Local runners hold their own at Pre-Nationals

Camas and Washougal excel in talented fields

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Competing against some of the best high school and middle school cross country teams in the western United States gave the Camas and Washougal squads something to shoot for Saturday, at Portland Meadows.

Alissa Pudlitzke, Emma Jenkins, Kaylee Merritt, Maddie Woodson and Emily Wilson led the Papermaker girls to eighth place in the Jim Danner Championship. Pudlitzke completed the 5,000-meter obstacle course in 18th place with a time of 18 minutes, 35.46 seconds. Jenkins took 21st place (18:37.76), Merritt earned 49th place (19:17.99), Woodson grabbed 75th place (19:44.54) and Wilson snagged 81st place (19:51.71).

Pudlitzke, a senior, and Woodson, a junior, had competed at this meet before. It was the first time for freshmen Jenkins, Merritt and Wilson.

“We’re a young team, working our way up there, and improving every race,” Pudlitzke said. “This is just a small step to the bigger season we are going to have.”

The Washougal boys middle school squad snagged second place out of 12 teams. Gabriel Dinnel grabbed sixth place in the 3,000-meter race with a time of 10:37.52. Troy Prince-Butterfield earned eighth place (10:53.35), Koy Chaston took 15th place (11:71.11), Andres Magana finished in 24th place (11:29.78), Ian Palmer claimed 35th place (11:50.75) and Andrew McElhaney grabbed 50th place (12:12.34).

The Washougal girls middle school team rose to third place in a field of 17. Allison Warta notched 19th place (11:55.78) and Amelia Pullen placed 35th (12:21.66).

Courtney Owens earned fourth place for the Panther girls in the Division 2 race. She also dropped her sophomore school record time to 20:15.91. Hannah Lintala finished in 24th place with a time of 21:30.21. Aiden Pullen placed 36th for the Washougal boys in the Division 3 race (17:25.62).

Camas had more success in the junior varsity races. Madison Child won the freshmen/sophomore event with a time of 21:16.27. Lauren Johnston snagged seventh place (21:36.75). Miranda Hollar clinched fifth place in the junior/senior race (21:16.45) and Alexa Jones followed in sixth place (21:31.62).