MARTINEZ: Everyone chasing Camas cross country runners

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

This just in: The Camas girls cross country team is pretty darn good.

For anyone who follows high school cross country in the area, that's not exactly breaking news.

The Papermakers, after all, won the Class 3A state team championship last season.

And in their first year at Class 4A, Camas is ranked No. 1 as it heads into the postseason this week with the 4A district meet scheduled for Thursday at Lewisville Park.

The Papermakers' No. 1 runner, sophomore Alexa Efraimson, is the 12th-ranked cross country runner in the nation according to MileSplit.com. And with the state's two other nationally ranked runners — Glacier Peak's Amy-Eloise Neal and North Central's Katie Knight — still at Class 3A, Efraimson is the favorite to capture an individual state championship in three weeks in Pasco.

"Our girls expect to go out and perform well," Camas coach Mike Hickey said. "We've had some new kids come onto the team and contribute. Right now, success is a real contagious thing, and we're pretty excited to see where we'll go this year."

Camas lost two seniors off last year's squad — Austen Reiter and Lindsay Wourms — who filled scoring roles for the Papermakers.

In addition to that, Megan Napier, who was Camas' No. 2 runner last year, has been slowed by injury. She made her season debut on Sept. 29 at the Stanford Invitational, running as Camas' No. 5 runner. She moved up to the team's No. 3 spot in the team's final league meet with Union and Heritage.

Sophomore Alissa Pudlitzke and senior Camille Parsons have been running in scoring positions for Camas, as well as freshman Maddie Woodson.

At the district meet Thursday, Union's Alexis Fuller and freshman Cassie McKinney are aiming for top-5 finishes as the top three teams and top 15 individuals will advance to the Westside Classic regional race in Tacoma on Oct. 27.

A good race for the boys individual title is shaping up in the 4A meet. Battle Ground's Mark Tedder has been the league's top runner this season, but the senior has had his struggles at the district meet.

Last week, Tedder suffered his first defeat to a 4A Greater St. Helens League rival when Skyview's Colby Gilbert beat him by two seconds. Andrew Kaler, Andrew Duffy and Tucker Boyd will look to lead the favored Camas boys to a first district title at the 4A level.

The 3A district meet will be Wednesday at Lewisville. The third-ranked Prairie girls are the big favorites, as is junior Nicole Goecke. In the boys meet, Austin Blankenship and Nicholas McMillan are looking to lead Columbia River in a battle with Kelso for the team title.

Tennis

The fall portion of the boys tennis season will conclude this weekend.

The 4A district tournament will be Thursday through Saturday at Vancouver Tennis Center.

The 3A district tournament will be Thursday through Saturday at Club Green Meadows.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep editor for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com. Follow him on Twitter: @360TMart