Alexa Efraimson didn't finish her season atop the podium. Heck, the Camas freshman didn't even run a personal best to finish second in the 800 meters at the Class 3A track and field state championships.
But finishing a fraction of a second behind another of the nation's top runners and breaking the state-meet record for the 800 — despite a shoe issue — was far from a failure for The Columbian's All-Region girls track and field athlete of the year. The award completes a double for Efraimson, who was also the newspaper's All-Region runner of the year for girls cross country.
That championship race, won by Glacier Peak junior Amy-Eloise Neale, was a thrilling example of Efraimson's determination. It capped a season during which she set a couple of Camas High School records and got to run on several elite stages.
The biggest of those was last weekend, when Efraimson placed fourth in the Adidas Jim Ryun Dream Mile, a race held during a Diamond League meet in New York City. In that race at Randall's Island's Ichan Stadium, Efraimson finished fourth in a field of 14. Among the runners behind her on that day was Neale.
Efraimson said Mike Hickey, the distance coach for Camas, recommended she focus on the 800 at state to give herself a chance to win the event four times. That dream is gone, but Efraimson said the result might have been different if not for a tough break. About halfway through the two-lap race she was clipped in the back of her foot and had to run the second lap with a shoe bent partially under her heel.
It didn't seem to slow her down.
"It just reminded me that it's not an easy race and I need to fight so I can reach my goals," she said.
• Placed second by a fraction of a second in the Class 3A 800-meter state finals. Her time of 2:10.51 beat the previous state meet record and was faster than Union’s Alexis Fuller ran to win the Class 4A 800.
• Ran the fastest 800 this season by a Washington girl, 2:08.92 on April 28 at the Centennial Invitational.
• Won the 1,500 meters at the Nike Jesuit Invitational. Her time of 4:23:41 qualified her to run in the Adidas Dream Mile in New York.
• Placed fourth in the Dream Mile, which featured top high school girls from around the country, with a personal best time of 4:42.41.
More about Alexa
• Favorite music: Pop songs. But Alexa doesn’t listen to music before a race.
• How was visiting New York? “I did a lot of walking around and went to stores that I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford.”
Next year and beyond
• Just a freshman, Efraimson has a busy summer planned, with elite running camps in three states on her agenda before helping Camas chase another state cross country championship in the fall.
“It’s hard to look back and realize I was so close to getting first, but honestly, I gave it all I had.”
— Alexa Afraimson, talking about her second-place finish in the 3A state 800 meters
Rest of All-Region team
• Taylor Barrus, sr., Skyview: Class 4A state javelin champion; posted state’s best mark of year.
• Kathran Dean, sr., Mountain View: Placed third at 3A state in long jump; eighth in triple jump.
• Jennifer DeBellis, sr., Columbia River: Won second consecutive 3A state pole vault title.
• Lynelle Decker, sr., Mountain View: Placed fourth at 3A state meet in 800; fifth at 1,600.
• Ana Delgadillo, so., Columbia River: Placed fifth at 3A state meet at 3,200 meters.
• Alexis Fuller, fr., Union: 4A state champion at 800 meters; runner-up at 1,600 meters.
• Madison Lanford, so., Skyview: Posted state’s best time in 4A at 300 hurdles.
• Johna McEllrath, sr., Prairie: Placed third in shot put at 3A state meet; fifth in discus.
• Raigan Page, fr., Ridgefield: Placed second in 200, third in 400 and fourth in 100 at 1A state.
• Sabrina Sears, sr., Evergreen: Placed sixth at 4A state meet at 800 meters.
• Katelyn Wright, sr., Washougal: Placed third at 2A state meet in high jump.