Facing a pair of runners who also have individual state titles to their name, Woodland senior and defending Class 5A state champion McKenna Trapheagen blew away the competition for a dominant season-opening win.
Trapheagen’s time of 17 minutes, 49.65 seconds not only beat former Class 6A champion Makena Gates of Creekview by more than 27 seconds but also set a new personal record Saturday at the Ridge Ferry Invitational in Rome.
Overall, the Woodland girls and boys teams each finished third in the race. Etowah and Creekview took the top two spots on the girls side, while Creekview and Rome placed first and second, respectively, for the boys.
Outside of Trapheagen, Gates and two-time Class 1A Public winner Gracie O’Neal of Gordon Lee, the top finisher was Woodland’s Rylee Evans. The sophomore placed fourth in 19 minutes, 4.75 seconds.
Wildcats freshman Danielle Thayer finished in 23rd with a time of 21:39.28. Marlee Bowles was roughly 12 seconds back, crossing in 21 minutes, 51.57 seconds. That time placed the sophomore 27th overall.
Erica Boatner’s 39th-place finish came in 22 minutes, 9.65 seconds. Emma Segars rounded out the Wildcats competitors with a time of 23:10.27 — good enough for 59th in a field of 196.
Jessica Zukowsky led Cass, which finished 29th overall, placing 145th with a time of 26 minutes, 29.86 seconds.
On the boys side, Woodland used balanced depth to earn a top-three finish. Freshman Tyler Jones was 13th with a time of 17:25.78.
Three Wildcats placed between 22nd and 26th. Patrick Bollwerk (17:40.84) led the group, as John Forsyth (17:43.79) and Dylan Stermer (17:44.38) finished 25th and 26th, respectively. McKinley Chappell (18:08.53) placed 41st to complete the scoring totals for Woodland.
Andrew Glaze paced the Colonels, as the junior finished the course in 18 minutes, 21.97 seconds for a 46th-place showing. Cass placed 23rd overall as a team.