The Camas High School girls cross country runners turned it up a notch at the Nike Pre-Nationals Saturday, on the Portland Meadows race track.
Freshman Alexa Efraimson amazed her coaches and teammates again by snatching third out of 98 competitors in the Jim Danner Championship. She completed the 5,000-meter course with a personal best time of 17 minutes, 58.2 seconds.
“To know I’m just a freshman is exciting, but I still have a lot to learn and a lot to work for,” Efraimson said. “Every race and every practice, I want to get better.”
Hearing Efraimson say those words makes Camas girls coach Chris Gragg smile.
“It’s unique to have a freshman come in with such an incredible level of focus and determination,” he said. “Alexa is very talented, but she is also very humble. Between her focus, her drive, talent and humility, you have the makings of a very special runner. The sky’s the limit for her.”
Efraimson is learning a lot from senior captains Austen Reiter and Lindsay Wourms, and juniors Megan Napier, Camille Parsons and Kimi Knight. She is also good friends with fellow freshman runner Alissa Pudlitzke.
“I love running here so much because of the atmosphere,” Efraimson said. “We are so close as friends and as teammates.”
Reiter earned 32nd in the Danner race, with a time of 19:33.22. Napier followed in 37th (19:45.94), Pudlitzke placed 41st (19:50.92), Wourms grabbed 59th (20:22.5) and Parsons notched 60th (20:23.7). Andrew Doyle finished ninth in the boys Division 2 race (17:08.8). Knight took 33rd in the girls Division 2 race (21:53.83).
The Camas boys and girls teams both beat Prairie Sept. 20, at Louisville Park in Battle Ground. Tucker Boyd, Alex Pien and Andrew Duffy finished in the top three of the boys race. Efraimson won the girls race, and Napier notched third place.
The Papermakers are entering the Sunfair Invitational Saturday, in Yakima.