Bucks' Lear punches ticket to state
St. Paul's Broden Lear entered the 2019 cross country season, looking to earn a top-10 podium spot at the state championship race in Eugene at the end of the season.
The junior runner took the final step toward his goal on Halloween, finishing third at the 2A/1A Special District 2 Championships to earn an individual berth to the State Championships on Saturday.
Lear set a new personal record at the district meet held at Cheadle Lake State Park in Lebanon, finishing in 16:53.10 to shave nearly four seconds off his previous best.
Over the past two races, Lear has turned in the two best times of his cross country career, finishing under 17 minutes to put himself into the conversation for a top-10 finish at the state championship meet held at Lane Community College.
Last year, Lear finished the state meet in 17:27, two places and three seconds shy of a coveted podium finish. Though Lear's time last week was more than 30 seconds better than his state meet time last year, so too has the competition improved over the past 12 months.
Lear's PR ranked 15th overall out of the best 2A/1A boys finishes in the state this season, and a total of 18 runners have posted times under 17 minutes this season, making the coming state championship race a crowded field for those seeking a top 10 finish.
Lear will be competing alone again this year after the St. Paul boys team finished sixth at the district race with 151 points. East Linn Christian won the race with 60 points, led by district champion Brandon Williams (16:35.20).
Veritas senior Cam McChesney followed in second at 16:41 to lead the Vanguard to second place in the team standings.
Behind Lear, fellow junior teammate Hayden Schindler was the next St. Paul runner to cross the finish line, setting a new PR of 19:43.50 to place 35th.
The rest of the scoring Buckaroos included Gage Cook (38th, 20:02.20), Jackson Cook (43rd, 20:23.10), and Aiden Daimler (47th, 20:26.10), who set a new PR as well.
The 2019 boys 2A/1A State Cross Country Championships will begin at 10:35 a.m. at Lane Community College on Saturday.
2019 2A/1A Special District 2 Championships
Oct. 31 at Cheadle Lake
St. Paul Varsity Boys - 6th, 151 points
3. Broden Lear, 16:53.10
35. Hayden Schindler, 19:43.50
38. Gage Cook, 20:02.20
43. Jackson Cook, 20:23.10
47. Aiden Daimler, 20:26.10
76. Joshua Hershberger, 21:59.90
77. Mason Cacka, 22:11.80
St. Paul Varsity Girls
52. Jackie Diaz, 25:25.00
90. Abby Gonzalez, 30:28.60
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