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Robert Williams / Forum News Service, Published November 02 2013

Hurley helps Perham prevail at Minnesota Class 1A state cross country meet

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Perham’s Keeghan Hurley won the Minnesota Class 1A individual cross country title in ideal weather conditions and led the Yellowjackets to their second straight – and fifth overall – state championship in their 12th consecutive appearance at St. Olaf.

Hurley joins his father, Don, as the first-ever father-son duo to win state cross country titles. Don was a back-to-back state champion in 1976-77.

“I just woke up today, and you know how you read in books where people say they have an epiphany? That’s exactly what happened to me today. My brother texted me saying today’s your day. It was a special day with the father-son moment, never having been done before and the team title. It was perfect.”

“He knew his race plan. He was very confident in his race plan,” Perham head coach Jeff Morris said.

Hurley was a member of the Fergus Falls 2010-11 state swimming champions with his brother Michael before transferring to Perham to concentrate on cross country.

“I came to the course today and saw how fast the 2A race went and was like, ‘I’m going to do it,’ ” Hurley said.

The team championship is the third in the past four seasons for the Yellowjackets, with the only blemish being a runner-up finish in 2011 by one point to St. Cloud Cathedral.

Hurley, ranked No. 1 coming into the state meet, defeated Waseca’s Shane Streich by 14 seconds and enjoyed the ovation from a large crowd running down the final straightaway alone. Ian Torchia of Rochester Lourdes was third, 20 seconds behind Hurley.

Perham’s Jayden Cullen, Billy Beseman and Ben Sullivan joined Hurley for all-state honors, given to the top 25 finishers in the field of 175 runners.

“Billy and Jayden really stepped up this year,” Sullivan said. “It’s been awesome.”

Cullen was fifth overall, Beseman 10th, and Sullivan 14th.

Perham totaled 52 team points with senior Chris Knutson’s 32nd team placing added to the top four giving the Yellowjackets a comfortable 59-point victory over runners-up Mounds Park Academy (111).

Hurley won every race he entered this season but the daunting Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota, where he placed sixth.

Park Rapids Area’s Isaac Overmyer finished in fourth place at 16:00.1.

The Perham girls team improved on a seventh-place finish in 2012, placing third.

The result is the best finish for Perham since back-to-back runners-up finishes in 2008-09.

“We, definitely, wanted to go out and win it, but we knew it was going to be tough,” Morris said.

Senior Lizzie Fudge led the Yellowjackets with a team placing of ninth and 29th overall with a time of 15:38.6.

“I’m glad I got to be on the podium my last year,” Fudge said. “I hope I’ve been able to lead them into a position where they can go out next year with even more confidence.”

In Class 2A boys, Detroit Lakes’ Matthew Lundstrom had a time of 16:13, which was good enough for 27th place.

In Class 2A girls, Moorhead’s Mallori Johnson finished 43rd with a time of 15:07.2.

Class 2A boys

Team scores: Wayzata 53, Edina 66, Stillwater 99, Rosemount 159, Hutchinson 198, Mounds View 217, Bemidji 226, Centenial 234, Cloquet 234, Lakeville North 261, Alexandria 266, Red Wing 280, Burnsville 280, Chisago Lakes 281, Chanhassen 311, White Bear Lake 423.

Top 10: 1, Ali, Richfield, 15:15.2. 2, Olson, Wayzata, 15:17.4. 3, Barlow, Hutchinson, 15:32.7. 4, McDermott, Cretin-Derham Hall, 15:33.0. 5, Benning, Hastings, 15:36.2. 6, Cayo, STMA, 15:45.3. 7, Lumbar, Edina, 15:46.5. 8, Carlson, Bemidji, 15:47.2. 9, Mahmoud, Burnsville, 15:47.7. 10, Ramlet, Edina, 15:51.7.

Area finishers

Detroit Lakes: 27, Lundstrom, 16:13.0.

Fergus Falls: 48, Danielson, 16:26.3.

Moorhead: 66, Young, 16:42.7.

Class 1A boys

Team scores: Perham 52, Mounds Park Academy 111, St. Cloud Cathedral 145, Minnehaha Academy 149, Martin County West 179, Waseca 181, Mora 192, Glencoe-Silver Lake 221, Crosby-Ironton 238, Canby-Minneota-Lincoln 242, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 248, Proctor 272, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 288, Cotter 300, Redwood Valley 313, Roseau 355.

Top 10: 1, Hurley, Perham, 15:36.7. 2, Streich, Waseca, 15:50.6. 3, Torchia, Rochester Lourdes, 15:56.4. 4, Overmyer, Park Rapids Area, 16:00.01. 5, Cullen, Perham, 16:09.2. 6, Warner, LPGE, 16:18.6. 7, Bird, MA, 16:20.4. 8, Zachman, Holdingford, 16:20.7. 9, Phillips, RV, 16:25.0. 10, Beseman, Perham, 16:26.2.

Area finishers

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton: 71, Santon, 17:30.4. 97, Leach, 17:43.5. 126, Wilson, 18:05.5.

Hawley-Ulen-Hitterdal: 57, Olson, 17:21.7. 116, Andersen, 17:56.7.

Ottertail Central: 23, L. Himmelspach, 16:52.2. 34, B. Himmelspach, 17:08.2.

Perham: 14, Sullivan, 16:38.7. 60, Knutson, 17:23.6. 67, Evdall, 17:28.3. 90, Covington, 17:40.

Staples-Motley: 49, Plopper, 17:17.5.

West Central Area: 78, Toms, 17:35.2.

Class 2A girls

Team scores: Wayzata 37, East Ridge 134, Lakeville South 165, Chanhassen 171, Willmar 172, Eden Prairie 189, Roseville 190, Marshall 194, Eagan 224, Bemidji 243, Forest Lake 249, Lakeville North 276, Burnsville 279, Totino Grace 300, Elk River 339, Anoka 419.

Top 10: 1, B. Hasz, Alexandria, 13:53.1. 2, M. Hasz, Alexandria, 14:13.9. 3, Truedson, Bemidji, 14:19.2. 4, Van Wyk, Eagan, 14:30.o. 5, Betz, ER, 14:30.8. 6, O’Brien, North St. Paul, 14:32.1. 7, Brisbois, Roseville, 14:33.5. 8, Lerdall, Wayzata, 14:34.4. 9, Baue, NSP, 14:35.2. 10, Misgen, Shakopee, 14:35.9.

Area finishers

Moorhead: 43, Johnson, 15:07.2.

Class 1A girls

Team scores: Annandale 85, Lac Qui Parle Valley 113, Perham 138, Waseca 144, Holy Family 154, St. Cloud Cathedral 171, Luverne 185, Spectrum 222, Lake City 232, Park Rapids Area 244, Dover-Eyota 248, St. Paul Academy and Summit 253, Holdingford 262, Fairmont 300, International Falls 327, South Ridge 485.

Top 10: 1, Trost, Cannon Falls, 14:40.3. 2, Naas, SPAS, 14:50.5. 3, Wilkin, Trinity, 14:52.3. 4, Schlafke, Annandale, 14:53.8. 5, Alama, Annandale, 14:56.3. 6, Schandelmeier, Luverne, 15:02.4. 7, Winter, WEM-JWP, 15:10.9. 8, Kiminski, Esko, 15:11.1. 9, Huhnerhoch, Redwood Valley, 15:13.6. 10, Donnay, Eden Valley-Watkins-Kimball, 15:14.1.

Area finishers

Bagley-Fosston: 46, Carlson, 15:51.7.

Frazee: 65, Danielson, 16:03.0. 93, Morgan, 16:16.9.

Park Rapids Area: 43, Kantonen, 15:50.2. 85, Coborn, 16:11.5. 91, Olson, 16:15.7. 106, Overmyer, 16:28.1. 161, Mueller, 17:45.4. 162, Steffel, 17:47.0. 171, Otterness, 18:35.3.

Pelican Rapids: 32, Wald, 15:41.9.

Pequot Lakes: 138, Ryan, 17:00.0.

Perham: 29, Fudge, 15:38.6. 47, B. Covington, 15:52.5. 68, Karels, 16:03.3. 89, Wegscheid, 16:14.5. 92, C. Covington, 16:16.0. 142, Karels, 17:06.8. 158, Riestenberg, 17:41.2.

Wadena-Deer Creek: 69, Schmitz, 16:03.3.

West Central Area-Evansville: Abby Van Kempen, 16:32.4.

Williams writes for the Perham Focus