Emma Jenkins, Alissa Pudlitzke and Emily Wilson finished seconds apart. Maddie Woodson, Kaylee Merritt and Brooke Roy did the same.
The strong pact between these Papermakers helped the Camas High School girls cross country team become state champions for the third time Saturday, at Sun Willows Golf Course, in Pasco. Camas defeated Issaquah for the top prize by 27 points.
“We knew there was going to be big competition, and we really pushed through it and accomplished our goal,” Woodson said.
Jenkins took fourth place with a time of 18 minutes, 5 seconds. Pudlitzke followed in fifth place, in 18:08, and Wilson claimed 11th place, in 18:23. Woodson and Merritt pushed each other to the finish line in 35th and 36th place with a time of 19:13. Roy was only three seconds behind them in 38th place. Gabrielle Postma rounded out the effort in 21:02.
“It’s senior year. Today was all or nothing,” said Pudlitzke, who helped the Papermakers win state titles in 2011 and 2012 and place second in 2013. “I feel honored to be a part of such a special team, where everybody pushes each other.”
The Camas boys cross country team earned sixth place at state. Said Guermali grabbed 10th place with a time of 15:39. Yacine Guermali snagged 26th place in 16:02. Adam Ryan (16:26), Nicholas Carter (16:34), Dustin Zimmerly (17:01), David Connell (17:08) and Taryk Boyd (17:29) left it all on the course.
“This was great way to cap things off in a Camas uniform,” Said Guermali said, leaving advice for the younger Papermakers. “Always stay grounded, keep pushing hard and never give up. The seniors paved the way. It’s their turn to keep striving and improving.”
Pudlitzke had the same advice for the Camas girls. Jenkins, Wilson, Merritt, Roy and Postma are all freshmen.
“This was just the first year for them, and they accomplished so much,” Pudlitzke said. “They are going to do some big things in the future. I can’t wait to see it.”
The season is not over yet for the Camas cross country teams. Both will enter the Nike Cross Northwest Regional Saturday, at Eagle Island State Park, in Boise. The top two teams and five individuals advance to the Nike Cross National Championship Saturday, Dec. 6, on the Glendoveer Golf Course, in Portland, Ore.
“This is always our favorite time of the year, to see how much we’re made of,” Pudlitzke said. “We run for each other. It’s an individual sport, but at the end of the day, we’re all going through that pain for each other.”