The Camas High School girls track and field team rose above their Greater St. Helens League challengers Wednesday and Thursday, at McKenzie Stadium.
The Lady Papermakers racked up 154 points to beat Skyview, Union, Battle Ground, Evergreen and Heritage for the district championship trophy. The Camas boys collected 146 points to finish in second place. Skyview won the boys title with 162 points.
Alexa Efraimson earned first place for the Papermakers in the girls 800 (2:09.74) and 1,600-meter runs (4:50.24). She also carried the baton across the finish line first in the 1,600 relay, picking up the pace set by Cammie Parsons, Ali Nuce and Mckenzie Good (4:01.88).
“There are so many great girls at this meet. It’s getting more and more competitive in this area as the years go on,” Efraimson said. “It makes it harder and harder to move on, but it also makes it more rewarding when you do move on.”
Only the top three individuals and relays teams from each event qualified for the West Central District meet Friday and Saturday, at Kent Meridian High School. Camas is sending 13 girls and 10 boys to Kent for the opportunity to compete at the state championship meet, May 23 to 25, at Mt. Tahoma High School, in Tacoma.
Cole Zarcone, Ryan Gunther, Michael Johnson and Grayson Anderson broke a 53-year-old school record in the boys 1,600 relay. Zarcone grabbed the lead in the first lap, before the Papermakers fell back to second place. After competing in two events earlier in the day, Anderson kicked it into third gear on the last lap, caught the leader from Battle Ground and beat him to the finish line. The school record belonged to Zarcone, Gunther, Johnson and Anderson, who won with a time of 3:26.67.
“When I hit that last 100, I asked myself ‘how bad do you want it?’” Anderson said. “I left it all out there on the track and we won.”
Anderson set new personal best times of 11.01 seconds in the 100 dash and 22.48 seconds in the 200 dash. He also reached his personal best height of 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump. He finished first in the 100 and the high jump, and second in the 200, but his favorite moment of the meet was winning the relay.
“A team title is more important than any individual title,” Anderson said. “Our name is in the record books. We’re leaving a legacy behind.”
Jordan Davis settled for second place in the 300 hurdles Wednesday (46.41), but came back and won the 100 hurdles Thursday (15.74).
“That felt so amazing,” Davis said. “I had the best adrenaline going and a straight vision of my lane. Everything else was blurred.”
Tamaki Murata, Ali Nuce, Kimi Knight and Davis took third place in the 800 relay (1:47.82). Davis also rushed to third in the 200 (27.4).
“Any time I see that red coming up, it just warms my heart,” Davis said. “It makes me think Camas can win. We can do this together.”
Lauren Neff soared to first place in the girls high jump (5-3) and Caleigh Lofstead clinched first on the pole vault (10 feet). Nicole Corbett notched second in the discus (119-2). McKenna Jackson (127-10) and Amber Corbett (125 feet) finished second and third in the javelin. Parsons placed third in the 800 (2:21.44) and the 1,600 (5:14.39).
Gunther grabbed first place in the boys 300 hurdles (40.75). Andrew Kaler claimed second in the 3,200 (9:42.63) and the 1,600 (4:25.71). Blaine Behrent earned second in the pole vault (13-7). Tucker Boyd took third in the 800 (1:58.31), Chris Durrett earned third in the shot put (48-4.5), Riley Moss placed third in the javelin (154-7) and Josh Ryan leaped to third in the long jump (20-11.5).