Alissa Pudlitzke has been chasing Alexis Fuller for years.
“It’s always fun to run with her because I know we are going to push each other,” Pudlitzke said.
On Oct. 7, the Camas High School senior found the perfect opportunity to pass her friendly rival during the first mile at Pacific Park and never looked back.
“There was a slight incline that I was able to take advantage of,” Pudlitzke said. “It helps that we are from Camas, and we run up hills every single day.”
Pudlitzke won the race in 18 minutes, 25 seconds. Fuller finished 18 seconds behind, followed closely by Camas freshman Emma Jenkins at 18:50.
“Emma is having a great season,” Pudlitzke said. “Not only am I excited to see what she accomplishes in the weeks ahead, but also in the years to come.”
The Camas girls cross country team defeated Union 25-33 and Mountain View 18-25 in the double dual meet. Savannah Craig grabbed fourth place for Mountain View (19:16), Maddie Woodson earned fifth for Camas (19:29), Allie Connell (19:37) and Cassie McKinney (19:51) snagged sixth and seventh place for Union. Camas runners Kaylee Merritt (19:53), Emily Wilson (20:12), Brooke Roy (20:27), Alexa Jones (20:51) and Gabrielle Postma (21:01) rounded out the top 12.
Pudlitzke said this was a good checkpoint for her and the Papermakers. She is excited for districts Oct. 23 at Lewisville Park, the Westside Classic Nov. 1 in Tacoma, and state Nov. 8 in Pasco.
“You have to celebrate the little things, but you also have to look forward to the big goals,” Pudlitzke said. “That’s top three at state for me, and a state team championship. I believe we can do it. This is a great group of girls and they are motivated.”
Yacine and Said Guermali had a day to remember for the Papermakers. They were the first ones to cross the finish line in 16:45. Yacine was just a few steps ahead of his older brother.
“When it was just us, it was pretty fun,” Yacine said.
“When we saw that our opponents were getting tired, we stepped up the tempo a little bit,” Said added. “Just stick together. That was kind of the strategy for the day.”
The Camas boys beat Mountain View 26-29 and finished in a 28-28 tie with Union. Nicholas Carter notched seventh place (17:06), Adam Ryan took 13th place (17:48) and Taryk Boyd snagged 16th place (18:09). Union’s AJ England (17:50) was a bit faster than Camas’ Dustin Zimmerly (18:11), which awarded the Titans the tiebreaker.
“Take every meet one-by-one. We have some big goals for the future,” Said Guermali said. “Our goal is to get better every week so we can be ready at the right time, at the end of the season.”