All-Region Girls Cross Country: Camas' Alexa Efraimson

Freshman sees even bigger things in future for herself, team

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

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Alexa Efraimson

Season highlights

Placed third individually in the 3A state championship, posting a time of 18:23 — 25 seconds behind first place.

Contributed to her team’s first place finish in state, as the Papermakers shocked Glacier Park, which came into the event ranked by ESPN Rise.

In the opening race of the season — the Hudson’s Bay

Run-a-Ree — Efraimson finished just a few hundreths of a second behind Union’s Alexis Fuller. The third-place runner cross the line more than a minute later.

More about Alexa

Will often talk to herself during races, often thinking of her teammates and saying, “I know they will give any amount of pain for me, so I should do the same for them.”

Has been racing alongside fellow standout freshman — Alexis Fuller of Union — for years, and has attended a sleepover at her house.

Will compete in the Nike Cross National meet at Portland Meadows on December 3.

Next year and beyond

Efraimson rarely looks beyond the next race, or even the practice when it comes to her individual goals. As far as her aspirations for the team? She is hoping to repeat as state champions.

She doesn’t pass a ball. She doesn’t block for anyone. She doesn’t even hand off a baton.

But despite competing in one of the most individual sports out there, all Camas cross country runner Alexa Efraimson could talk about was her team.

“Getting up on that podium after we won state it was like, ‘Wow, we actually did it,’ ” the freshman said. “It just showed that all that work wasn’t for nothing.”

The Camas girls cross country team stunned nationally ranked Glacier Peak of Snohomish last month in winning the 3A state championship. Efraimson, meanwhile, placed third in the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race with a time of 18:23.

Because of her individual success and contribution to her team’s title, Efraimson is The Columbian All-Region Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Efraimson wasted no time displaying her talent. In the opening race of the season, she placed second behind Union’s Alexis Fuller by a few hundredths of a second at the Hudson’s Bay Run-a-Ree. The third-place runner finished one minute and 12 seconds later.

That said, Efraimson never seems to let the results of one race affect her emotion. In fact, she viewed her third-place finish in state as simply “a stepping stone.”

“It could be considered an accomplishment, but it’s not the big picture,” Efraimson said. “The big picture is, well, I don’t know what the big picture is. I guess I just want to be a good leader on the team.”

Makes sense.

She certainly isn’t used to being a follower.

Efraimson’s result at state earned her an automatic berth to the Nike Cross Nationals meet on Dec. 3 at Portland Meadows.

But in typical Alexa form, her mind is still focused on her teammates.

“I think we can win state again next year. I think he we can do it with the freshmen coming in,” Efraimson said. “This year’s team will never be replaceable, but if we’re able to push as hard as we did, maybe we can win.”

Matt Calkins can be contacted at 360-735-4528 or by email at matt.calkins@columbian.com

Rest of All-Region team

Alexis Fuller, fr., Union: District, regional champion; 4A state runner-up.

Nicole Goecke, so., Prairie: Placed third at 3A regional; 16th at state.

Taylor Guenther, sr., Prairie: Placed eighth at regional; 20th at state.

Megan Napier, jr., Camas: Placed fifth at 3A regional; eighth at state meet.

Austen Reiter, sr., Camas: Class 3A district runner-up; seventh at state.

Sara Taferre, jr., Skyview: 4A district runner-up; placed 20th at state.