Overmyer earns all-state honors
Isaac Overmyer and the Park Rapids boys cross-country team fulfilled their goals at last Saturday's state Class A meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Overmyer, whose ultimate goal was to finish in the top 10, was looking to earn all-state honors by finishing in the top-25 spots while the rest of the team was looking to finish ahead of at least one other team in the school's first state appearance since 1997.
The Panthers fulfilled both goals as Overmyer earned all-state honors by placing 10th and the team finished 15th in the 16-team field.
Last year as a freshman, Overmyer finished 26th overall in 16 minutes, 56 seconds over the 5,000-meter course to just miss all-state honors.
At this year's state meet, the Park Rapids sophomore earned a medal by moving up to 10th place with a time of 16:14. Overmyer qualified for state by placing fourth at the Section 8A meet with a time of 16:22. This year's state meet was a lot faster since Overmyer's time from last year would have put him in 47th place.
Proctor's Matt Welch lived up to his No. 1 ranking by winning the state title in 15:34. No. 2-rated Charlie Lawrence of St. Cloud Cathedral was second in 15:46 while Waseca's Shane Streich was third in 15:52. Perham had three runners - Keeghan Hurley (fifth in 16:01), Brady Speicher (seventh in 16:09) and Jayden Cullen (eighth in 16:12) - finish in the top 10. Canby's Nik Stoks passed Overmyer at the end to finish ninth in 16:14.
"Isaac was a little upset after the race because he wasn't sure if he had medaled or not," said Park Rapids head coach Kerry Johnson. "His goal was to finish in the top 10, so he achieved that. On top of that, he still has two more years to improve. It should be very exciting."
Led by Overmyer's seventh-place finish in the team standings (which throws out the individual state qualifiers), the Panthers finished with 365 points for 15th place. Luverne followed with 385 points.
Senior Jake Waggoner was the Panthers' No. 2 runner with a time of 17:51 for the No. 132 spot overall and 70th place in the team standings. Junior Zach Jewison (155th overall and 91st in the team standings with an 18:28), senior Tanner Otterness (161st overall and 97th in the team standings with an 18:38) and junior Bailey Mueller (164th overall and 100th in the team standings with an 18:58) rounded out the Panthers' team score. Junior Brad Eischens was 165th overall in 19:02 and junior Austin Carlson was 174th overall in 20:01.
Perham ran away with the state title with 37 points while defending champion St. Cloud Cathedral was second with 72 points. Those two teams backed up their state rankings. Waseca was third with 164 points.
This marked the Panthers' 11th trip to state. Park Rapids finished sixth in 1984, third in 1985 and 12th in 1986 before making seven straight state trips in the 1990s by placing 16th in 1991 and 1992, 11th in 1993, eighth in 1994, sixth in 1995, 14th in 1996 and 13th in 1997.
"I thought the guys ran well. It was a very fast race. I know some were running their fastest race miles and were near the back of the pack," said Johnson. "I don't worry too much about places at state. I just want the runners to enjoy the moment and run a good race."
Boys team scores: Perham 37, St. Cloud Cathedral 72, Waseca 164, Martin County West 200, Winona Cotter 200, Esko 201, Redwood Valley 205, Minnehaha Academy 211, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 218, Blake 227, Proctor 247, Pelican Rapids 253, Albany 260, Mora 303, Park Rapids 365, Luverne 385.
1, Matt Welch, Proctor, 15:34. 2, Charlie Lawrence, Foley, 15:46. 3, Shane Streich, Waseca, 15:52. 4, Nick Golebiowski, St. Cloud Cathedral, 15:53. 5, Keeghan Hurley, Perham, 16:01. 6, Ian Torchia, Rochester Lourdes, 16:04. 7, Brady Speicher, Perham, 16:09. 8, Jayden Cullen, Perham, 16:12. 9, Nik Stoks, Canby, 16:14. 10, Isaac Overmyer, Park Rapids, 16:15. 132, Jake Waggoner, Park Rapids, 17:51. 155, Zach Jewison, Park Rapids, 18:28. 161, Tanner Otterness, Park Rapids, 18:38. 164, Bailey Mueller, Park Rapids, 18:58. 165, Brad Eischens, Park Rapids, 19:02. 174, Austin Carlson, Park Rapids, 20:01.
Otterness finishes in 104th place
Park Rapids freshman Tayah Otterness also had a solid performance in her debut at the state girls cross-country meet in Northfield.
Otterness, who earned an individual trip to state after placing 12th at the Section 8A meet with a time of 16:17, capped off her first season in cross country by covering the 4,000-meter course in 16:22 to finish 104th overall. A total of 175 runners competed in this year's state meet.
Blake's Clare Flanagan, the top-rated runner in the state, won the title in 14:04 while Emi Trost of Cannon Falls was second in 14:16.
Esko won the team title with 114 points while Annandale (150), Minnehaha Academy (151) and Waseca (157) followed. Waseca entered the state meet as the top-rated team while Esko was No. 2. Perham, the No. 9-rated team, finished seventh with 194 points.
"I felt Tayah had a good race. She ran well for her first time at state," said Johnson. "I felt our runners did a good job. They all represented Park Rapids well."
Girls team scores: Esko 115, Annandale 150, Minnehaha Academy 151, Waseca 157, Dover-Eyota 184, Blake 187, Perham 194, Adrian 204, Rochester Lourdes 206, Holdingford 212, Canby 237, Martin County West 255, Spectrum 257, Warroad 267, Albany 282, International Falls 302.
1, Clare Flanagan, Blake, 14:04. 2, Emi Trost, Cannon Falls, 14:16. 3, McKenzie Holt, St. Cloud Cathedral, 14:29. 4, Emily Mantor, United South Central, 14:39. 5, Marisa Shady, Esko, 14:44. 6, Elizabeth Schlafke, Annandale, 14:46. 7, Savannah Ramirez, Litchfield, 14:47. 8, Hannah Truniger, Mayer Lutheran, 14:49. 9, Madison Schandelmeier, Luverne, 14:56. 10, Kayla Woltz, Chatfield, 14:59. 104, Tayah Otterness, Park Rapids, 16:22.