Local runners set new bests at Nike meet

Panthers and Papermakers are on the rise

Thousands of the best cross country runners in the region competed in the Nike Portland XC meet Saturday, at Portland Meadows.

The Camas High School girls team captured third place in the Danner Championship race.

Freshman Rachel Blair grabbed 13th place in 18 minutes, 24.14 seconds. Sophomore Emma Jenkins followed in 14th place with a time of 18:28.51. Senior Maddie Woodson earned 26th place (18:54.49), sophomore Emily Wilson claimed 37th place (19:10.17) and sophomore Ellie Postma placed 64th (19:54.28).

“There was some serious competition. What caused us to do so well was how excited and confident we were,” Woodson said. “Our goal is to make it back to nationals. I think we are stronger this year than we ever have been. It’s going to take a lot of work and dedication, but I know we can do it.”

The Camas girls are chasing bigger goals after winning the state and Nike Northwest Regional championships in 2014.

“I think it brought us all closer together,” Jenkins said. “We all have each other and we get to experience all of this fun stuff together.”

The Washougal boys secured sixth place in the Division II level Saturday.

Gabriel Dinnel earned eighth place (16:37.61), Aiden Pullen placed 27th (17:15.93) and Bailey Duncan took 30th place (17:18.60). Freshmen Troy Prince-Butterfield (17:59.94) and Koy Chaston (18:15.56) ran strong races. Tanner Lees had a personal best time of 18:19.45.

The Washougal girls grabbed eighth place at the Division Three level. Courtney Owens claimed seventh place (20:29.98) and Hannah Swigert took 13th place with a personal best time of 20:41.40. Freshmen Brooke Bausch (22:58.43) and Annabelle Palmer (23:10.30) made strong impressions.

“I’m very proud of my team. Everybody put forth their best effort,” Swigert said. “We were all on the same course going through the same pain, and knowing we’re all in this together.”

The Camas boys settled for 23rd place in the Danner Championship. Yacine Guermali gained eighth place (15:26.96). Adam Ryan (16:41.61), Dustin Zimmerly (16:46.02) and Cade Greseth (17:10.69) gave quality efforts. Nick Duffy ran a personal best time of 17:16.13.

“We’re improving how we run every race, and learning from our mistakes,” Guermali said. “We hope to have a big finish. That comes from building throughout the season and getting better.”

The Camas cross country teams host Union and Heritage today, at Round Lake. Races begin at 4 p.m.

The Washougal cross country teams welcome Hudson’s Bay to Capt. William Clark Park, Wednesday. Races start at 4 p.m.