Going the distance

Camas track and field athletes blossom at Battle Ground invitational

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After an exhilarating day of hurdling and handing off the baton, Camas High School seniors Jordan Davis and Ryan Gunther gained Athlete of the Meet awards at the Tiger Invitational Saturday, in Battle Ground.

The Papermaker girls track and field team defeated 16 other schools for the first place trophy. The Camas boys rose to second place behind Skyview.

“It’s cool seeing the people I’ve worked hard with for the past four years blossom into better athletes every single day,” Davis said. “We’re all on this journey together.”

Gunther set new meet records in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles with times of 14.73 and 40.10 seconds. He helped Isaiah Ephraim, David Monarrez and Cole Zarcone win the 400 relay (43.91). Gunther also anchored Adam Ryan, Said Guermali and Dustin Zimmerly to victory in the 1,600 relay (3:32.50).

“I’ve won races before, but I’ve never been Athlete of the Meet,” he said. “Those times are a validation for all of my hard work. I was close to those meet records last year. That was all of the motivation I needed.”

Davis soared to victory in the 100 hurdles with a meet record time of 14.86 seconds. She also won the 300 hurdles in 45.79 seconds. Tamaki Murata, Karsyn Quade, Rachel Gray and Davis earned second place in the 400 relay (51.19). Gray, Emily Wilson, Meghan Finley and Davis grabbed second place in the 1,600 relay (4:12.02).

“I put everything out there and worked as hard as I possibly could to achieve that goal,” Davis said of becoming Athlete of the Meet. “It’s opened my eyes quite a bit to what I am capable of. I’m starting the season off really well, and hoping to end it even better.”

Members of the Camas cross country teams got the meet started off on the right foot. Taryk Boyd, Ryan, Zimmerly and Guermali grabbed first place in the boys distance medley relay with a meet record time of 10:45.20. Maddie Woodson, Wilson, Emma Jenkins and Alissa Pudlitzke clinched first place in the girls distance medley relay with a meet record time of 12:32.21.

The Papermakers compete in this event only a few times during the season. The first leg of a distance medley relay is a 1,200 followed by a 400, 800 and then a 1,600 to the finish line.

“It’s a great way to combine all of our talents together and see how we can perform as a team,” Boyd said. “Our goal is to get top three at the Oregon Relays. We’re also just four seconds off the school record. We want to shatter it with a time that no other team can touch for years to come.”

Pudlitzke, Woodson and Jenkins also finished in the top three of the 1,600 run. Pudlitzke won with a new meet record time of 5:10.43. Jenkins took second in 5:11.13 and Woodson earned third in 5:11.62.

“We performed well in the DMR, and just pushed through that last mile together,” Pudlitzke said.

Pudlitzke recited the words of head cross country coach Lori Porter. Her daughter held the meet record in the 1,600 for five years before the Papermaker broke it Saturday.

“She told me records are meant to be broken,” Pudlitzke said. “It feels good to be able to put my name in the books during my final season.”

Kaylee Merritt (11:43.34) and Brooke Roy (11:45.53) grabbed first and second place for the Papermakers in the 3,200. Caleigh Lofstead cleared 12 feet, 3 inches on the pole vault to set a new meet record. She rose three inches higher to beat Abby Weiler, of R.A. Long, in a jump-off for first place. Quade gained second place in the 100 dash (12.81 seconds).

Ryan snagged second place for Camas in the boys 400 (51.49). Zarcone notched third place in the 100 (11.42) and fourth place in the 200 (23.29).

The Papermakers swept the Titans in the first league meet of the season March 24, at Union High School. Davis set new school records in the 100 (14.74) and 300 hurdles (44.85). Gunther (14.44) and Ephraim (14.82) established new personal bests in the 110 hurdles.

Yacine Guermali grabbed first place in the boys 1,600 (4:35.20) and the 3,200 (10:10.08). Wilson claimed first place in the girls 800 (2:25.80) and second place in the 1,600 (5:16.50). Pudlitzke (11:08.40) and Jenkins (11:09.50) placed first and second in the 3,200.

Zarcone clinched first place in the 100 (10.87) and the 200 (22.63). Ephraim, Monarrez, Gunther and Zarcone earned first in the boys 400 relay (43.88). Ryan, Cade Greseth, Zarcone and Zimmerly zipped to first in the 1,600 relay (3:38.28). Murata, Gray, Miranda Zea and Quade finished first in the girls 800 relay (1:40.09).

Lofstead set a new school record in the pole vault with a winning leap of 12-6. Nikki Corbett notched first place in the shot put (37-4) and discus (119 feet). Nkem Aduka took second place in the shot put (31-8.5) and discus (93-3). Jenna-Rae Wilson (101-1) and Corbett (97 feet) earned first and second place in the javelin. Ryan (51.50 seconds) and Greseth (52.97) snagged first and second in the 400.

Camas heads back to Battle Ground for a league meet Thursday. Events begin at 3:30 p.m.