Oct. 20—The Knappa boys' cross-country team is among the contenders for the 2A state title this year. And if everything goes according to plan, every team in the state could be chasing the Loggers next season.
Knappa is currently ranked third in the state. Every athlete will return in 2022, and the Loggers will be joined by a few strong runners from the middle school level.
Logger junior Isaiah Rodriguez continues to set personal best times and is separating himself from the rest of the 2A pack at the top.
Competing in the Lewis & Clark College Invitational on Oct. 16, the Knappa boys finished seventh out of 23 scoring teams, mostly big schools.
Barlow won with 111 points, ahead of Clackamas and Mark Morris. Warrenton finished 15th.
Rodriguez was third out of 175 runners, covering the 5,000 meters at McIver State Park in Estacada in a personal record 15 minutes, 56 seconds, behind runners from La Center and Santiam Christian.
His time of 15:56 is the best in the state at the 2A level, 10 seconds better than senior Caleb Brown of Pine Eagle.
Warrenton's Zander Moha was seventh in 16:29. Nicholas Nikander of Jewell was 23rd in 17:19.
Two days earlier in the Vernonia Invitational, Rodriguez was the individual winner (15:57), while Knappa (72 points) took second in the team standings behind Heppner (69).
Nikander was sixth (17:23), and Knappa freshman Joshua Peterson was 13th in 18:33. Adding points for the Loggers were junior Clay Keyser (18th), freshman Soren Brown (21st) and sophomore Moses Peitsch (23rd).
In the 3,000-meter boys middle school race, eighth grader Finn Peitsch of Knappa's Hilda Lahti school finished first out of 54 runners, covering the course in a personal best 11:07.
Peitsch was 14th out of 223 runners in the 3,000 meter middle school/youth race in the Lewis & Clark College Invitational.
Hilda Lahti's Mylie Lempea was eighth in the girls' race at Vernonia, in a PR 12:38.