Great run of success in fall sports season

Camas girls cross country state team title tops the list

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



Forget football for a second.

Well, maybe not forget football. Just put it in the back of your mind for a second.

While football will continue through the first week of December — and there is a good chance Clark County will have a team playing in December — let’s say goodbye to the rest of the fall sports season for Clark County high school athletics.

The story of the season? That’s easy. The Camas girls cross country team winning the Class 3A state championship, beating a team that was ranked nationally by ESPN Rise.

Some honorable mentions:

All the individual standouts from Clark County at the cross country meets. Union’s Alexis Fuller finished second in the 4A race. Alexa Efraimson of Camas finished third. Two other Camas runners — Austen Reiter and Megan Napier — finished seventh and eighth in the girls race. (Hey, no wonder they won the team title. Three in the top 10!)

In the boys races, Skyview’s Colby Gilbert finished eighth in the 4A race. He was 16th in the regional meet. Guess he was pacing himself.

Washougal’s Sean Eustis placed ninth in the 2A boys.

Three county volleyball teams took home trophies last weekend. Seton Catholic placed second in its league, but finished third at state in the 1B tournament at Yakima. It’s the third year Seton Catholic has fielded a volleyball team.

Prairie took home fifth place in the 3A state tournament in Lacey, and Ridgefield placed eighth in the 1A state tournament in Yakma.

Girls soccer might seem like a down year for Clark County. In fact, soccer continues this weekend with the final four, but no Southwest Washington teams will be there.

However, it wasn’t such a down year. Skyview, the 4A Greater St. Helens League champion, and Camas, the 3A GSHL champion, were both crushed by injuries this season. The Papermakers still made it to the state tournament and battled to a scoreless tie before losing in a shootout. Columbia River also scored a big win in the state preliminary match to make it to state.

In the 1A ranks, Ridgefield, always a strong program, won its first state playoff match since 2006. And in the 2A GSHL, Hockinson continued its dominance with its sixth consecutive trip to state.

We had two state swimming champions, as well. Julia Sanders of Hockinson knows all about winning. She won the 50-meter freestyle and the 100 butterfly at the Class 2A meet — the same titles she won last year. Sanders now has six individual state titles in her three years with the Hawks.

Monica Bottelberghe of Columbia River also was the first to touch the wall, claiming the 200 freestyle title in the 3A race.

Our boys tennis players and golfers also completed their regular seasons and district play. They will complete their “seasons” in the spring.

For now, Clark County fall sports rest. Well, except for football, of course.

Southwest Washington fans hope we don’t write a wrap up of that sport until sometime in December.