Stories by Dan
You have to love running in order to perform under the windy and rainy conditions witnessed Saturday, and the Camas High School cross country competitors do.
“Every single one of these kids gave it their all,” said head coach Laurie Porter. “You could see it on their faces and in their form by the end of the races — they had nothing left.”
Alexa Efraimson, Alissa Pudlitzke, Marley LeFore, Maddie Woodson and Meghan Finley led the Papermaker varsity girls team to fourth place in the Danner Championship Nike Pre-Nationals race, at Portland Meadows.
Efraimson earned first place after she completed the 5,000-meter slushy obstacle course in 17 minutes, 59 seconds. She said it was not as muddy as during the Nike Cross Nationals, but it was still difficult to navigate.
“It wasn’t just the rain that affected me, it was the wind. It was equivalent to going up a hill,” Efraimson said. “It just shows the dedication that this team has. This was the first big race of the season and I thought we did well.”
It had almost been three years since Lakes eliminated Camas in the 2010 state quarterfinals at Doc Harris Stadium. This town had not forgotten about that day, and neither did those seniors in the Papermaker football pads. They had a job to do. "I remember looking into the eyes of those seniors after that game and not wanting to feel how they felt," said quarterback Reilly Hennessey. "Lakes is the only team we have lost to at the new Doc Harris Stadium. Without a doubt, we wanted to win this game for those guys who put Camas on the map and for our town." Camas evaporated Lakes 49-0 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
The Washougal Panthers eluded the Fort Vancouver Trappers and reached the end zone five times in a 35-0 victory Friday, at Kiggins Bowl.
Senior Bobby Jacobs ran for 149 yards in the first half and scored three touchdowns. He rushed for a grand total of 229 yards in the game.
“I got to give it up to our up front linemen. They play with a lot of heart. We wouldn’t be able to do anything without them,” Jacobs said. “It’s not a one-man thing scoring a touchdown. It takes a whole team.”
The bees were stinging the greens Thursday, at Camas Meadows.
Brian Humphreys shot an even-par round of 36 strokes. He came within a few feet of chipping in an eagle on the ninth hole, but had no problem settling for a birdie.
Braeden Campbell was 3-over after the first three holes, before sinking a clutch par putt on the fourth hole. He went 1-under the rest of the round, dropped in a birdie putt on the seventh hole and finished with a 38.
Brett Ball battled an illness that sapped his energy, but he still managed to shoot a 38.
But on this day, Levi Holscher had the defining performance for the Camas High School boys golf team. He shot a 37 for the Papermakers while golfing in the same group as Union’s Eddie Abellar, who shot a 34, and Ben Gruher, who shot a 41. Abellar and Humphreys were the only two who had a better day than Holscher.
The Camas volleyball team blew the reining 3A state champions out of their own building Sept. 17, at Prairie High School.
“This is never an easy place to play,” said head coach Julie Nidick. “There’s a Camas-Prairie rivalry that goes beyond league. This team has a lot of heart.”
The Papermakers took the first set 25-21, and rallied back to tie the second set and force overtime. A questionable out-of-bounds call was ruled in favor of the Falcons and they were awarded the second set 27-25.
“That game kind of lit our fire and made us want the win even more than before,” said senior Lauren Harris. “Each point is a new point. We just put the past behind us and we better the ball on every touch.”
After riding in a bus for three hours just to get to the field, the Enumclaw Hornets stung the visiting Camas girls soccer team with a goal in three minutes.
The numbing feeling in their veins proved to make the Papermakers angry. It only took them five minutes to find antidote. Once Anyssa DeVera delivered a through ball and Amanda Shi fired it into the net, the game was tied.
Camas broke the Hornet’s nest one more time in the 48th minute. Savanna Joyce tackled the ball away from a defender and passed it to Rachel Wildeson as she was cutting through the honeycomb. Wildeson slotted the ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give the Papermakers a 2-1 victory.
“They were a big, good team,” said Camas head coach Roland Minder. “I praised our players for their mental toughness on a come-from-behind win.”
Both the Camas and Washougal high school football teams won big on the road Thursday and Friday.
Four different Panthers found the end zone to help the Washougal High School football team defeat Tenino 28-7 Friday, at Fishback Stadium.
“This is one of those games where we knew we had to fight,” said senior lineman Christian Edmonson. “It feels great to be able to defend our new turf. This is the stuff we prepared for in camp.”
Edmonson dedicated the victory to his father Rick, who is in the hospital with liver failure. He saw the word “DAD” written on his taped wrists every time he got down to block at the line of scrimmage.
“I get to go back to the hospital and tell my dad we won,” Edmonson said. “We just put our heart out on the field. I think it helped the whole team to have something to fight for.”
The Washougal girls soccer and volleyball teams tasted victory on their new playing surfaces.
An excited crowd inside the Joe Brown Gymnasium anxiously waited for the first volleyball match to begin on the new hardwood floor. Brown’s wife, Jane Dally, and son, Jeff, held up the orange ribbon for the Washougal volleyball players to run through.
“I like the big Panther in the middle,” said senior volleyball player Emily Field. “It looks sweet.”
Backed by a $1,000 grant from Right To Play, the Camas based Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy hosts an open gym and a Cartwheel-A-Thon Saturday.
The goal of this grant program is to increase the exposure and accessibility to gymnastics to a diverse population of children, and to use the sport to educate and empower those facing adversity. All proceeds from the event will go back to Right To Play.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for us to give back to the community that has continued to support us all these years,” said founding coach and co-owner Randy Fox. “We are just a conduit for getting everybody involved in helping children. If we can turn this into a huge amount of money to give back, that’s what will make this rewarding.”
Four different Panthers found the end zone to help the Washougal High School football team defeat Tenino 28-7 Friday, at Fishback Stadium. The Panthers ran the ball six times for a total of 53 yards during the game's opening drive. Bobby Jacobs broke away for a huge chunk of yards on his first carry of the season. Brandon Casteel slithered over the defender and stretched his arms across the goal line for a touchdown.
As the Washougal High School football team broke through the ticker tape to their new turf field Friday, John Fishback Jr. had one request.
“Win one for the old Gipper,” said the son of John Fishback, the former Washougal School District superintendent for whom the stadium is named.
“My dad would have appreciated it and the support from the community for it,” he said. “I think he considered this to be one of his best achievements.”
The Panthers made the Fishback family and the Washougal community proud by beating Hudson’s Bay 35-0.
Eryn Brown has a golden boot for the Portland State University women’s soccer team.
The junior midfielder from Camas fired three goals into the net and assisted on two others to help the Vikings beat New Mexcio State 7-0 Sept. 1, during the UNLV Tournament at Peter Johann Field, in Las Vegas.
“Getting a hat trick and two assists was close to the best result I could have asked for,” Brown said. “I felt extremely happy that I could perform individually with the help of my amazing teammates as well as contribute to their individual successes. The entire match was focused, creative, composed and a ton of fun.”
The Camas High School football team exploded on the scene like a bundle of dynamite Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
As the Jesuit Crusaders came crashing back down to earth, The Papermakers celebrated a 47-14 victory.
Despite the hype surrounding this showdown between the number-one ranked teams in the largest classifications of Washington and Oregon, the boys in black lived up to their school’s legacy. The Papermakers kept rolling along.
The Camas High School football team lit up their new scoreboard Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium. The Washington 4A number-one ranked Papermakers defeated the Oregon 6A number-one ranked Jesuit Crusaders 47-14
The Washougal High School football team broke the ticker tape on their new field turf Friday, at Fishback Stadium. "Win one for the old gipper," John Fishback Jr. said before the game. The Panthers made Fishback proud by beating the Hudson's Bay Eagles 35-0.
As the hours count down to the Camas High School football season opening kick off, a new scoreboard at Doc Harris Stadium has risen. “It will be terrific to have it. I think it will be a great addition to the stadium,” said Helen Charneski, project manager of capital programs for the Camas School District. The 32-foot long scoreboard stands 31 feet, 6 inches tall. The $151,000 project was funded by the Capital Projects Bond passed by voters in 2007. The new scoreboard is the final piece to the Doc Harris Stadium renovation project that began in 2009. Football fans can see it in action for the first time when the Papermakers play Jesuit Friday, at 7:30 p.m.
The Washougal Panthers are back to school today with a little spring in their step, thanks to having a new synthetic turf field and a new wooden gym floor to play on.
“I’m excited to see the reactions from the students and the community,” said Washougal School District Facilities Director Joe Steinbrenner. “It was a push this summer. We started the day after school got out and we’re working all the way up to the first day of school.
“Will it be worth it? Absolutely,” he added. “The new and improved facilities help reinforce the pride the community already feels for their schools.”
The next time Tanner Baldwin is down on a wrestling mat, he is going to remember the people who helped him raise $4,200 to make it to New Zealand and Australia this summer.
“I want to thank the Washougal community and all the businesses that helped out. It really meant a lot to me,” Baldwin said. “I did a lot of training, a lot of fund raising and a lot of plane travel, but it was definitely worth it in the end. I got to see a lot of cool places and meet a lot of cool people.”
The Washougal High School junior helped lead Team USA Red to fourth place at the Down Under Duals in Auckland, New Zealand. He teamed up with wrestlers from Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana and other U.S. states. Baldwin also won a match in the single’s tournament that took place before the team duals. And finally, he wrestled on the beach in Brisbane, Australia.
“You didn’t have much traction on the sand, but it was fun and the weather was beautiful,” Baldwin said. “We also stayed in a penthouse on the 56th floor. The view from up there was incredible.”
New Camas High School cross country coach Laurie Porter aspires to share her knowledge of running with current and future Papermakers.
“If you want to continue to run for a long time, you have to enjoy it,” Porter said. “I still enjoy running all the time at the age of 51. I want these kids to develop a lifelong passion for this like I have.”
Porter takes over for Mike Hickey, who is now the head cross country and track and field coach at Clark College. She is stepping into a program with a girls team that won its second straight state championship and a boys team that cracked into the top 10 at state in 2012.
“The girls are primed to win state again. I really want to see the boys move up to the next level,” she said. “I know that they can. I see a lot of dedication and motivation in them, and I know they will succeed.”
Drew Clarkson is the definition of a hero in the eyes of his Camas High School teammates and coaches.
The 6-foot, 3-inch, 275-pound left tackle had surgery in March to remove a tumor in his right testicle. He also endured four rounds of chemotherapy to remove the stage 2 cancer that was later discovered so he could get back on the football field in time for his senior year.
Clarkson was already receiving offers from several colleges, including a few schools in the Pacific-12 Conference. Suddenly, he found himself fighting for his life at the age of 17.
“I was just starting to do track and I was in the middle of rugby season,” Clarkson said. “It all started to go downhill from there. I had to stop everything.”
There’s new turf in town, at it belongs to the Washougal Panthers.
As the football players began their first practice of the season Wednesday, head coach Bob Jacobs gave them a little advice.
“As you guys step foot on that field for the first time, I want you to think about how grateful you are to be able to play this game. There are plenty of people who would love to trade places with you,” he told them. “Don’t be satisfied with just wearing that uniform. Wear it with pride by giving your maximum effort every time.”
The Panthers remembered their coach’s words as they marched out on that new playing surface at Fishback Stadium as one family. They growled with excitement. One of them sretched out like he was creating a snow angel. After a few sprints, and agility and balance drills, it was time to throw the football around and have some fun.
“This makes the old turf seem like cement,” said senior quarterback Chase Duey. “Normally after the first practice, everybody has sore feet. Nobody’s complaining right now.”
Dan Macaya ushered in the 10th anniversary of his soccer camp by juggling three of them this summer.
Enthusiastic kids, feedback from parents, use of the Camas School District’s fields, donations by local sponsors and time given by fellow coaches are the lifeblood of his camp. As long as that heart beats strong, Macaya said there will always be a soccer camp to run.
“Over 230 kids attended a soccer camp this summer,” he said. “It’s really crazy when I see all of these kids running around with a soccer ball. I don’t think it could happen in any other community.
“Soccer is the mecca in Camas,” Macaya added. “We had so many great sponsors this year. Without them, we wouldn’t have the fields, the coaches or the prizes.”
The birdies didn’t fall into the holes for Brian Humphreys during the Hogan Cup, but the 15-year-old from Washougal kept his cool and shot even par.
“My ability to recover and make par on hole after hole was nice,” Humphreys said. “Perseverance is key to playing consistently well. You can’t blow up if you have one bad hole. It’s going to happen.”
Humphreys shot a 72 Saturday and Sunday for a combined total of 144 strokes, at the Riverside Golf and Country Club course in Portland, Ore. He finished tied for fifth place out of 48 golfers from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and British Columbia, Canada. Humphreys dropped 14 strokes off his final tally from playing in his first Hogan Cup a year ago.
“I definitely learned a lot from playing here last year,” he said. “I really like this golf course. It’s cool to have such a big regional tournament close to home.”
Thousands of Spartans earned their medals after crossing the finish line Saturday and Sunday, at Washougal Motocross Park.
Mud covered their bodies from head to toe, but you could still see the smiles on their faces.
Waves of athletes entered the course every 15 minutes. No matter how many times Master of Ceremonies Anthony Carson repeated his opening monologue, the passion in his voice never skipped a beat.
“A Spartan Sprint captures a lot of first timers. I love seeing the looks on their faces before they enter the battlefield,” Carson said. “I want to let them know they are not in this alone. There’s a Spartan on your left and a Spartan on your right. That should lessen the fear factor. There are strengths in numbers.”
After winning the Milwaukie Invitational, the Banks Invitational and the Tri-County district championship, there was only one trophy left for the Camas Outlaws to obtain.
The team of 9- and 10-year-old baseball players from Camas and Washougal put the finishing touches on a perfect season when they defeated Sweet Home, Ore., 18-7 for the Junior Baseball Organization’s Midget American state championship July 14, in Corvallis, Ore.
“It’s surreal for us to be 31-0. One of the parents said it was like catching lightning in a bottle. Everything went our way,” said head coach Tad Mairs. “The kids were ecstatic. There were high-fives and big hugs all around. Some of us even had tears in our eyes. It was a very special moment.”
The Outlaws beat Oregon City in the opening round by the score of 14-4. They also defeated Liberty 7-5 and Keizer 12-11. Camas then rallied from five runs down in the first inning to beat Selwood 6-5 in the semifinals.
As the American flag draped across her shoulders, Alexa Efraimson beamed with joy.She couldn’t catch two Ethiopians in the 1,500-meter race July 13, but the 16-year-old from Camas beat athletes from Great Britain, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Japan, Denmark and China to capture a bronze medal for Team USA at the World Youth Track and Field Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine.
“I’m so tired right now, but this is a really proud moment,” Efraimson said. “This is what I had been training for all year long. For it to all pay off in that moment was really special.”
Dan Efraimson flew from Portland to New York to Moscow to Donetsk to see his daughter compete. Watching her run around the track with other world class athletes sent shivers down his spine.
“You realize these are going to be the next Olympians. They are doing things that you don’t get to see on a regular basis. It’s amazing just to experience that and to realize Alexa is a part of that,” Dan Efraimson said. “This was not just Camas and not just the Evergreen Storm; this was representing your entire country. For her to travel to the other side of the world and find the strength to compete on an international level will always be impressive to me.”
Brian Humphreys works hard at golf every day, and the game rewards him in more ways than he could imagine.
“It’s summer. I should be hanging out with friends or chilling out by the pool,” he said. “This is what I love to do. Golf is my friend.”
Humphreys, a 15-year-old who lives in Washougal and attends Camas High School, captured the state championship trophy as a freshman May 22, at Camas Meadows. On June 9, Humphreys shot a personal best round of 65 strokes, at the Centennial Golf Club, in Medford, Ore. On July 9, Humphreys lowered his best score to 63 strokes, at the Albany Golf & Events Center, in Woodburn, Ore.
“After that eagle, birdie, par, eagle, it went from just a good round to an ‘oh my god’ round,” Humphreys said. “Everything just clicked. When you’re playing that well, the fairways are huge and holes seem like buckets.
“The funny thing is, I got second place in both of those tournaments,” he added. “It’s kind of ironic, but when you’re playing that well and somebody beats you, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Sprint through mud, crawl under barbed wire, climb up ropes, jump over fire, and watch out for those gladiators.
These are the trademark obstacles designed to push humans to the limit during the Washington State Spartan Sprints Saturday and Sunday, at the Washougal Motocross Park.
“We want to provide a comprehensive, full-body experience,” said Program Manager Carrie Adams. “We test your speed, agility, endurance, strength, balance and coordination. Pretty much everything an athlete needs to possess in order to be successful.”
Three Camas Little League All-Star baseball teams captured district championship trophies and played at state tournaments in Gig Harbor, Oak Harbor and Vancouver during July.
The Camas 10- and 11-year-old All-Stars finished in first place at the District 4 tournament July 13, at the Harmony Sports Complex. They also became the first team from the league to win four state tournament games.
Camas, Kirkland, North Bothell and Pacific were the final four teams at state in Gig Harbor. Camas defeated Kirkland 6-3 July 20, lost to North Bothell 12-11 July 21, and knocked off defending state champion Federal Way 7-6 July 22.
“I’m proud of the way our kids responded,. They could have just rolled over losing that first game, but they didn’t,” said manager Andrew Ott. “Beating the state champions very was exciting for our boys. We felt like we could beat any team at that point.”
Kevin Coombs played his greatest round of golf on the biggest stage.
The 50-year-old from Camas shot a one under par score of 69 strokes during the first round of the Senior U.S. Open July 11, at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club.
“It was my best round of golf, given the circumstances. I’ve put up lower scores, but to put up a red number in a PGA tournament was an incredible experience,” Coombs said. “It was great to have my parents there, my wife there and my son on the bag. Some of my best friends were also there watching me. It was special for me to be able to share that moment with all of them.”
Coombs started off with a bogey on the 10th hole, but he bounced back with birdies on holes 12 and 14. Coombs saved par on 16 after his tee shot landed in a sand trap. He also made birdie putts on two and four.
More than 20,000 motocross fans watched Ryan Villopoto get the Washougal gorilla off his back Saturday.
The 24-year-old from Poulsbo, Wash., had been trying to win a round on his home state course for as long as he can remember, but injuries, spin outs and flat out bad luck turned his previous homecomings into nightmares.
Villopoto can rest easy for now, knowing he’s the new king of the hill in Washougal.
“Living just three and a half hours up the road from here, I’ve raced Washougal ever since I turned pro,” Villopoto said. “It feels good to be able to check this off the list and get a win for the fans who have supported me all along.”
Something Special sparkled on the softball diamond during the Washington State ASA state championship tournament July 12 to 14, in Yakima.
Camas players Emma Jimenez, Lena Richards, Katie Schroeder and Rio Smith helped this U-16 team win six games on the final day of the tournament.
Something Special defeated the Northwest Lady Sharks 8-7 at 8 a.m., the Vancouver Force 3-2 at 10 a.m., the Northwest Illusion 6-3 at noon, the Northwest Sidewinders 10-2 at 2 p.m. and Elite Fastpitch 8-7 at 4 p.m.
“We had already lost a state championship this year. We were not about to lose another one. This was our time to do something,” Richards said. “What made it a team effort is every single girl on the team did their part to help us win.”
Several Evergreen Storm athletes from Camas and Washougal qualified for the USATF Junior Olympic Track and Field National Championships July 22 to 28, at the North Carolina A&T University, in Greensboro.
A team record 33 medals led the Storm to third place at the regional championship meet Saturday and Sunday, at Chief Self High School, in Seattle.
“Most of these kids had never been in a meet this big before. There were smiles all around,” said club president Scott Slamp. “Once these kids learn how to respond to the high level of competition, they learn what they need to do in order to reach their goals and achieve their dreams.”
There are a total of 156 golfers practicing for the Senior U.S. Open today. Kevin Coombs is thrilled to be one of them.
“As long as I walk away knowing I played great for me, it’s just going to add to how great this week is going to be,” he said.
The general manager of the Green Mountain golf course, in Camas, will be playing in the Senior U.S. Open Championship Thursday, at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. Coombs asked his son, Connor, to caddy for him during the defining moment of his 42-year golf career.
“I am incredibly excited and nervous,” Kevin Coombs said. “It’s not like I practice or play a lot. I just happened to have a good round at the right time.”
Kevin Coombs asked his son, Connor, to caddy for him during the defining moment of his 42-year golf career. The general manager of the Green Mountain golf course, in Camas, will be playing in the Senior U.S. Open Championship Thursday, July 11, at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club.
Several youth soccer players took a break from their Clash at the Border tournament to cheer for the Portland Timbers U-23 team Friday night, at Doc Harris Stadium.
Jose Ribas got the Timbers on the board with a goal in the 73rd minute of the game. Zack Foxhoven delivered a bicycle kicking goal that seemed to freeze time in the final ticks of regulation. The Timbers almost tied the game during stoppage time, but Washington Crossfire held on for a 3-2 victory.
"It was too little, too late. We should have been attacking like that the whole game," Foxhoven said. "I hope these kids saw how hard we played at the end. A game is not over until it's over. There's always a chance to come back. I hope they can learn from our mistakes, and see how important it is to be aggressive from the very beginning."
Alexa Efraimson’s effort is getting noticed by track and field coaches across the country.
The 16-year-old upcoming junior at Camas High School captured first place in the 1,500-meter race at the World Youth Track and Field Trials Wednesday, at Bob Guelker Field, inside Korte Stadium, on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Running in warm and windy conditions, Efraimson crossed the finish line in 4 minutes, 23.12 seconds.
She had to eclipse the qualifying time of 4:36 to be considered for the World Youth Track and Field Championships July 10 to 14, in Donetsk, Ukraine. She was selected to Team USA Wednesday night.
Kids cool off by playing 2-on-2 basketball in the Camas Municipal Pool Friday. With warm temperatures expected throughout the week, the pool has expanded its open swim schedule.
Nathan Milojevic has iron in his veins.
The 19-year-old from Washougal earned 30th place out of 43 competitors in the 18 to 24 age division at the Ironman Coeur d'Alene June 23. He completed a 2.4-mile swim (1:06.25), a 112-mile bike ride (6:38) and a 26.2-mile run (5:42.05) in 13 hours, 39 minutes and 51 seconds.
"In those last couple of miles, when I realized how close I was, I was just stoked even though I had a hard time standing," Milojevic said. "At the end, it was like a dream. It didn't feel like it actually happened, but it did."
Obtaining a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu takes years of mastery. Good thing Mel Locke appreciates the art.
No employment, married and needing money to feed his first child, Kerry Burkheimer designed his first fly rod at his home along the Washougal River.
"This all started on a dinning room table," said the 65-year-old lifelong fishing enthusiast. "I put two kits together with the money my dad loaned me, took them to a shop in Battle Ground and they sold within one week. The guy at the shop told me to build him two more rods, and so I did."
The rest, they say, is history. Burkheimer was building 70 to 80 rods per year from scraps in his home. For extra income, he guided fishing expeditions on the same Idaho and Montana rivers he ventured as a child.
"That one rod saved my life," he would say, time and time again.
With enough shirts saved to stitch a quilt, Dan Macaya looks forward to next decade of soccer camps in Camas.
What started out as just a high school senior project has turned into a career for Macaya and his friends. His camp coaches are professional soccer players, college soccer players, local high school graduates and youth soccer coaches.
"The [senior] project was titled, 'the positive effect of role models on children,'" Macaya said. "I've always liked to work with kids either on the soccer field or in the classroom. A soccer camp seemed so natural."
Macaya conducted a two-day camp for a Camas-Washougal Soccer Club team in that first year. He came back home from Western Washington University the next summer and did another camp for about 20 kids. By the third year, Macaya starting donating money from the camps back to the Camas School District.
No matter how many events and venues Alexa Efraimson competes in, the thrill of stepping up to the starting line never fades.
"It's one of the reasons I love racing," said the 16-year-old from Camas. "I just get that feeling of excitement, and I know I'm ready to race."
When she crosses the finish line, the thrill comes right back. It could be finishing in first place, attaining a new personal best time or just gaining points for her team. Efraimson relishes it all. She uses each race as a stepping stone toward the next big challenge.
"I think back to all the training I've done," Efraimson said. "All of it was worth it for that one moment."
Shredding up dirt tracks on a motorcycle has been a lifetime hobby for Alex Torres.
While his friends are relaxing for the summer, Torres tells them he has a race to prepare for. A big one.
The 15-year-old from Camas is going to compete in the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships, which take place July 28 to Aug. 3, in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
"I have the opportunity to go up against the fastest people in the country. It's going to be an exciting road trip," Torres said. "There are people who think you just sit on a bike and let the bike do all the work. It takes so much endurance and physicality. You don't understand it unless you experience a race, and do what all of us riders do out there."
You can’t start a fire without a spark.
New Washougal High School volleyball coach Mallorie Thompson hopes her passion for the game can ignite the program after several losing seasons.
"I love that fire, intensity and excitement of the game," she said. "You can't find it in any other sport."
Emily Thomas enjoys life on the run.
The 22-year-old Camas High School and Gonzaga University graduate is just hitting her stride. Next, she's off to Regis University, in Denver, to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
"It's just one more year after my master's," she said. "Might as well go for it all and become a doctor by the time I'm 25. Then I can really start my life."
Ever since she was a freshman at Portland’s Wilson High School, Rachel Webb dreamed of coaching a high school girls basketball team.
She recalls an encounter with a young girl struggling to shoot the ball into the basket as a moment that changed her life.
"She couldn't even hit the backboard," Webb said. "But after I gave her just a few pointers, she started making them. Swish, swish, swish. I got goosebumps."
Taylor Williams got the call he had been waiting for his whole life Friday.
The Milwaukee Brewers selected the 21-year-old Camas pitcher in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Williams was the 122nd pick overall.
"It's amazing and surreal," said the 2010 Camas High School graduate. "Ever since I started playing baseball, this has been a dream and a goal in my life.
"I've worked so hard for this moment," Williams added. "I thank my family and friends for being there with me every step of the way. I thank the community of Camas, as a whole. Every coach and every teammate I've had growing up have been a factor in me getting drafted."
The Camas High School softball team will not settle on being second best.
"As painful as it was to be so close to winning the state tournament, there's nothing to be ashamed about getting this," said head coach Ken Nidick to the girls as he held up the second place trophy at the award's banquet. "There are 50 other teams in the state who would have given their left arm to be in our position. We've been to the state tournament three times in the last five years. If you continue to work hard, you're going to raise that state championship trophy for Camas again."