Ryan Dietzman and Trace Jacquot are destined for the Junior Olympic Men’s National Gymnastics Championships May 7 to 11, in Long Beach, Calif. They say this journey would not be possible without coach Zdravko Stoianov and the Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy, in Camas. “My mindset is to do it for myself, my coach and for VEGA as a whole,” said Dietzman, a Level 10 gymnast from Camas.
Rivers ran through the greens at the Lewis River golf course Thursday, and the filled cups of fluid turned into cascading water falls. Most sane individuals would not be out golfing in this weather, but the annual Chieftain Invitational was scheduled. Girls from 12 Southwest Washington high schools had to grin it and bear it. “It got to a point where it couldn’t get much worse,” said Camas High School senior Molly Bilsborough. “You just had to play with what you had and make the best of it.”
The Camas baseball team stood out on the field Monday in their new red, white and black digital camouflage jerseys. So did the Papermakers’ hitting, pitching and defense. McKinley LeFore held defending state champion Skyview to two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched. Sam Jones threw a Skyview runner out at home plate. Blake Christopher leaped up and caught a line drive between first and second base. He also hit a run-scoring triple in the first inning. Jones snagged a sizzling grounder in the gap between second and third base, jumped back to his feet and threw the batter out at first.
Kannon Burchette, Cash Johnson, Chad Menor and Bryce Tabbut never leave home without their lacrosse sticks. “I just love this sport. Even if I was on vacation, I’d still have my stick with me,” Johnson said. “Get a stick. Hit the wall. Try it out.”
Brian Connolly didn’t let a flesh wound keep him from flying through the air. “My steps were a little off [in the long jump], so I tried to make up for it with my form,” he said. “The moment I threw my feet forward, I knew I had cut my wrist.”
The Camas High School baseball team returned from the sunny side of Washington state on a mission. Hitting, defense and a total team effort helped the Papermakers defeat Evergreen 10-4 Monday, for their first league victory of the season. The Papermakers pounded out 15 hits in the ballgame, and held the Plainsmen to just three.
Four days of rain evaporated after three Camas base hits in the top of the first inning Monday, at Mountain View. Lena Richards and Katie Schroeder laced back-to-back singles, and Harli Hubbard brought them both home on a 2-run triple. “It felt natural,” Hubbard said. “We missed a few outdoor practices, but it didn’t feel like we did.”
The game of soccer can change on the flip of a coin. After cashing in three goals during the first half against defending 3A state champion Bonney Lake March 22, the Papermakers were barely able to afford the two they needed to defeat Columbia River 2-0 Wednesday at Doc Harris Stadium. “We didn’t play as good of soccer as we normally play, but we got the result. Pre-season is all about learning,” said senior midfielder Matt Palodichuk. “Soccer is a game of ups and downs. How you react to those down moments defines the heart of a team.”
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.
Who let the Panthers out? Scratch. Claw. Roar. After losing every single baseball game in 2013, Washougal has already won three games in 2014. The come-from-behind 6-5 victory against La Center Thursday in extra innings could be just the start of a special season for the Panthers. “This is a much better place to be, and we’re excited,” said head coach Greg Lewis. “I saw more fans out here today than I did all of last season. They’re excited about the brand of baseball we’re putting on the field.”