EUGENE – Hassan Ibrahim found that the competition at the 3A/2A/1A state cross country meet was good, too.
The sophomore from Jefferson High School started strong, but Umatilla’s Fabian Cardenas pulled away in the second half of the race to win his second straight state championship in 15:50 on the course at Lane Community College.
Ibrahim placed second in 16:15.
“It feels great,” Ibrahim said. “I was trying to make the championship level. It didn’t happen, but I’m looking forward to it the next few years.”
Ibrahim placed 11th in the 6A state cross country meet as a freshman while running for David Douglas.
He and his family moved to Jefferson in the summer.
Ibrahim’s family moved to the United States from Kenya three years ago, and settled in a section of Portland where there is a large population of immigrants from Africa.
Ibrahim received encouragement from West Salem’s Ahmed Muhumed to try cross country when they went to middle school together in Portland.
“He used to tell me what I was going to do,” Ibrahim said. “He gives me all kinds of advice. I listen to him a lot. He’s a good runner and a good guy.”
Kennedy’s Adrian Parra chose to let the leaders go early and finished strong to place sixth in 16:40.
It was the senior’s second straight year of placing in the top 10 at the state meet and lead Kennedy to a tenth place finish.
“I’m happy with it,” Parra said.
Blanchet Catholic’s Patrick Tuttle placed 23rd in 17:44.
In the girls race Kennedy sophomore Kaylin Cantu placed seventh in 19:49 and Kennedy freshman Alejandra Lopez was eighth in 19:59. The Trojans placed sixth in the team standings with 159 points.
Salem Academy senior Jessie Brownell placed 30th in 21:54.
In the 4A girls race, Cascade freshman Savanna Waters placed 37th in 21:36 to lead the Cougars to a 10th place team finish.
In the boys Cascade’s Nate Luck placed 34th in 27:27.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or Twitter.com/bpoehler