The Camas cross country teams kicked off their championship circuit by winning two district titles Wednesday, at Lewsville Park in Battle Ground.
Emma Jenkins earned first place for the Papermakers in the girls race with a time of 18 minutes, 38 seconds. Ellie Postma (19:22), Camryn Mock (19:31) and Madison Child (19:50) followed in fourth, fifth and sixth place. Hallie Jenkins took eighth place in 20:08.
“I think it was definitely a confidence booster for not only me, but for our whole team,” Jenkins said. “I think all of us were very positive going into this race and it’s very exciting to see all of our hard work pay off.”
The Camas boys claimed the top four places at districts. Daniel Maton won with a time of 16:10. Jackson Lyne (16:25), David Connell (16:31) and Spencer Twyman (16:35) finished 25 seconds apart from Maton. LJ Floyd secured seventh place in 17:12.
“This race, I don’t think I’m going to remember anything individually. The team did amazing,” Maton said. “These guys have been putting in the work for a long time. It definitely shows where hard work pays off.”
Maton said he felt smooth on the first two miles, and was surprised that he had enough energy to attack the hills and still finish strong.
“I wanted to break them a little bit before the hills so I didn’t have anything to worry about,” he said. “I just cruised up. I think I dropped them by a lot on the hills, and I felt good.”
Lyne, Connell and Twyman kept up with Maton throughout the race, and Floyd also followed closely.
Head coach Laurie Porter said Maton’s two state track titles have rubbed off on the rest of the Papermakers.
“After his success last year, I think all of them are inspired to run with him,” Porter said. “I think he has done a great job of bringing up these boys. Especially Spencer. They’re pretty good friends. It’s been neat to see that friendship.”
Jenkins and Skyview’s Ellen Burbank worked off each other in the first mile, before Jenkins began to pull away on the switch-back portion of the course.
“When I started the second mile, I knew I had to start picking it up a little bit,” she said.
Porter was thrilled to see Jenkins take charge.
“She looked strong every step of the way,” Porter said.
Postma, Mock and Child also moved up together, and Halle Jenkins and Brooke Roy were not far behind.
“I felt like the girls really stepped it up. They know they have their work cut out for them at state. We know it’s not impossible, but everybody’s got to be at their best,” Porter said. “They’ll be well-rested and ready to give it their all. I think that they can do that, and (at districts), I think they showed it.”
Jenkins, Postma, Child and Roy have been on the Camas cross country and track teams since they were freshmen.
“We have so many good memories together. Especially since we have been running together for the past four years. The whole team is my best friend, so it’s fun,” Jenkins said.
“We’re working for each other, not just our individual self,” she added. “We pretty much do everything for each other and we’re all hurting during the race.”