Competitors couldn’t leap higher than Caleigh Lofstead, hurdle quicker than Jordan Davis or run faster than Alexa Efraimson.
Nobody in Camas High School track and field history has either.
Years of performing gymnastics turned Lofstead into a natural pole vaulter. On March 25, she battled wind, rain, and thunder and lightning delays, but she still sailed over the bar placed 11 feet above to set a new school record.
“To beat my PR from last season was already a great accomplishment,” Lofstead said. “To get a school record is even more exciting. I can only go up from here.”
Kelsey Koty held the school’s pole vault record of 10-6 since 2000. The weather cleared up just in time for Lofstead to take a crack at 11 feet. She’ll never forget the feeling of flying over the bar, the soft landing on the other side, looking up and seeing the bar still standing.
“All my hard work in the offseason paid off in the first meet,” Lofstead said. “If I continue to work hard, I can jump even higher.”
Skyview clipped the Camas girls team by two points March 25. The Papermakers won the 16-team Tiger Invitational Saturday, at Battle Ground High School. Camas beat out Skyview for first place by 30.5 points.
Davis clinched first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a school record time of 15.39 seconds. She also won the 300 hurdles (46.56) and finished fifth in the 200 dash (27.61).
“During the warm up, I was so freezing I just wanted to get this done,” Davis said. “The moment I crossed that finish line, I knew I just ran a great time. When I heard the time, I almost cried. I’ve been aiming for that record since I was a freshman.”
Kathie Anderson set the school record in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.44 back in 1992. Brandi White tied the record in 1999.
The school record now belongs to Davis. She hopes it gives future Papermakers something to shoot for.
Davis and her opponents developed the perfect strategy for the wet and chilly weather.
“Get through it, come back and get dry and warm, and do it again. Repeat,” Davis said. “I love track so much. I don’t mind running in the rain, as long as I’m competing.”
But that doesn’t mean Davis isn’t wishing for sunny days.
“All of the training I’ve done has brought me to this point,” she said. “If I can do what I did in the rain and the freezing cold, I can’t wait to run in the sun.”
Efraimson lapped her 16 competitors in the 3,200 and crossed the finish line with a new school record time of 10:16.31. Marley LeFore took second place for the Papermakers in 11:46.21.
Efraimson eclipsed her friend Alissa Pudlitzke’s 2-mile record time of 10:54.74 from a season ago. They will continue to push each other to break more records and help Camas excel.
Efraimson also finished first in the 800 (2:08.83). Pudlitzke, Savanna Joyce, Maddie Woodson and Efraimson won the distance medley relay in 12:22.44. Pudlitzke placed second in the 1,600 (5:22.49). Tamaki Murata earned second in the 100 hurdles (16.02). Nikki Corbett notched second in the discus (110-11). Davis, Joyce, Meghan Finley and Efraimson took third place in the 1,600 relay (4:18.57).
Although the stars aligned for the Camas girls, head coach Alisa Wise enjoyed seeing five freshman contribute to the team score.
Wise is training hard for her second Boston Marathon. She ran 21 miles Saturday from the Heritage Trail, in Camas, to Battle Ground in about three hours. She arrived to coach the meet about 15 minutes after it started.
“The best part about living is stepping out of your comfort zone,” Wise said. “After you do those things that are scary, you realize how exhilarating it was.”
The Camas boys team rose to second place at the Tiger Invitational. Skyview won the meet by three points.
“It shows that we are a young and powerful team in need of a little more development,” said Camas head boys coach Rod Raunig. “I came out of that meet excited. Our goal is to beat these teams at districts.”
Zach Eagle, Adam Ryan, Matthew Sanchez and Ryan Gunther grabbed first place for the Papermakers in the 1,600 relay (3:34.54). Hunter Schow, Jackson Cutler, Dustin Zimmerley and Riley Hein won the distance medley relay (11:06.93).
Cole Zarcone clinched second in the 100 (11.6) and third in the 200 (23.52). Josh Ryan leaped to second in the long jump (20-10). Gunther took second in the 300 hurdles (41.04) and third in the 100 hurdles (15.32). Hein notched third in the 1,600 (4:37.84).