Dreams came true for the Camas runners at the district meet.
The Papermaker boys and girls both held up the championship trophy Thursday, at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground.
It all started with a four-star performance by Andrew Kaler, Tucker Boyd, Alex Pien and Andrew Duffy in the boys race.
“On any given day, either one of us can compete,” Pien said. “It’s all about going out there and running for something more than just yourself.”
“The wolf draws strength from the pack, and the pack draws strength from the wolf,” Duffy said. “That’s how we run.”
With Boyd breathing down his neck, Kaler won his second district race. Both boys crossed the finish line at 15 minutes, 3 seconds. Pien followed third (15:19), Duffy finished fourth (15:34) and John Doyle snatched seventh (15:49).
“It was just sort of a thing that happened,” Boyd said of the top-four finish. “We were all pumped up for this race, did our best and almost swept the whole meet.”
A sweep is 15 points. The Camas boys were nearly there at 17, which was low enough to win the seven-team meet. Columbia River was a distant second place with 43 points.
“It’s way better to win with your teammates than just by yourself,” Kaler said. “Our boys and girls both won big today. The bus ride home is going to be a lot of fun.”
The Papermaker girls outdueled Prairie 20-46 for the district title. Freshman Alexa Efraimson created a 49-second gap, and won with a time of 16:53.
“One of the things I keep in mind, not matter how far ahead I am, is to keep pushing myself,” Efraimson said. “The ultimate goal today was to win as a team.”
Austen Reiter earned second in 17:42. Megan Napier notched fourth (17:56), Alissa Pudlitzke placed sixth (18:09) and Lindsay Wourms snagged seventh (18:14).
“We knew if we all ran our best today, we would win,” Napier said. “We try to practice running as a group every day. Encouraging each other as a team is very important.”
Put another feather in the cap for the Camas girls. Before this race, they were ranked second in the state and 10th in the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
The Papermakers are not done weaving dreams yet. The Westside Classic is Saturday, at American Lake in Tacoma. The state championships are Nov. 5, on the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
“It gets more and more exciting as the days and the races go on,” Reiter said. “Our main goals are to continue running as a group, and all of us having a good race on the same day. It we do those two things, we will be successful.”