Lyne to become 3rd CHS runner to join Gonzaga program

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Camas senior Jackson Lyne (far right) runs in the 1,600-meter event at Skyview High School on April 16. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

The Gonzaga University (GU) cross country and track and field program is among the best on the West Coast, and Camas High School (CHS) athletes have become a big part of the Bulldogs’ success.
This fall, Jackson Lyne, a two-time all-region selection and three-time 4A Greater St. Helens League first-team selection, will join two other former Papermakers on the GU roster.
“My coaches in Camas are leaving us with the potential to do very well in college,” Lyne said. “I think that my ceiling is very high and I have a lot of room to improve.”
Lyne will redshirt his freshman year and train with two other talented CHS alumni already finding success at Gonzaga.
Yacine Guermali, the 2016 4A cross country state champion, has become one of the top Division-I athletes on the West Coast in the 5,000-meter run, and David Connell, who will be a sophomore this fall, is “a “young runner on the move,” according to Bulldogs track and field coach Pat Tyson.
Lyne trained and competed with both athletes during his high school career and is thrilled to have a chance to be reunited with his Papermakers teammates.
“Being able to see what he does and how he trains and just working with him throughout my high school years has really shown me you don’t need some super human talent to be able to be where he is,” Lyne said about Guermali. “He just stays very consistent and does his own hard work.”
Thankful for the opportunity
As a junior, Lyne was flying high when college coaches started courting him after his successful cross country season.
His running future looked bright, but he started to notice nagging foot pain, eventually diagnosed as a stress fracture. The injury forced him to miss the entire track and field season, and to make matters worse, the college coaches stopped calling — every coach, that is, except for Tyson.
“I’m so appreciative how coach Tyson has stuck behind me, and I’m excited that the coach and team are people that strive to help each other become the best versions of themselves,” Lyne said.
Tyson ran for the University of Oregon, where he was roommates with Olympian Steve Prefontaine. Tyson is now recognized as one of the most successful cross country coaches in the United States.
Lyne said fighting boredom during the long hours of training in a swimming pool and on elliptical machines helped him become a better athlete physically and mentally. He also learned that he needed to wear custom orthotics to bring his body into proper alignment.
As a senior Lyne showed his collegiate potential by finishing fifth in the 4A state track and field championships in the 3,200.
“Just beating a bunch of guys who had beat me all of these years really showed that all the hard work and all the miles had really paid off, and I have the potential to be really good in the future,” Lyne said.
The cross country and track and field program at GU feels comfortable to Lyne because of its focus on team concept, similar to the CHS program.
His favorite example of team unity came last fall, when the Papermakers’ cross country team just missed qualifying for the Nike Cross Nationals meet, finishing fourth at the NRX Regional Championships in Boise.
“The whole team going into it was focused on what do we need to do individually to help the team instead of worrying about ourselves, and I think that was such a fun experience to be with a team that was running so much for each other that day,” Lyne said.
Lyne thanked Daniel Maton, his CHS teammate and three-time state champion in the 800 and 1,600. Maton will continue his running career at the University of Washington.
“Daniel showed me how much dedication it takes to be great,” Lyne said. “It’s not just genetics — it’s also work ethic, learning about your body and how to be consistent.”
GU’s cross country season starts in late August, and Lyne is training locally with some of his soon-to-be teammates, including Kyle Radosevich from Ridgefield High School and Ben Brown from Central Catholic High School.
Lyne originally planned to study engineering, but recently switched his major to political science. his “true passion.” He hopes to become a lobbyist for something he’s passionate about, or perhaps stay at GU and pursue a law degree after his undergraduate studies are complete.