The Kennedy girls cross country team has become a familiar site at the 3A/2A/1A Cross Country State Championships, even if this year's meet was just a bit unusual.
After winning their 15th district title and fifth in the past six years, the Trojans followed with an 11th-place finish at the 2020-21 state meet on Saturday at Cheadle Lake Park.
It was a return to Lebanon for the third time this season, eschewing the course at Lane Community College, which has been the longtime host of the small school state meet prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And for the Trojans, the change in venue was largely beneficial, with four of the team's six representatives running for personal records or season best times.
As has been the case for much of the season, senior Cassie Traeger led Kennedy, pacing the team with a 38th-place finish in 22:48.20, a season-best mark by more than a minute. She was followed by junior Kylee Rodriguez who matched with a season-best mark of her own, placing 68th in 24:08.60 for an improvement of more than two minutes.
Freshman Briar Hachenberg placed 82nd in 25:52.10 and was followed by freshman Alyse Williams, who had the lone PR of the day for the Trojans. Williams placed 86th in 26:22.10 to knock one minute and 17 seconds off her previous best set nine days earlier at the district meet.
Sophomore Haley Kline followed in 91st with a season-best time of 26:46.70 and freshman Nora Brenden rounded out the team with a 101st-place finish in 30:08.60.
St. Paul senior Hayden Schindler made the most of his first trip to the state cross country championships. After qualifying as an individual representative for the Bucks, Schindler finished 75th overall in the 2A/1A boys meet with a season-best time of 20:10.80.
Schindler's time beat his previous mark this season by one minute and 45 seconds.
Schindler's finish at state makes it the fourth season in a row the Buckaroos have sent student athletes to the championship meet.
The Buckaroos qualified the girls team in 2017 after placing second at that year's district meet, while Broden Lear qualified as an individual for the boys team in 2018 and 2019.
3A/2A/1A Girls Cross Country Championships
1. Bandon - 46
2. Enterprise - 81
3. Heppner - 83
4. Myrtle Point - 137
5. Riverdale - 160
6. Central Linn - 174
7. Southwest Christian - 175
8. Santiam Christian - 182
9. Blanchet Catholic - 184
10. Harrisburg - 187
11. Kennedy - 190
Kennedy girls individual times
38. Cassie Traeger - 22:48.16
68. Kylee Rodriguez - 24:08.59
82. Briar Hachenberg - 25:52.09
86. Alyse Williams - 26:22.10
91. Haley Kline - 26:46.61
101. Nora Brenden - 30:08.57
St. Paul boys individual times
75. Hayden Schindler - 20:10.80
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