Winning races are baby steps for Alexa Efraimson.
On Saturday, she stood on top of a mountain as a 4A state champion in the 800 and the 1,600 after setting new meet record times in each event.
“This is what the whole season is about,” said the Camas High School sophomore. “I was thinking about my teammates and how hard we trained for this. The realization sets in that state is the end. It’s sad, but I’m very happy.”
Efraimson stunned the crowd at Mount Tahoma High School, in Tacoma, Thursday when she crossed the finish line in the 1,600 with a time of 4 minutes, 39.25 seconds. Not only was it a meet record, but it became the new best time in the nation.
The Papermaker capped off a memorable weekend by winning the 800 with a new meet record time of 2:08.17. It was redemption for Efraimson after falling short of the 800 state title during her freshman season.
“That was all part of the drive for me. I wasn’t able to win state last year, so I really wanted to do it this year,” she said. “It shows all the hard work and improvement from last year to this year.”
Efraimson dedicated her state titles to her coaches and teammates. Looking across the horizon, she still sees more mountains to climb.
“This is just the beginning,” she vowed. “There are bigger things to come.”
The Camas girls track and field team finished in fifth place with 35.5 points, just a half point shy of third place and 7.5 points behind state champion Federal Way.
Seniors Amber Corbett and McKenna Jackson fulfilled their mission by reaching the final flight of the javelin event together. Jackson took sixth place with a toss of 127 feet, 10 inches. Corbett followed with a throw of 126-10.
Alissa Pudlitzke placed fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 11:01.39. Caleigh Lofstead snatched sixth place in the pole vault with a personal best leap of 10-6. Nicole Corbett clinched sixth place in the discus with a toss of 118-9. Lauren Neff took 10th place in the high jump by clearing 5-2. Camille Parsons finished 14th in the 1,600 in 5:09.67.
Grayson Anderson grabbed second place for Camas in the boys high jump with a mark of 6-6. Josh Ryan leaped 21-9 for seventh place in the long jump. Blaine Behrent grabbed 10th place on the pole vault, and Andrew Kaler earned 14th place in the 1,600 and 15th place in the 3,200.
School record for Eustis
Washougal senior Sean Eustis finished off his fourth and final high school state meet by setting a new school record time of 9:20.71 in the 3,200. It was good enough for a sixth-place state medal.
“This is the last time I’ll ever wear the Washougal uniform,” Eustis said. “I hope a kid looks at my name on the board and says ‘I want that record.’”
Adam Thomas took 10th place on the pole vault with a personal best leap of 13-3. Austin Tofell endured through a shoulder injury and still tossed the javelin 148-9 for 13th place. Joe Harris set a personal best time of 15.28 seconds in his heat of the 110 hurdles, but it wasn’t fast enough to put him in the finals.
Michelle Greear grabbed ninth place in the discus and 16th place in the shot put. Mackenzie Pfeifer placed 11th in the javelin.
Camas softball loses state title game
Arlington High School, of Snohomish County, defeated Camas 2-1 in the state championship softball game Saturday, in Spokane.
Katie Schroder drilled the ball to deep center for the Papermakers. It seemed destined to be a home run until Arlington centerfielder Melissa Rathert leaped up and caught the ball, tumbled over the fence and still held on to it.
Arlington grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Camas tied the game in the third inning on a triple by Lena Richards that scored Amee Aarhus. Richards was ruled out, following the RBI, for not touching the second base bag as she made her way to third. Arlington regained the lead in the fifth inning, and held on for the victory.
The Papermakers beat defending state champion Woodinville 2-0 in the semifinals. Camas pitcher Harli Hubbard tossed a two-hit shutout.
Richards hit two home runs to help the Papermakers defeat Lake Stevens 6-2 in the first round. Hubbard struck out 13 Vikings to collect the victory.
Camas beat Central Valley 5-3 in the quarterfinals. Aarhus drove in the leading run in the sixth inning, and Schroeder knocked in an insurance run in the seventh.
Kwon and Lewis earn third place
Camas sophomores Esther Kwon and Jen Lewis earned third place at the 4A girls state tennis tournament, in Richland.
The two Papermakers defeated Lake Stevens’ Erin and Megan Huffman 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. Lewis and Kwon then beat league rivals Kristina Metz and Macy Ballew, from Skyview, 6-2, 6-2.
Kwon and Lewis lost in the semifinals Saturday, but bounced back by winning their medal match.
Read more about all of these events in the May 28 print edition of the Post-Record.
See you on the sidelines.