The Perham boys cross country team’s dominance of Section 8A is now a decade and one-half long after a commanding victory to secure a 15th straight section team championship Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Bagley.

“State bound, even though we’re not having a state, we are state bound,” head coach Jeff Morris said in a video tweet after the meet.

Perham has owned Section 8A since 2006 and also won the title in 2004. In a non-pandemic year, Perham would be headed to a 19th straight state meet appearance and 20th overall in team history.

The Yellowjackets are the three-time defending state champions in Class A and will carry that distinction into next season with no MSHSL state meet happening this year.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The Jackets scored 50 points at Bagley winning by 37 over runners-up East Grand Forks.

The top two teams accounted for the top four individual places with the Green Wave’s Tyson Mahar (16:26.9) edging out Perham’s Jakob McCleary (16:27.7) in a battle to the finish line for 8A medalist honors. Perham’s Carson Hespe placed third (17:06.5), followed by Jonathan Krueger of EGF (17:28.8) in fourth.

With Perham’s next two runners Micah Thompson (13th) and Caden Doll (14th) dueling with East Grand’s Dawson McDonald (15th) and Jace Fore (20th), all in the top 20, the Jackets held a 32-40 lead with the final runners from each team to decide the finish.

Carson Hespe finished third overall to help lead Perham to the Section 8A championship in Bagley. Vance Carlson / Forum News Service
Carson Hespe finished third overall to help lead Perham to the Section 8A championship in Bagley. Vance Carlson / Forum News Service

It was eighth-grader Carter Flatau who created the big cushion on the scoreboard with an 18th place time of 18:19.6. East Grand Forks’ final scoring runner placed 47th.

All seven Perham runners were in the top 24 in the field of 135 runners.

McCleary, Hespe, Thompson and Doll earned all-section awards for finishing in the top 15.

Bjorn Anderson showcased Perham's team depth becoming the sixth Jacket runner to finish in the top 20 at the section championship in Bagley Tuesday afternoon. File photo
Bjorn Anderson showcased Perham's team depth becoming the sixth Jacket runner to finish in the top 20 at the section championship in Bagley Tuesday afternoon. File photo

Bjorn Anderson put six Jacket runners in the top 20 in 19th place and Elijah Morris finished off the big finish with a top 25 mark placing 24th overall.

The Perham girls are in action Wednesday, Oct. 14 in Bagley chasing a ninth consecutive section title and 14th overall.

Frazee placed fifth overall as a team led by Nathan Johannsen with a sixth place time of 17:45 and Christian Carlson just missed an all-section finish by two places in 17th overall.

Section 8A Boys Cross Country Championship (Full results)

Perham 50, East Grand Forks 87, Park Rapids Area 136, Nevis 137, Frazee 159, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 164, Roseau 199, Warroad 226, Bagley/Fosston 243, Thief River Falls 252, Hawley 258, Pelican Rapids 287, Lake Park-Audubon 314, Ada-Borup/Norman 320, Wadena-Deer Creek 321, Lake Of The Woods 495, Red Lake County 520, West Marshall Fusion 548, New York Mills 566.

Top 10

1 Tyson Mahar EGF 16:26.9

2 Jakob McCleary PER 16:27.7

3 Carson Hespe PER 12 17:06.5

4 Jonathan Krueger EGF 17:28.8

5 Evan Pohl Nevis 17:30.4

6 Nathan Johannsen FRA 17:45.7

7 Charlie Larson PEL 17:49.2

8 Jack McNamee Nevis 17:57.9

9 Boysen Olson B/F 17:58.9

10 Darryl Etter PR 18:03.9

Perham

2 Jakob McCleary 16:27.7

3 Carson Hespe 17:06.5

13 Micah Thompson 18:10.1

14 Caden Doll 18:10.8

18 Carter Flatau 18:19.6

19 Bjorn Anderson 18:22.5

24 Elijah Morris 18:40.3

Frazee

6 Nathan Johannsen 17:45.7

17 Christian Carlson 18:16.2

21 Alex Beck 18:24.0

30 Peyton Cole 18:52.0

85 Aidan Aldridge 20:36.2

106 Lewis Helmers 21:32.4

107 Kale Ovsak 21:32.4