The Camas High School cross country teams reached the Greater St. Helens summit, but there are more mountains to climb.
Both the boys and the girls captured the 4A district championship Thursday, at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground. The Papermakers clinched both titles for the second year in a row.
“It just shows our dominance,” said senior Tucker Boyd. “Whether we’re in 3A or 4A, we’re going to compete with you.”
Alexa Efraimson earned first place with a time of 18 minutes, 9 seconds. She beat Alexis Fuller of Union to the finish line by 37 seconds.
Efraimson loves this quote from Olympic runner and author Hal Higdon, “Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring and the specter of self doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside if you look closely enough.”
She wrote that quote on her leg to illustrate her drive and determination.
“Even when it hurts, there’s always a little more I can give,” she said. “I have to remember I’m running for my teammates. I know they are pushing themselves as hard as they can, so I need to push myself as hard as I can.”
Alissa Pudlitzke had the same quote scribbled on her leg. She placed third in 18:54 and Maddie Woodson followed in fourth in 19:10.
“It was fun running most of the race with Maddie. We both push each other,” Pudlitzke said.
“I loved the last 400-meters,” Woodson said. “I got a glimpse of the finish line and told myself I’m almost there.”
“Just give everything you have left,” Pudlitzke added.
Camille Parsons (20:14) and Alexa Jones (20:51) snagged seventh and eighth place. Sarah Garner (21:07) and Miranda Hollar (21:30) rounded out the rotation in 11th and 14th place. The top five places for the Camas girls added up to 23 points. Union was second at 52 points and Heritage took third with 96 points.
Andrew Duffy (16:29), Boyd (16:34) and Andrew Kaler (16:51) clinched third, fourth and fifth place for the Papermakers in the boys race.
“It’s cool to have the type of team where you can depend on each other,” Kaler said.
“We’re always running with each other and pushing each other,” Boyd added. “We do it in the workouts all the time, and we just incorporate that into the races.”
Jackson Cutler (17:10) earned seventh place. Oliver Stanchfield (17:13), Riley Hein (17:14) and Zach Hein (17:15) followed in 10th, 11th and 12th place. The top five places for the Camas boys added up to 29 points. Skyview was second with 56 points and Battle Ground took third with 70 points.
The Westside Classic championship races are Saturday, at the American Lake golf course in Tacoma. The top three teams and 15 individuals will advance to the 4A state championship meet Nov. 3, on the Sun Willows golf course in Pasco.
“Not only do we have to be confident, but we also have to dream a little bit,” Duffy said. “There were past races where we thought we could do it, but we didn’t believe. Now is the time to dream big and just go crazy.”