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Phenomenal athletes and championship misses - the Woodburn Independent examines the top athletic moments of the 2016-17 season

PHIL HAWKINS - Kennedy senior Bishop Mitchell was named Male Athlete of the Meet at the 2017 2A State Track and Field Championships after winning state titles in three events and placing second in a fourth.

Bishop mitchell

Athletic phenom Bishop Mitchell cemented his status as one of the greatest athletes to compete for the Kennedy track and field team this spring.

Mitchell won individual state titles in the 200-meter dash, long jump and triple jump, and finished second in the 100 to be named the Male Athlete of the Meet at the 2017 2A Track and Field State Championships in May.

Mitchell set school records in all four events this season and helped the Trojans place fourth at the state meet, finishing his career with nine medals in four trips to the state championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field. ***

semifinalists

The 2016-17 athletic season was a year in which the Trojans came close to the state championships, but were repeatedly denied.

After being shut out in the state championship game the year before, the Kennedy football team sought redemption in the fall season. The Trojans mowed through their regular season opponents, going 10-1 to advance to the semifinals. But the team was stopped by a Stanfield team that had its own title plans, losing 32-13 to the Tigers.

During the winter season, the defending-champion girls basketball team peaked during the middle of the season, but was denied an opportunity to defend their title by league rival Western Mennonite, which beat the Trojans in the semis, making Kennedy settle for third place.

In the spring, the Kennedy softball team went undefeated in league for the second straight year, but was once again sent home a game away from the state championship, losing 3-2 to North Douglas in the semis.

***

PHIL HAWKINS - The Kennedy girls cross country team celebrates its fourth-place finish at the 3A/2A/1A State Cross Country Championships in November.

Girls Cross country

Few things in life are as consistently good as the Kennedy cross country program.

Led by junior Kaylin Cantu and sophomore Alejandra Lopez, the Trojan girls finished the fall season with a fourth-place trophy at the 3A/2A/1A State Cross Country Championships at Lane Community College.

Cantu ended her junior year with a third consecutive district title and a third-place finish at state. It was her second top-10 finish at the state meet, setting a school record time of 19:06.

She was followed closely by Lopez, who placed fifth to match Cantu with back-to-back top-10 finishes.

Together with teammates Anzaris Velasquez, Natividad Ortiz, Clarissa Traeger, Yesenia Gomez and Claire Seiler, the Trojans continue to reign as an elite running team.

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