This is the week the Camas High School track and field athletes have been craving for months.
On Thursday, the 3-day state championship festival begins in Tacoma. The top runners, throwers and jumpers from three different classifications converge at Mt. Tahoma High School to find out who are the best athletes and teams in the state. Sixteen Papermakers are anxious for their first turn in the spotlight at the 4A level.
“What I love about track and field is the unknown factor,” said head girls coach Alisa Wise. “There’s so many ups and downs, and twists and turns. The only way to describe it is it’s exciting. The only thing you can predict and that it will be unpredictable.”
Which is why Wise and the other Camas track and field coaches spend so much time preaching consistency.
“Consistency brings about [personal records]. You prepare and prepare, rest and recover,” Wise said. “As much as you like to do things for them, they are the ones who have to go out there and compete.
“I love seeing the look on these kid’s faces when they do something that exceeds their expectations,” she added. “I love seeing that emotion. It’s contagious.”
Emotion ran wild for the Papermakers at bi-districts Friday and Saturday, in Kent. The Camas girls finished in second place at the 29-team meet, just 2.5 points behind Federal Way.
Alexa Efraimson earned first place in the 800-meter run, and set a new meet and personal best time of 2 minutes, 6.54 seconds. That is also the fastest time in the nation posted on athletic.net.
“I hadn’t hit a PR in the 800 since last year, and it felt like a good time to do it,” Efraimson said. “When you go into state, you want to be progressing upward. I just want to go up there, have great races, and come home with some individual and team titles.”
Efraimson also won the 1,600 (4:58.7). Camille Parsons, Jordan Davis, Mckenzie Good and Efraimson finished first in the 1,600 relay (4:00.12). Kimi Knight and Ali Nuce helped those girls get to the finals by running in the preliminary race. They will also be available to run at the state meet.
“I just want us to go all out, make it to the finals and hopefully place,” Efraimson said.
Alissa Pudlitzke placed second in the 3,200 (11:05.85) and improved upon her district championship time by about 16 seconds.
“I am excited for the opportunity to compete with my team against the best athletes in the state. Not many people get to do that, and I am so grateful,” Pudlitzke said. “I would really like to go under 10:50, and get up there on the podium.”
Amber Corbett clinched second place in the javelin with a personal best throw of 130 feet, 4 inches. McKenna Jackson followed in sixth place with a toss of 111 feet. Both Camas seniors will be throwing the javelin at state.
“I love having McKenna with me. She’s such a great teammate,” Corbett said. “I know I have to beat her, and I know she wants to beat me. That has worked out for the both of us.”
Younger sister Nicole Corbett claimed fourth in the discus (113-1) to get to state as a sophomore.
“I hope she is able to pull out another PR,” Amber Corbett said. “Oftentimes, when you’re the most nervous, you perform your best.”
Lauren Neff notched fifth place in the high jump (5 feet), Caleigh Lofstead finished in fifth place on the pole vault (10 feet) and Parsons placed eighth in the 1,600 (5:09.39).
Grayson Anderson, Blaine Behrent, Andrew Kaler and Josh Ryan are on their way to the state meet.
Behrent took third place in the pole vault (13 feet). Anderson snagged fifth place in the high jump (6 feet) and eighth place in the 200 (23.02). Ryan leaped to sixth place in the long jump (21-3). Kaler earned eighth place in the 1,600 (4:20.89) and the 3,200 (9:29.64).
“We’re going to go for PRs, and hopefully that gets us some medals,” said head boys coach Rod Raunig.