Competition heated up for the Camas High School track and field athletes at the district meet Wednesday and Thursday, at McKenzie Stadium. So did the weather.
Riley Hein started the meet off right for the Papermakers by winning the 3,200-meter run in 9 minutes, 47.64 seconds. The CHS senior came out strong in the first three laps and built a solid lead before the 90-degree temperature sapped his energy. Hein settled into a comfortable pace and coasted to the finish line, unchallenged.
“I felt a sense of relief. I just had to relax and keep my legs moving,” he said. “It still seemed like a long last lap.”
Hein thanked his teammates for pushing him to his first district title.
“I’ve had so much fun running with these guys every day,” he said. “It’s a great way to end the day by working hard, having fun with your teammates and going to bed tired.”
Alissa Pudlitzke placed first in the girls 3,200 for Camas with a time of 11:21.46. Marley LeFore followed in third place with a time of 11:43.01.
“I love racing with Marley,” Pudlitzke said. “She’s a great competitor and brings such a positive influence. I’m glad we get to share the journey together.”
“Probably the reason I made it as a freshman is because she pushes me so hard,” LeFore said of Pudlitzke.
Jordan Davis grabbed first place in the 300 hurdles and set a new school record time of 44.69 seconds. Tamaki Murata took third place (46.61) to also qualify for bi-districts.
“Not only is she my best friend, she’s also my competition,” Davis said of Murata. “We push each other. It’s going to be awesome to race together at regionals.”
Davis (15.23) and Murata (15.91) finished first and third again in the 100 hurdles.
“One day, I would like to be up there with Jordan. She pushes me so much,” Murata said. “What Jordan and my coaches tell me is to think about nothing. Forget the mistake and take on the next hurdle. Just keep going.”
Ryan Gunther (41.08) and Adam Peterson (42.42) pushed each other to the finish line in the 300 hurdles. Gunther also grabbed first place in the 100 hurdles (15.23).
“To repeat as district champion as a junior is a great accomplishment,” Gunther said. “Hopefully, I can win it again as a senior. To three-peat would be awesome.”
Gunther helped the Papermakers earn second place in the 400 relay and the 1,600 relay. Hunter Brittain, Josh Ryan, Gunther and Cole Zarcone finished the 400 relay with a school record time of 42.99 seconds.
“This is a dream come true. It’s been our goal all year,” Zarcone said. “Being a part of a school record is pretty special. It doesn’t happen every day. We are just going to keep working hard every day to make it better.”
Alexa Efraimson earned first place in the 800 (2:07.96) and the 1,600 (4:54.72). Pudlitzke placed third in the 1,600 (5:10.07) to go along with her victory in the 3,200.
“The whole team just performed amazing,” Efraimson said. “Riley, Alissa and Marley ran so well, and they did it during the hottest part of the day. If they could do what they did in the heat, we could do it in the cooler temperatures.”
Caleigh Lofstead clinched first place in the pole vault by increasing her school record mark to 11-9.
“It’s cool being district champion two years in a row,” Lofstead said. “Now that I cleared 11-9, I know I can go higher. There’s no way I can stop now. I got to keep working hard. This is the time of the season for it all to pay off.”
Nikki Corbett notched second place in the discus (124-7) and third place in the shot put (37-2). Savanna Joyce scored second place in the long jump (16-4.75).
Murata, Joyce, Rachel Gray and Davis earned second place in the 800 relay (1:45.96). Joyce, Davis, Meghan Finley and Efraimson finished second in the 1,600 relay (4:03.71).
Zarcone (11.21) and Josh Ryan (11.36) claimed second and third place in the 200. Adam Ryan took third in the 400 (51.14) and Dustin Zimmerly snagged third in the 800 (1:57.73). Adam Ryan, Matthew Sanchez, Zimmerly and Gunther grabbed second place in the 1,600 relay (3:28.03).