CHS track teams sweep John Ingram Twilight

A night to remember

Alexa Efraimson pushed her teammates around the track.

Grayson Anderson enjoyed sprinting and jumping under the lights.

It added up to a clean sweep for the Papermakers at the John Ingram Twilight track and field meet Friday, at Columbia River High School.

“Camas has been coming to the Twilight for years. At least the last 15,” said head boys coach Rod Raunig. “For the last four years, we’ve done really well here. It almost feels like a home meet.”

“Bottom line, they just competed well,” added head girls coach Alisa Wise. “A lot of them managed their events well, and that’s what it takes in this kind of weather. You always have to be prepared.”

It all started with a nice run around the track by Efraimson and Alissa Pudlitzke. Efraimson took the lead on several laps, but she encouraged Pudlitzke to stick by her side.

“I said, ‘Come on Alissa, this is your race. This is your win,’” Efraimson said. “It really makes us closer, and develops both of us as runners.”

Pudlitzke kicked it into overdrive on the last lap and set a new personal best time by 16 seconds. She won the race in 10 minutes, 54.74 seconds. Efraimson followed her in with a time of 10:55.04.

“This hurts so bad, but if I wanted to break 11 minutes, I knew I had to push it at the end,” Pudlitzke said. “I had already gone 3,100 meters. I couldn’t give up on the last 100.”

Pudlitzke shared her victory with Efraimson.

“When she’s there, I know she’s going to help me out as much as she can,” Pudlitzke said. “It’s great to have her as a teammate and a best friend.”

Efraimson saved her energy for the final events of the evening. She won the 800 in 2:15.46. She also anchored Kimi Knight, Camille Parsons and McKenzie Good to victory in the 1,600 relay (4:10.58).

“I’ll just remember how we were able to do this as a team, work together and get that trophy,” Efraimson said. “This meet is just another step in becoming stronger as a team and as individuals. It also allows us to prepare for the bigger meets ahead.”

Anderson earned the Male Athlete of the Meet award. He finished first in the 100 (11.16) and the 200 (22.91). Bryan Kelly, Cole Zarcone, Jorden Payne and Anderson earned second place in the 400 relay (44.67). Anderson also grabbed second on the high jump (6 feet).

“I’m glad we came here as a team, won some medals, put points on the board and won the meet,” Anderson said. “After I won the 100 and the 200, I was absolutely amazed by my accomplishments. It was a good day.”

Anderson had a lot of things to remember about this meet.

“I loved running under the lights,” he said. “Hands down, it’s best experience in track and field.

“And being able to compete with your friends. After you finish a race, you look to the guy next to you and you say, ‘good job.’”

Josh Ryan settled for second place in the long jump (20-11.25), but he redeemed himself with a first place finish on the triple jump (39-9.5).

“After all those long jumps and triple jumps, it feels good to be able to end the day in first place,” Ryan said. “It feels good to be able to win the meet. Columbia River got tougher, and Skyview is always a challenge, but all of our hard work paid off in the end.”

Andrew Kaler earned first place in the 3,200 (9:44.62). The lead changed several times throughout the race, but Kaler refused to quit.

“I got to give credit to [Andrew] Duffy. He really pushed me,” Kaler said. “It’s so awesome to be able to run and train with the guys who have been with you for your whole high school career. These are some unforgettable experiences we are having together.”

Blaine Behrent rose to first place on the pole vault (13 feet). Tucker Boyd took second place in the 1,600 (4:31.12). Dustin Zimmerly (2:05.09), Matthew Sanchez (2:05.64) and Jackson Cutler (2:07.83) snagged second, third and fourth place in the 800. Zarcone, Culter, Michael Johnson and Josh Golden grabbed second in the 1,600 relay (3:35.49). Chris Durrett took third in the shot put (47-6).

Jordan Davis placed second in the 100 hurdles (16.36) and the 300 hurdles (48.41). Nikki Corbett clinched second in the discus (101-5) and third in the shot put (34-1). Lauren Neff notched second in the high jump (5 feet) and Takami Murata earned second on the triple jump (21-1.5). Good gained second in the 400 (1:01.89). McKenna Jackson claimed second in the javelin (116-11) and Amber Corbett followed in third (105-2).

Camas goes to Union for a league dual meet today. Events begin at 3:30 p.m.

The Papermakers are then on their way to the Oregon Relays this weekend, at Autzen Stadium, in Eugene.

“Knowing that all of my idols have competed there is really inspiring,” Anderson said. “It makes me think I can run and jump at that level if I continue to work hard, stay passionate and be determined.

“I think this is going to be a test for the Camas track and field team. I know I’m not the only one looking forward to this meet.”