No matter how many events and venues Alexa Efraimson competes in, the thrill of stepping up to the starting line never fades.
“It’s one of the reasons I love racing,” said the 16-year-old from Camas. “I just get that feeling of excitement, and I know I’m ready to race.”
When she crosses the finish line, the thrill comes right back. It could be finishing in first place, attaining a new personal best time or just gaining points for her team. Efraimson relishes it all. She uses each race as a stepping stone toward the next big challenge.
“I think back to all the training I’ve done,” Efraimson said. “All of it was worth it for that one moment.”
Efraimson embraced several moments this past month. She captured two championship medals from the Class 4A state meet, in Tacoma. Efraimson won the 1,600-meter race May 23, with a meet record time of 4 minutes, 39.25 seconds. She earned the 800 state title two days later, with a meet record time of 2:08.17. On Wednesday, Efraimson became the first Papermaker to be selected as the Gatorade Washington Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“I am very proud to be able to represent Camas like that,” Efraimson said. “There are so many great competitors in Washington alone. I am so thankful and humbled to receive this award.”
Adding to her success on the track, Efraimson maintained a 3.89 GPA in the classroom. She also participated in multiple community service projects through Key Club and National Honor Society, and volunteered as a youth soccer referee.
Winning such a prestigious award, with still two more years of high school to go, makes Efraimson want to train even harder.
“I know there’s still more for me to accomplish,” she said. “I just want to keep improving.”
Efraimson’s next race could get her a ticket to Europe. She is at the World Youth Track and Field Trials today, in Edwardsville, Ill. The top two placers in the 1,500 run will go to the World Championships, July 10 to 14, in Donetsk, Ukraine.
“I am super excited,” Efraimson said. “I know I’m going to have to dig down deep in that race if I want to get to Worlds.”
Efraimson put in a little extra to prepare for this challenge. She finished in fifth place in the 1,500 at the Portland Track Festival June 8, at Clark College. She also set a new personal best time of 4:16. Efraimson then took second place in the 800, with a time of 2:07.04, at the New Balance Nationals June 16, in Greensboro, N.C.
“All of those races have prepared me for today,” she said. “I know I’m ready for this. I just have to preform in that one race.”