Isaac Overmyer tuned up for a run at winning the state Class A boys cross-country title by winning the Section 8A title Friday at Bagley.
Overmyer covered the 5,000-meter course in 15:50 to earn his fourth consecutive trip to state and lead Park Rapids to fifth place with 153 points.
“Isaac has been so strong this whole season. Really nobody in our section had given him much trouble, so I knew his chances to be section champ were very good,” said Park Rapids head coach Kerry Johnson. “However, sometimes strange things can happen and there aren’t any guarantees. I told Isaac to get after it. I also told him to enjoy the race. I know that sounds hard to do, but he has worked so hard for so many years. I just wanted him to savor his last section race a bit. He just needed to enjoy the moment. I am sure he was relieved when that race was over and he was one step closer to achieving his goals.”
As expected, Perham captured the section title for the ninth year in a row with 31 points. Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal was second with 114 points while Roseau (121) and Pequot Lakes (141) followed.
Rounding out the Panthers’ team score were Adam Jacobi (25th in 18:22), Tyler Breitweser (28th in 18:25), Jack Christenson (41st in 19:00) and Alex Boyd (61st in 19:56). Park Rapids’ other runners were Will Pickar (65th in 20:02) and Jacob Bridgman (71st in 20:12).
“I wasn’t sure where the team would finish. We were all fired up when they placed fifth,” said Johnson. “To be fifth in the whole section is such an accomplishment.”
United North Central finished 11th out of 22 teams with 257 points. Leading the Warriors were Sterling Crabb (45th in 19:08), Anthony Wurdock (47th in 19:15), Lars Keranen (52nd in 19:20), Joseph Keranen (57th in 19:43) and Steven Koons (62nd in 19:58).
“The boys all ran really well and actually surprised some people,” said UNC head coach Steve Schreiber.
Overmyer will make his fourth and final state appearance at St. Olaf College in Northfield Saturday morning at 10. Overmyer finished 26th in 16:56 in 2011, 10th to earn all-state honors in 16:14 in 2012 and fourth in 16:00 to repeat as an all-state runner last year. Overmyer enters state rated No. 3 in the state Class A poll behind Waseca’s Shane Streich and Minnehaha Academy’s Ephraim Bird.
“Looking at other section times, Isaac has a great shot to finish well at state. He has consistently moved up each year and I think that trend will continue. He has logged so many miles, lifted so many weights and just worked incredibly hard,” said Johnson. “Isaac likes to reel people in when he races. He starts out conservatively and then passes runners as the race progresses. He really can’t do that as much at state. There will just be so many fast racers. He will need to go out a bit sooner. However, I know he is able to run with anyone at state, so I am really excited for him to have that moment. If anyone should be at the front of that race on Saturday, it should be Isaac. It should be a great race.”
Team scores: Perham 31, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 114, Roseau 121, Pequot Lakes 141, Park Rapids 153, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 177, Pine River-Backus 208, Wadena-Deer Creek 213, Frazee 232, Staples-Motley 234, United North Central 257, Warroad 281, New York Mills 377, Bagley/Fosston 380, West Marshall 482, Trek North 484, Pillager 501. Incomplete teams: East Grand Forks, Crookston, Lake Park-Audubon, Lake of the Woods, Laporte.
1, Isaac Overmyer, PR, 15:50. 2, Billy Beseman, Per, 16:06. 3, Bailey Crook, DGF, 16:48. 4, Dylan Olson, HUH, 16:59. 6, Hunter Kjelshus, Per, 17:10. 6, Carson Speicher, Per, 17:15. 7, Zach Heppner, War, 17:16. 8, Jacob Dickerson, Per, 17:18. 9, Stephen Plopper, SM, 17:19. 10, Chase Leitz, Per, 17:21. 11, Weston Nelson, Ros, 17:24. 12, Dan Wilson, DGF, 17:30. 13, Sam Anderson, HUH, 17:35. 14, Hunter Stai, BF, 17:48. 15, TJ Lukanen, PRB, 17:51. 25, Adam Jacobi, PR, 18:22. 28, Tyler Breitweser, PR, 18:25. 41, Jack Christenson, PR, 19:00. 45, Sterling Crabb, UNC, 19:08. 47, Anthony Wurdock, UNC, 19:15. 52, Lars Keranen, UNC, 19:20. 57, Joseph Keranen, UNC, 19:43. 61, Alex Boyd, PR, 19:56. 62, Steven Koons, UNC, 19:58. 65, Will Pickar, PR, 20:02. 71, Jacob Bridgman, PR, 20:12. 80, Brett Pinoniemi, UNC, 20:37. 90, Blake Schoon, UNC, 21:06.