). Tanner Eischens (27th-18:36.54) and Nathan Johannsen (31st-18:43.56) were less than a minute back to complete the Hornets’ top five.
Patrick Cameron led the Raiders in 38th place (19:04.73), followed by Taylor Johnson (42nd-19:38.23), Colby Hesby (49th-20:04.22), Shawn Skjold (55th-21:14.82) and Carter Anderson (56th-22:07.02).
Frazee and Lake Park-Audubon will be in action at Park Rapids Monday, Oct. 16 in the final meet before sections. The Section 8A meet is held in Bagley. This year’s race is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 27. Perham is the defending champion in both races.