The Camas girls cross country team added a fourth state championship to its collection of trophies from the past five seasons Saturday, in Pasco.
“It just shows this is not a coincidence. It’s earned by the team through all the hard work we have been doing,” said captain Maddie Woodson. “The dedication throughout the whole season pays off at that meet.”
Woodson, a senior, contributed to three state titles for the Papermakers in 2012, 2014 and 2015. She also helped Camas finish second at state in 2013.
“It’s different every time,” Woodson said. “You have different teammates, and it’s a different race every year. But if you get up on that podium, it’s always exciting.”
“Even though we’ve won it before, a state title never comes easy,” she added. “It’s a good note to end on. We all had good races and we all celebrated after. It’s the most I could ask for.”
Freshman Rachel Blair finished in fourth place out of a field of 141 competitors Saturday. She completed the 5,000-meter race on the Sun Willows Golf Course in 18 minutes, 10.2 seconds.
“I’m happy with how my team did and with my top-five finish,” Blair said. “That was my goal going into it.”
Sophomore Emma Jenkins secured seventh place (18:15.1), sophomore Emily Wilson earned 13th place (18:30.1), Woodson grabbed 28th place (19:07.1) and sophomore Kaylee Merritt took 52nd place (19:38.4). They helped the Papermakers win the state title by 70 points.
“It’s an amazing feeling that we got to stand on that podium two years in a row,” Jenkins said. “We worked so hard. We earned that first place.”
Sophomore Ellie Postma placed 62nd (19:48.3) and sophomore Madison Child claimed 75th place (20:04.02).
The Camas boys finished in sixth place at the state meet Saturday. Adam Ryan earned 21st place (15:53.3), Yacine Guermali grabbed 37th place (16:02.4), Daniel Maton took 47th place (16:09.7), Dustin Zimmerly snagged 64th place (16:22.2) and David Connell claimed 103rd place (17:05.2).
“A couple runners didn’t have the race they wanted, but I’m happy with how we performed,” Ryan said. “Sixth place is nothing to feel bad about. It was a new personal record for this group. That made the whole weekend worth it.”
The Camas cross country teams are training even harder this week for the Nike Cross Northwest Regional Saturday, in Boise, Idaho.
“Our goal is to make it to nationals,” Jenkins said. “Other than that, I think all of us are going to run as hard as we can.”