St. Paul peaking at right time after Creekside Classic
Personal records fell like footsteps on the well-trimmed fairways at Creekside Golf Club as the St. Paul and Kennedy cross country teams put together its best race of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Aided by favorable crisp, clear weather and a flat, groomed course at the south Salem golf club, nearly every member of the Buckaroos and Trojans finished with either new personal records or season-best times. The two teams competed in their final race before the District 2 Championship on Thursday in Lebanon.
And appropriately, both boys teams finished neck-and-neck in the final standings, with Kennedy finishing tied with Westside Christian for 12th with 363 points, narrowly edging past the Buckaroos, who finished 14th at 365 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 at Creekside.
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, post 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.
While none of the Trojans were able to keep pace with St. Paul's top runner, Kennedy was able to inch past the Bucks in the standings thanks in part to its trio of Korbin Wedding, Nick Riedman and Jose Salazar.
The three teammates finished in the middle of the pack in a race dominated by 4A, 5A and 6A competitors from the mid-valley. Competing in his third race of the season, Wedding took nearly a minute off his season-best to finish in 18:13.50 — almost six seconds better than the PR he set at last year's state race.
Riedman followed not far behind, posting a season-best time of 18:31.80, while Salazar likewise set a new season mark at 18:44.50, his first sub-19 minute time of the year.
Freshman Raul Juarez claimed a PR of his own, knocking nearly 40 seconds off his previous best with a finish in 20:22.80, while junior Michael Savage's 20:46.00 was his best time of the season by 12 seconds.
Freshman Jesus Espinosa rounded out the team with a 20:47.70 finish, setting a new PR by 10 seconds.
The Kennedy girls saw similar marks across the board, with the team's top five scoring runners setting new seasonal marks.
Cassie Traeger led the team with a 44th-place finish in 21:59.60, marking just the second time in her career she has finished a race under 22 minutes.
Sophomore teammate Kylee Rodriguez set a new PR by more than 45 seconds with a 22:38.10 finish.
Aleskandra Eyles (22:49.10), Whitney Lopez (23:53.60) and Mikayla Schaecher (24:25.90) all set new season-best marks as well.
Creekside Classic Invite
Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Creekside Golf Club
Kennedy Varsity Boys — 12th, 363 points
51. Korbin Wedding, 18:13.50
58. Nick Riedman, 18:31.80
65. Jose Salazar, 18:44.50
107. Raul Juarez, 20:22.80
115. Michael Savage, 20:46.00
116. Jesus Espinosa, 20:47.70
154. Dakota Heard, 25:48.90
St. Paul Varsity Boys —14th, 365 points
16. Broden Lear, 16:57.00
88. Gage Cook, 19:31.10
90. Jackson Cook, 19:35.80
98. Hayden Schindler, 19:52.10
114. Aiden Daimler, 20:42.60
128. Joshua Hershberger, 21:42.70
136. Mason Cacka, 22:10.50
Kennedy Varsity Girls — 10th, 281 points
44. Cassie Traeger, 21:59.60
54. Kylee Rodriguez, 22:38.10
56. Aleksandra Eyles, 22:49.10
69. Whitney Lopez, 23:53.60
76. Mikayla Schaecher, 24:25.90
94. Haley Kline, 26:18.10
98. Catherine Butsch, 27:10.50
St. Paul Varsity Girls
85. Jackie Diaz, 24:41.90
109. Abby Gonzalez, 29:45.00
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