Alexa Efraimson and the Camas girls cross country team became district champions for the third year in a row Wednesday, at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground.
Efraimson finished the 5,000-meter course in first place with a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Alissa Pudlitzke snagged third place (19:21), Marley LeFore followed in fourth place (19:37), Mckenzie Good grabbed seventh place (20:27), Meghan Finley earned ninth place (20:45), Alexa Jones notched 12th place (21:27) and Lauren Johnston took 13th place (21:37).
“I feel like this was a breakthrough race for the girls. We just continue to get stronger and get better,” Efraimson said. “We’re not trying to peak right now. This just gives us all something to build on.”
Pudlitzke said it was the perfect day for the Papermakers, but this is just the start to what they hope will be a rewarding postseason.
“The whole team was pushing hard just like I was,” Pudlitzke said. “That’s what I love about cross country. You can push yourself, but at the end of the day, what you do for your team is all that matters.”
The Camas boys cross country team beat Union by three points for second place at the district meet. Riley Hein earned second place for the Papermakers in 16:36. Zach Hein finished in sixth place with a time of 16:58.
“I didn’t have my best race, but the team collectively had their best performance,” Riley Hein said. “That’s more important for the future.”
Head coach Porter said Daniel Osterhage and Nicholas Carter proved to be the difference makers.
“They were surrounded by Union runners, and they were able to beat them to the finish line,” Porter said. “Every person counts. If you’re in a position to pass somebody, you should definitely do it.”
Camas enters the bi-district meet Saturday, on the American Lake golf course in Tacoma. Porter believes both teams will rise to the occasion and qualify for state.
“I am really encouraged by the hard work and dedication these kids have put into this season,” she said. “I hope they believe they can do it, because I know they can.”