It all came down to the 4×400 relay race on Saturday, May 26 at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma.
Camas was close to capturing its first ever 4A track and field championship, but still trailed Issaquah, Bothell and Chiawana in points for the championship. Turns out, all three of those teams ended up in the finals for the 4×400 relay.
The Papermakers relay team of Mason Gross, Bryce Leighton, Will Schultz and distance champion Daniel Maton finished fourth and gave the Papermakers four points, which was exactly what the team needed to share the championship with Issaquah, Bothell and Chiawana. All four teams finished with exactly 37 points.
“A four-way tie has never happened before, and it’s just so strange that the teams finished the way they did. But I’m so happy for our kids, who worked so hard for this,” Camas head track coach Jon Eagle said.
Maton holds on to championship titles
Camas junior Daniel Maton earned most of the team’s points with state championship runs in the 1,600-meter and 800-meter events. He won the 1,600 meter in a time of 4 minutes, 7.50 seconds, topping his time from last year when he also won the state title.
“It was a really hard race,” Maton said. “it was a solid pace throughout and I just managed to close on the last lap to get the job done.”
He won his fourth state championship in the 800 meter with a time of 1 minute, 51.02 seconds.
“(I’m) looking forward to getting back here again next year,” Maton said.
Freshman makes sacrifice for senior teammate
Camas senior Madison Peffers, the defending 4A high jumper, couldn’t quite repeat her title, but was thrilled to jump 5′ 6″ and finish third in state.
Peffers had what she called “the worst meet of her life” at the district tournament, only clearing 4′ 10″ and finishing in fourth place — one place shy of qualifying for state.
“I haven’t not cleared 4′ 11″ since middle school, so I really thought my season was over. I was really shocked. I think I overworked a bit a few days prior to the meet,” Peffers said.
After Camas freshman Lucy George won the district high jump event, she asked her coaches if she could scratch, allowing Peffers to go to state. George also qualified for state in the hurdles and ended up finishing sixth in the 100-meter hurdles.
“It was really amazing of Lucy, and I didn’t expect anyone to do that for me,” Peffers said. “I really thought my season was over, so it was amazing to get to return to state and finish third.”
Other Papermakers have strong showing at state meet
Camas sprinter Blake Deringer made it to the finals in the 100 meter and finished seventh at state. Hurdler William Sun added to his team’s points, finishing sixth in the 300-meter hurdles. Distance specialist David Connell placed fifth in the 3,200-meter event after moving up four positions in the final lap of the race. Junior Matt Williams made it to the finals in the javelin event, and finished in eighth place, topping expectations after suffering a groin injury early in the season.
“I really didn’t think I’d make it this far, and I’ve learned a lot from these great athletes who taught me some tricks to help with my mechanics,” Williams said.
“I do have a prediction for next year,” he added, pointing to the winners’ podium. “See that podium up there? I’m going to be standing on the top.”
Camas runner Emma Jenkins finished her high school career with a seventh place finish in the 3,200-meter event. She and Peffers are both headed to Washington State University in the fall.
Washougal athletes earn personal bests
Several Washougal distance runners made it to state, and Troy Prince-Butterfield made it to the finals in the 800 meter, finishing eighth in state.
“Normally during league, I have to lead the races and run by myself,” Butterfield said. “But these state meets are fantastic, because I get to follow and they pull you along and you run a whole lot faster.”
The Panthers Amelia Pullen shaved 11 seconds off her personal best time in the 3,200-meter race finishing in 14th place. Washougal pole vaulter Tanner Lees finished sixth at state, with his jump of 13′ 6″.