Caleigh Lofstead, Alexa Jones and Maddie Woodson grabbed a hold of their third district track and field trophy Friday, at McKenzie Stadium.
This one is the most satisfying because all three girls are Camas High School seniors.
“We’ve won it before, so it’s like our goal,” Woodson said. “Everyone runs that much harder because they know their place matters.”
Jones couldn’t think of a better way to end her high school career. Today, she signs to run cross country and track for Eastern Oregon University.
“Freshman year, you learn the dynamics of track and find events to master. Sophomore year, you have to prove yourself all over again,” Jones said. “We remember those seniors who impacted our years in this program. It’s nice to be able to pay that back. We have all been able to take these younger athletes under our wing.”
Lofstead started the assent for Camas by clinching her fourth pole vault district title Wednesday with a leap of 12 feet, 6 inches. She also enjoyed watching Laura Shannon, of Battle Ground, and Hannah Shirley, of Skyview, jump personal bests. Shirley set a new school record mark of 10-7.
“One of my favorite memories was sophomore year when I jumped a 6-inch PR here, so I know how these girls are feeling,” Lofstead said. “It’s awesome to see how excited they are about the sport. It’s just motivation to keep working harder.”
Adam Ryan poured his heart out on the track to win two district races for the Papermakers in a 30-minute period Friday.
“I knew it was going to be very difficult. I just had to deal with the tough schedule and run my best,” Ryan said. “I love this meet. Big stadium with a big crowd cheering you on. All of these guys have been running hard all season long. It’s pretty awesome for all of us to put it all on the line together.”
Ryan settled into a comfortable groove in the 400, and won the lap in 49.87 seconds. The 800 was up for grabs, but Ryan came around the bend in first place again with a time of 1:53.23.
“I’ve been thinking about these two races for a long time,” he said. “I knew I had to be aggressive. Get a lead and keep it. I did that today.”
Nkem Aduka clinched the shot put district title Wednesday, with a personal best throw of 37-7. She added the discus district title Friday, with a toss of 115-5.
“I’ve been consistent and working hard,” Aduka said. “I’ve just been waiting for that moment where I peaked, and it happened.”
After falling back to third place in the 1,600 Wednesday, Rachel Blair finished strong in the 3,200 Friday and won with a time of 11:17.02.
“I’m learning more about strategy. Last year, I didn’t have to worry about that,” she said. “I can’t just go all out after the gun goes off. I think all freshmen coming in learn that. I’m becoming more of a teammate this year.”
Daniel Maton notched first place in the 1,600 (4:17.65) and second place in the 3,200 (9:47.08). The freshman attributed his success to speed work throughout the season and trusting his kick at the end of each race.
“I just want it more than them. I push a little bit harder than they can,” Maton said. “They’re hurting the same as me. I can do it.”
Yacine Guermali battled through a hip injury to win the 3,200 (9:44.53). He also took third place in the 1,600 (4:25.43).
“There’s only a couple of weeks left. You can’t just run easy here and think you are going to make it through,” Guermali said. “When you get to state once, you just want to go back and test yourself against all the best people.”
The top three finishers in each event qualified for the bi-district meet Thursday and Saturday, in Kent.
Karsyn Quade earned second place for the Camas girls in the 100 (12.77) and third place in the 200 (26.39). Cambryn Gulzow grabbed second place in the 100 hurdles (15.95) and third place in the 300 hurdles (48.80). Emma Jenkins took second place in the 1,600 (5:01.27) and third place in the 3,200 (11:23.88).
Stephanie Knight notched second place in the javelin (116-3) and Ahmika Kluka followed in third place (113-4). Maggie Wells gained third place in the discus (110-3), Alexa Dietz leaped to third place in the triple jump (34-3.25), Madison Peffers placed third in the high jump (5-3) and Ellie Postma clinched third in the 400 (59.73).
Emily Karkanen, Gulzow, Aliya Ponder and Quade claimed second place in the 800 relay (1:45.94). Postma, Gulzow, Woodson and Blair grabbed third place in the 1,600 relay (4:08.05). Brynn Jackson, Dietz Karkanen, and Quade took third place in the 400 relay (50.72).
Cody Williams earned second place for the Camas boys in the javelin (176-10). William Sun secured second place in the 300 hurdles (40.82), Cade Greseth grabbed third place in the 800 (1:54.20) and Cooper McNatt soared to third place in the triple jump (41-1).
Jacob Bedmont cleared 13 feet on the pole vault to qualify for bi-districts. Luke Albert, Anthony Maton, Greseth and Dustin Zimmerly took third place in the 1,600 relay (3:25.62).