Although they compete for rival high schools, Alexa Efraimson, Alexis Fuller and Alissa Pudlitzke dreamed of achieving this moment together.
The three Camas runners embraced after clinching the top three spots in the Jesuit Twilight Elite 1,500-meter run Friday, in Beaverton, Ore. Efraimson finished in first for the Papermakers with a time of 4 minutes, 21.1 seconds. Fuller earned second for the Union Titans in 4:37.04. Pudlitzke followed in third for the Papermakers in 4:37.62.
“The fact that we were able to get top three was great for Washington at an Oregon meet,” Efraimson said. “It just made me really proud for Clark County and Greater St. Helens.”
Efraimson and Fuller had been in this elite event before. This was the first time Pudlitzke heard her name announced on the loudspeaker as she jogged out of the tunnel and around the track to the starting line.
“It was fun to race in that competition. It really pushed me to PR,” Pudlitzke said. “I’ll remember that last 200 meters. I was just pushing and I told myself to go for it. It taught me not to underestimate myself and to be fearless in my races. That’s definitely a lesson I can use in the future.”
Efraimson’s goal was to establish a strong pace from the start and maintain it all the way to the finish line. She was satisfied with her effort and the victory, but she never expected to see her two friends battling it out for second and third place.
“Just to turn around and see that was really cool,” Efraimson said.
Pudlitzke had more to give for the Papermakers. She got the girls off to a good start in the 3,200 relay before sitting back and watching them win the whole thing.
“I had all this energy left over from the 1,500 that I couldn’t wait to use,” she said. “I just wanted to end the day off on a high note.”
Maddie Woodson and Meghan Finley kept Camas in contention. Efraimson finished the deal. The four cross country runners combined for a winning time of 9:24.82.
“It showed that we can still have the same camaraderie in track that we do in cross country,” Efraimson said. “Jesuit is always such a great atmosphere. That 4 by 8 was such a cool experience. You’re not going to get to run that anywhere else.”
The Camas girls collected 68.25 points to capture second place in the 37-team invitational, at Jesuit High School. Summit won the meet with 82.5 points.
Jordan Davis won the 100 hurdles by improving her school record time to 15.19 seconds. Caleigh Lofstead soared to second place in the pole vault with a leap of 10 feet, 6 inches. Nikki Corbett notched third place in the discus with a personal best throw of 122-10. She also snatched seventh in the shot put (36-4).
Tamaki Murata, Savanna Joyce, Rachel Gray and Davis took third place in the 800 relay (1:45.96). Marley LeFore finished fourth in the 3,000 (10:49.56).
The Camas boys team settled for 15th place at Jesuit. Riley Hein earned third place in the 3,000 (8:48.8). Hunter Schow, Ryan Gunther, Dustin Zimmerly and Hein grabbed sixth place in the distance medley relay (11:01.54). Adam Ryan, Matthew Sanchez, Taryk Boyd and Zimmerly earned eighth place in the 3,200 relay (8:18.98). Adam Peterson placed eighth in the high jump (6-0) and Josh Ryan notched ninth in the long jump (21-1).