The Camas High School track and field athletes had one more lap left in them.
It was the most important 400-meter dash after the Papermakers found out they had defeated 67 high schools from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Canada to win the Oregon Relays Friday and Saturday, at Hayward Field in Eugene.
“It was awesome to be able to run with everybody and share that victory lap with the team,” said senior hurdler and sprinter Jordan Davis. “You train hard together, you compete hard together and you win hard together.”
Davis clinched first place in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.65 seconds. She also took third place in the 100 hurdles (14.94), and helped Camas gain points in the girls 800 and 1,600 relay races.
“You have to know the race inside and out, so that you can predict how many steps you need to take before the next hurdle,” Davis said. “Don’t be lazy with your legs. Attack every hurdle, slam your leg down, explode off it and carry your momentum forward.”
Adam Ryan, Cade Greseth, Said Guermali and Dustin Zimmerly won the boys 3,200 relay with a new school record time of 8:00.2. Ryan and Greseth pushed the Papermakers into second place. Guermali grabbed the lead on the final lap of the third leg. Zimmerly maintained the lead all the way through the finish line.
Ryan, Guermali and Zimmerly already have a strong connection through cross country. They have convinced Greseth to join the team next fall.
“Cross country builds endurance and strength in your legs,” Ryan said. “Having both seasons together makes our bond stronger.”
“It’s more like we’re a brotherhood instead of just teammates,” Zimmerly added.
Those four boys will never forget the experience.
“There’s no other meet where you get to run on a college track and compete at the same time as college athletes,” Greseth said. “It’s something we’ll never forget.”
Nikki Corbett earned first place in the discus with a toss of 124-3. She also notched second place in the shot put with a throw of 37-10.
“It wasn’t my best throw, but I’m glad that I was able to finish first as a senior,” Corbett said. “The team winning is what I will remember most. I’m glad I was able to contribute to our final team score.”
Emma Jenkins finished in first place in the freshman 3,000 with a new meet record time of 10:11.13. The Oregon Relays were another eye-opening experience for Jenkins and fellow freshmen Emily Wilson, Kaylee Merritt, Gabrielle Postma and Brooke Roy.
“It was cool just to be at Hayward Field. Not just watching, but competing,” Jenkins said. “It gets all of us excited to see what the future holds.”
Camas had several top finishes. Ryan Gunther grabbed second place in the 110 hurdles (14.767) and fourth place in the 300 hurdles (40.13). Cole Zarcone finished fourth place in the 200 dash (23.09).Gunther, Zarcone, Juliyen Davis, David Monarrez, Guermali, Ryan and Zimmerly helped the Papermakers gain points in the boys 400, 800 and 1,600 relay races.
Caleigh Lofstead claimed second place in the pole vault with a personal best leap of 12-9.5. Tamaki Murata, Rachel Gray, Cambryn Gulzow, Jordan Davis and Wilson helped Camas earn points in the girls 800, 1,600 and sprint medley relay races.
Maddie Woodson, Wilson, Jenkins and Alissa Pudlitzke placed second in the girls distance medley relay (12:17.23). Wilson, Postma, Jenkins and Woodson took third in the girls 3,200 relay (9:51.20). Taryk Boyd, Ryan, Zimmerly and Guermali snagged sixth place in the boys distance medley relay (10:30.99).
Haleigh Sudbeck finished fifth in the girls hammer with a personal best throw of 144-6. Morgan Kielty (86-3) and Sophie Eagle (84-10) earned sixth and seventh place. Pudlitke earned eighth place in the girls 1,500 (4:41.35). Yacine Guermali notched ninth place in the boys 3,000 (8:46.48).
Head girls coach Alisa Wise hopes winning the Oregon Relays will serve as a springboard for the district and state meets.
“It’s an opportunity for them to experience something bigger than state. If and when they get there, they should already be prepared for that competitive environment,” Wise said. “These kids not only love this sport, but they love each other. It’s nice to see them get rewarded for all their hard work and support for their teammates.”
Head boys coach Rod Raunig said these Papermakers are just scratching the surface of their potential. Together, they are determined to discover their full capabilities.
“A significant portion of this group came out of that meet with even more confidence,” Raunig said. “That will transfer into harder work, which will translate into lower times and higher distances. We’re nowhere near peaking yet.”
Camas hosts Evergreen and Heritage today, at Cardon Field. Events start at 3:30 p.m.
The Papermakers head to the McMinnville Invitational Friday.