The Camas High School girls and boys cross country teams finished in the top three of the gold division at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational, at Fort Steilacoom Park, in Lakewood Saturday.
The Papermaker girls clinched second place, behind defending 4A state champion Issaquah. Three runners from Issaquah finished in the top four. Emma Jenkins earned sixth place for Camas in 18 minutes, 41 seconds. Ellie Postma claimed 17th place (19:30), Halle Jenkins took 18th place (19:35), Madison Child notched 23rd place (19:57), Brooke Roy grabbed 24th place (19:59.1) and Camryn Mock followed in 25th place (19:59.9).
“I look at the positive out of it. They have a target on their back instead of us,” said Camas head coach Laurie Porter. “I know Emma is capable of beating their top girl, and I know that the other girls are going to rise up and perform better when they’re rested and when they’re peaking.”
Issaquah ended the Camas girls team’s run of consecutive state titles. It was important for the Papermakers to race against them early in the season.
“I want our girls to see that it’s not going to be handed to them,” Porter said. “They are going to have to work for it, and I think they realize that. They’re wise enough to know.”
Despite losing four graduates from the varsity lineup, the Camas boys cross country team rose up to third place at the Fort Steilacoom meet. Daniel Maton set the pace for the Papermakers with a 5,000-meter course personal record time of 15:41. He finished in fifth place.
“It was a little bit more of a rust-buster for the season,” Maton said. “I’m going to work on going out maybe five seconds slower and reeling them in instead of letting everybody pass me. I went out a little too fast.”
Jackson Lyne secured 23rd place with a time of 16:19. LJ Ford was right on his heels in 24th place. Spencer Twyman took 37th place (16:35) and David Connell claimed 40th place (16:38). These four Camas runners earned personal best times.
“LJ had a big race. Big number three guy,” Maton said.
“LJ got a huge PR. He was right there with Jackson. They tied, basically,” Porter said. “And placing third actually was quite surprising. Beating a couple of teams that were ahead of us at state was a nice surprise.”