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School records and a return to greatness -the Woodburn Independent examines the top athletic moments of the 2016-17 season

PHIL HAWKINS - St. Paul junior Alexis Goughner and the rest of the Buckaroos celebrated their first undisputed league title since joining the Tri-River Conference three years ago.
Volleyball

The Buckaroos finally claimed their crowns as queens of the Tri-River Conference last fall.

After winning the regular season league title in 2015 only to fall in the conference championship game against Kennedy, this year's St. Paul team left no doubt which Tri-River program was the undisputed best.

The Buckaroos went 10-2 in league play to claim the regular season title, then cemented their success with a 3-1 win over Central Linn in the conference championship game.

St. Paul then followed with a first round win over Oakland to earn their first trip to the 2A State Quarterfinal Tournament since moving up from the 1A Classification three years ago.

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SETH GORDON - St. Paul's Isabelle Wyss (far right) hands the baton off to Rachel Vela in the final leg of the 2A 4x400 relay state championship.
Track and field

The 4x400-meter relay teams for the St. Paul track and field program put the finishing touches on a spectacular spring season in May.

The quartet of Jennifer Hernandez, Emalee Ell, Isabelle Wyss and Rachel Vela came less than a second from winning a state title with a second-place finish in the long relay.

Meanwhile, the boys team of Francisco Vargas-Ayala, Adal Izquierdo, Ethan Wyss and Saul Martinez placed third in the event with a school record-breaking time of 3:33.64.

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Football

The St. Paul football team proved they once again belong in the conversation of the best 2A programs in the state.

The Buckaroos bounced back from a winless campaign in league the year before to go 6-4 in 2016 and earn an at-large berth to the state playoffs as the No. 5-ranked team in the OSAA.

The Bucks scored a 32-24 victory over Knappa on the road in the first round before bowing out in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions out of Regis.

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