The top of the podium belonged to Bellermine Prep, but the Camas girls cross country runners looked each other in the eye and didn’t see an inch of regret.
“We all raced as hard as we could,” said Alexa Efraimson. “It was a lot more competitive this year than last year.”
The Papermakers finished in second place out of the top 16 schools in the state Saturday, at the Sun Willows Golf Course, in Pasco. Bellermine Prep won the title by 13 points. This is the third state trophy for the Camas girls, after they won championships in 2011 and 2012.
“It was fun to have a second chance to go out and do it again,” said Alexa Jones. “You never know what the outcome is going to be. You just have to trust yourself and know your teammates are going to work as hard as you do.”
Efraimson captured the individual state championship for the second year in a row. The CHS junior crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 1.01 seconds to break the course record set by Amy-Eloise Neale, of Glacier Peak, in 2012. Alissa Pudlitzke earned sixth place with a personal best time of 18:18.46.
“Every year, the field just gets faster and faster,” Pudlitzke said. “We still had a really good season.”
Marley LeFore enjoyed her first state championship experience. The freshman finished in 17th place with a time of 18:44.17.
“I really enjoyed sharing the same passion as all the other girls,” LeFore said. “I think the outcome was still good. We got second place.”
Maddie Woodson claimed 61st place (19:37.07), Mckenzie Good grabbed 74th place (19:44.04), Meghan Finley followed in 75th place (19:44.80) and Jones took 111th place (20:27.66).
“Bellermine ran insane. It’s a good lesson for us to push harder,” Finley said. “We all have no regrets. It was a good experience to be there in the first place.”
The Papermaker boys finished in 14th place. Riley Hein earned 31st place (16:00.44), Zach Hein notched 91st place (16:41.58), Nicholas Carter claimed 106th (16:53.09), Daniel Osterhage earned 117th (17:04.95), Dustin Zimmerley followed in 118th (17:07.30), Taryk Boyd took 124th (17:18.54) and Adam Peterson placed 141st (17:53.72).
The Camas girls are training for the Nike Cross Regional Saturday, in Boise, Idaho. They want to get back to nationals Dec. 7, at Portland Meadows.
“To be able to take the whole team to nationals again would be amazing,” Pudlitzke said. “It was such an amazing experience last year, and we would love to repeat that.”