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Trojans advance to the state championship meet for the sixth consecutive year

The Kennedy girls cross country team kept their streak of state championship appearances alive and well on Halloween afternoon, placing second at the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Championships to return to Lane Community College for the sixth consecutive time.

Led by junior Cassie Traeger, the girls place four of their scoring runners inside the top 15, and all five scorers in the top third of the final standings. Traeger placed seventh overall at the district meet, her highest placement of the season in a 5K race, with a time of 21:38 that was five seconds off her personal-best from two weeks prior.

Traeger finished just behind Central Linn's Gemma Rowland (21:03.30, 4th) and Jenna Neal (21:10.00, sixth), who paced the Cobras to a district title with 70 points, breaking Kennedy's streak of four league championships from 2015-18.

The Trojans were not far behind at 75 points, with sophomore Kylee Rodriguez (22:24.10, 12th), sophomore Aleksandra Eyles (22:33.10, 14th), and senior Whitney Lopez (22:49.70, 15th) all placing near the top of the standings.

Neah-Kah-Nie sophomore Jordan White won the individual title with a time of 19:23.70, also breaking Kennedy's streak of seven straight league champions.

Rodriguez set a new personal record in the race, taking 14 seconds off her previous best, while Lopez set a new PR by more than 20 seconds. Eyles' time was a season-best.

Senior Mikayla Schaecher also set a PR to round out the Trojans' scoring runners, placing 30th with a time of 24:02.30 that came three seconds under her previous best set at last year's district race.

The boys team finished its season in seventh place of a hotly contested 2A/1A district race with 168 points. Sophomore Korbin Wedding (19:06.20, 23rd) and senior Nick Riedman (19:12.70, 25th) paced the Trojans, who finished one point ahead of Neah-Kah-Nie.

East Linn Christian won the team title, led by individual champion Brandon Williams (16:35.20). The Eagles led the standings with 60 points, followed closely by Veritas (81), Nestucca (94) and Chemawa (105).

Junior Michael Savage followed Wedding and Riedman, posting the first sub-20 minute time of his career with a 36th-place finish at 19:46.90. Freshmen Raul Juarez (20:26.60, 48th) and Jesus Espinoza (20:31.40, 50th) rounded out Kennedy's scoring runners. Espinoza set a new PR in the race.

The Kennedy girls conclude their season this week at the 2019 3A/2A/1A State Championship, held at Lane Community College on Saturday at 10 a.m.

2019 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Championships

Oct. 31 at Cheadle Lake State Park

Girls Varsity — 2nd, 75 points

7. Cassie Traeger, 21:38.00

12. Kylee Rodriguez, 22:24.10

14. Aleksandra Eyles, 22:33.10

15. Whitney Lopez, 22:49.70

30. Mikayla Schaecher, 24:02.30

57. Haley Kline, 25:44.20

62. Catherine Butsch, 26:11.90

Boys Varsity — 7th, 168 points

23. Korbin Wedding, 19:06.20

25. Nick Riedman, 19:12.70

36. Michael Savage, 19:46.90

48. Raul Juarez, 20:26.60

50. Jesus Espinosa, 20:31.40

102. Dakota Heard, 24:42.20

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