Drenched and chilled to the bone, the Camas High School track and field teams found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on St. Patrick’s Day.
Despite the onslaught of wind, rain and hail, several top-three finishes propelled the Papermakers to a sweep over Kelso Thursday at Cardon Field behind the high school. The Camas boys beat the Hilanders 87-58 and the girls were victorious 80.33-69.67.
“Today is a good starting block. We can only keep building and getting better from here,” said senior Megan Kelley. “We have a really good set of individuals and a lot of fun aspects to add to the collection. It’s a fun team, and a fun family.”
Kelley clinched four firsts Thursday. She started off by winning the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 9 inches. She also left seven Kelso runners in the dust in the 400-meter dash, and crossed the finish line first with a time of 59.06. After snatching first in the 200 (27.12 seconds), Kelley, Sara Slayton, Camille Parsons and Ciara Klein won the 1,600 relay in 4:19.21.
“The awesome thing about track is there are no breaks. Rain or shine, you keep going,” Kelley said. “I’ve been waiting for this season to start since the beginning of school. It’s like a lifestyle. I was depressed without it.”
A steady rainfall turned into hail just as Julian Samuels, Josh Golden and Jared Borja competed in the 100-meter dash. Ice pelted the three Papermakers as they ran for the finish line as fast as they could. Samuels won with a time of 11.72 seconds, followed by Golden (12.12) and Borja (12.24).
“That 100 was crazy,” Samuels said. “In the blocks, I was shaking because I was so cold. We come running out of the gate, and there was nothing but hail coming down. And then once we finished, the sun was shining.”
Samuels had little time to rest before anchoring the Camas 400 relay team to victory. Jared Smith kicked off the first leg, before the baton was passed swiftly to Golden and Jacob Kaler. Samuels passed the Kelso runner on the final leg to lead the Papermakers to first place with a time of 46.08 seconds.
“Jared, Josh and Jacob gave me a good head start, I just ran as fast as I could with my arms and legs pumping,” Samuels said. “Track is a true test of your ability and how hard you are willing to work. It’s athlete against athlete, and whoever is the fastest, strongest and most conditioned is going to win. If you don’t work hard in track, you’re not going to go anywhere.”
Golden (24.49) and Samuels (24.89) capped off their memorable performances by placing first and second in the 200. Andrew Kaler earned first in the 1,600 (4:40.75) and the 3,200 (10:16.5). Tucker Boyd took first in the 800 (2:05.81) and second in the 1,600 (4:46.52). Evan Klein (52.68), Kyle Schrader (52.81) and Smith (54.72) went 1-2-3 in the 400. Chip Sudbeck snatched first in the shotput (43-2) and second in the discus (134-4). Devin Wickersham finished first on the high jump (5-6) and Kelly Wourms claimed first on the pole vault (11-0).
Megan Napier (5:35.93), Alex Dombek (5:38.81) and Jackie Premo (5:45.96) notched first, second and third in the 1,600. Parsons (11:57.66) and Premo (12:06.78) placed first and second in the 3,200. Slayton snatched first in the 110 hurdles (16:34) and second in the 300 hurdles (49.65). Amber Corbett earned first in the shotput (29-9) and second in the discus (91-8). Lauren Neff netted first in the high jump (5-2) and second in the triple jump (32-1). Rachel Martschinske clinched first in the discus (95-1).
Camas hosts Prairie today, and competes with Washougal at the Battle Ground Invitational Saturday.