Camas runners set big goals for state

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The Camas girls cross country team captured the 4A regional championship Saturday, on the American Lake golf course. Alexa Efraimson grabbed the individual crown with a time of 17:52.

The Camas High School cross country teams are on their way to repeating and rewriting history.

The Papermaker girls captured the 4A regional championship trophy Saturday, on the American Lake golf course in Tacoma.

Alexa Efraimson defeated defending 4A state champion Jordan McPhee of Mount Rainier by 33 seconds. Efraimson crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. What thrilled the sophomore more than her individual win was seeing her teammates coming in one after the other in the top 12.

“It just goes to show how determined we are as a team,” Efraimson said. “It’s not just one or two runners doing well, it’s everybody performing to the best of their ability on the same day. That just makes it more meaningful.”

Alissa Pudlitzke followed Efraimson and McPhee in third place with a time of 18:36. Maddie Woodson earned seventh place (18:46), Megan Napier notched 10th (19 minutes) and Camille Parsons took 12th (19:13). These top performances helped the No. 1 ranked Papermakers defeat No. 4 Tahoma and No. 2 Bellermine Prep for the team title.

“Getting five girls in the top 12 at the 4A region is unheard of. I don’t think that has ever happened in Clark County before,” said head coach Mike Hickey. “Last year, we had two great leaders in Austen Reiter and Lindsay Wourms. This year, the team is led by the whole. It’s neat to see all the young girls buying into this, always having smiles on their faces and happy about performing well. They feel comfortable with where they’re at right now, and I’m just excited for them.”

The Camas boys took third place in the regional race. Andrew Duffy earned 11th (16:10), Tucker Boyd snagged 16th (16:19), Andrew Kaler took 20th (16:25), Zach Hein finished 40th (16:52) and Taryk Boyd notched 51st (17:07).

Both teams will represent Camas at the 4A state championship meet Saturday, on the Sun Willows golf course in Pasco. The girls race at 1 p.m., followed by the boys at 2:30 p.m.

“I think it’s going to be the best day in Camas High School history,” Duffy said. “Don’t listen to the pain. Don’t let anything stop you from accomplishing your dream.”