Camas track teams shine in Battle Ground

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Solar power energized the Papermaker track and field athletes Saturday, at the Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground.

“After snow on Thursday cancelled our meet, it’s nice all that melted away and we got this great sunshiny day,” said senior Zack Marshall. “When the sun is shining down on you, it’s a blessing. You know everyone is going to do a little bit better.”

Marshall earned Male Athlete of the Meet after clinching first place in all four of his events. His efforts helped the Camas boys rise above rivals Union, Skyview and 14 other schools to bring home the team trophy.

“Whenever we beat Union, it’s always something to smile upon,” Marshall said. “It was great hearing all the first places from Camas. Not only were we winning and competing, but we were also setting personal records and breaking meet records. This was just a great start to our year.”

Head boys coach Rod Raunig admitted to getting caught up in all the excitement. Like many of the Papermakers, he was keeping track of the points between events and trying to remain focused.

“Winning was actually very unexpected, which makes it even more special,” Raunig said. “This early in the season, it is very hard to tell just how well you stack up across the events. I think this shows that we are a very deep and talented team.”

The Camas girls also beat Skyview for second place behind Union in the team standings. Freshman Alexa Efraimson shattered the meet and school record in the 800-meter run, when she won the event with a time of 2 minutes, 17.52 seconds.

“I’ve been sick all week, and was unable to do any hard work outs. Being able to break that record proved to me that I could push through those symptoms and still get a good time,” Efraimson said. “I was so happy when I crossed that finish line. I knew I made one of my goals.”

Efraimson also anchored Kimi Knight, Austen Reiter and Camille Parsons to victory in the 1,600 relay. Reiter ran a fantastic second leg of the race. The senior caught up to the leaders on the final turn, passed them on the homestretch and handed the baton to Parsons. With a Union runner breathing down her neck, Efraimson kicked it up a notch on the final lap to help Camas win with a time of 4:09.

“That just sort of finished things off better than I could have ever imagined,” Efraimson said. “Our team is really special. I know we’re going to go a long ways.”

Marshall was thrilled with how his day started and ended. He came out of the gate like a house on fire and won the 100 dash in 11.15 seconds.

“That win just woke me up and got me ready for the day,” he said.

Kyle Schrader, Daniel Ryan, John Payne and Marshall finished first in the 400 relay (44.16). Marshall then dusted off the competition in the 200 (22.75). Schrader, Marshall, Jared Smith and Zach Eagle locked up first place at the meet for the Papermakers by winning the 1,600 relay (3:36.15).

“It was all of us pulling together to get that big win,” Marshall said. “A lot of the races had close finishes. It reminds me of how tense these invites are and how fun they are.”

After taking a year off to focus on football, Marshall is back on the track with a vengeance. Raunig said he deserved to be named Male Athlete of the Meet.

“Zack is just as important as a person as he is an athlete,” Raunig said. “He leads with his work ethic, focus, attitude and toughness every day. Not just at these meets, but every day in practice.”

Scott Feather captured second place for the Camas boys in the discus (144 feet, 1 inch) and Triton Pitassi took third in the shot put (47-11.25). Tucker Boyd grabbed third in the 1,600 (4:33.57) and the 800 (2:02.25). Andrew Duffy (9:54.13) and Andrew Kaler (9:55.29) finished third and fourth in the 3,200. Josh Ryan landed fourth in the long jump (20-3), Devin Wickersham reached fourth in the high jump (5-10), Blaine Behart soared to fourth in the pole vault (12 feet) and Payne placed fourth in the triple jump (39-10.5).

Knight clinched first for the Papermaker girls in the 100 hurdles (16.44) and third in the 300 hurdles (48.32). Lauren Neff netted first in the high jump (5-2). Parsons placed second in the 1,600 (5:16.35). Reiter earned third in the 1,600 (5:16.76) and the 800 (2:22.61). Paige Jackson grabbed second in the pole vault (8 feet). Amber Corbett was third in the shot put (34-0.75), and Nicole Corbett followed in fifth (32-11.5). Tamaki Murata took third in the 100 hurdles (17.12) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (49.19). Savanna Joyce finished fifth in 400 (1:02.81) and long jump (15-6.25).