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Buckaroo runners set personal records across the board in final race before districts

INDEPENDENT PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - St. Paul junior Broden Lear placed 16th at the Creekside Classic, finishing the race in 16:57 to set a new personal record.

SALEM – Personal records fell like footsteps on the well-trimmed fairways at Creekside Golf Club as the St. Paul cross country team put together its best race of the season on Oct. 23.

Aided by favorable crisp, clear weather and a flat, groomed course at the golf club, nearly every member of the Buckaroos finished with either new personal records or season-best times. St. Paul competed in its final race before the District 2 championship on Thursday in Lebanon.

St. Paul finished 14th with 365 points, edged by Westside and Kennedy high schools, who finished tied in 12th place with 363 points.

But it was the Bucks who were crowing loudest at the finish line, thanks to the team's top six runners finishing with new PRs. Chief among them was junior Broden Lear, who cleared another benchmark en route to his goal to place in the top 10 at the state meet by finishing his first career race in under 17 minutes.

Lear clocked in at 16:57.00 to place 16th, beating his previous PR set at last year's districts by 17 seconds when he qualified for the state meet. This year, Lear is hoping his fellow St. Paul runners join him at the state course hosted by Lane Community College.

Freshman Gage Cook took nearly a minute off his previous PR with an 88th-place time of 19:31.1 for his first career finish in under 20 minutes. Teammates Jackson Cook and Hayden Schindler had similar accomplishments, posting sub 20-minute times of their own. Jackson Cook's time of 19:35.80 eclipsed his PR by just a fraction of a second, while Hayden Schindler had a 48-second improvement with his 19:52.10 finish.

Aiden Daimler rounded out St. Paul's scoring runners with a PR of 20:42.60, a 20-second improvement. The Bucks' final two varsity runners — Joshua Hershberger and Mason Cacka — finished in 21:42.70 and 22:10.50, respectively. Hershberger's time shattered his previous best by nearly two minutes, while Cacka posted his second-best time of the year.

Two runners competed for the SPHS girls, with Jackie Diaz finishing 85th with a time of 24:41:90 and Abby Gonzales notching a 109th-place finish at 29:45.


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