The Camas High School cross country teams are embracing the definition of teamwork.
“For the team, I would go through any amount of pain just so we can succeed,” said junior Andrew Duffy. “So would any one else.”
It’s the reason both teams will compete together at the 3A state championship meet Saturday, on the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. The girls race first at 12:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 2 p.m.
“I can’t believe we are already at this point in the season. It flew by really fast,” said senior Austen Reiter. “I’m looking forward to this weekend a lot. I just want to see everybody run really hard, come through the finish line and be so exhausted and so proud of what we accomplished.”
The Papermakers have accomplished so much on the trails together this fall. In an encore performance from the week before, both Camas teams brought home bi-district championship trophies from the Westside Classic Saturday, at American Lake in Tacoma.
“It’s one of the greatest feelings you can have in cross country,” said junior Tucker Boyd. “Both sides competed well and ended up winning.”
Alexa Efraimson won the girls race, with a time of 18 minutes, 9.4 seconds. Reiter finished fourth (19:10.4), Megan Napier took fifth (19:12.6) and Alissa Pudlitzke placed ninth (19:28.7).
Although district champion Andrew Kaler had a rocky regional race and dropped to 20th place, the boys rallied around him and picked up the pace. Boyd led the way by placing fourth, with a time of 16:18.2. Alex Pien snatched seventh (16:43.7) and Duffy notched ninth (16:46.6).
“I felt great after my race, but what made me feel the greatest was that our whole team performed,” Boyd said. “We run for the team, not just ourselves, and that makes us run better as a whole.”
As freshmen, Efraimson and Pudlitzke are having a whirlwind season. They are giving extra effort for senior captains Reiter and Lindsay Wourms.
“This is their last district, regional and state meets in high school,” Efraimson said. “It makes you want to run that much harder for them.”
“It’s nice having a lot of girls to depend on,” Pudlitzke added. “We’ve improved so much in just this first year. I’m excited to see what else we can do in the next three.”
Reiter considers herself a big sister to her younger teammates. She wants to help them run hard and reach their goals.
“One of the things we hold true to is our team culture,” Reiter said. “We want this to be the best team in Camas history. So far, it has been. And it will be for awhile.”