Prior to her freshman year, Alexa Efraimson was known in the local running community as a rising star.
By the end of her freshman year, just about every person in the Northwest associated with the sport knew of her.
Rest of All-Region team
Amber Corbett, sr., Camas: 7th at 4A state in javelin; bi-district runner-up.
Alexis Fuller, so., Union: 4A state 1,600 meters runner-up; 3rd in 800.
Nicole Goecke, jr., Prairie: 5th at 3A state in 1,600; bi-district 800 champion.
Madison Lanford, jr., Skyview: 5th at 4A state in 300 hurdles; district 100 hurdles runner-up.
Danae Lee, so., Hudson’s Bay: Posted third-best 3A high jump mark in state.
Guadalupe Mendoza, jr., Heritage: 7th at 4A state in discus; district champion; 3rd bi-district.
Emily Morgan, jr., Columbia River: 3A 100 state runner-up; 200 district runner-up.
Danica Person, jr., Mountain View: 5th at 3A state in 100; 6th in 200.
Alissa Pudlitzke, so., Camas: 4th at 4A state in 3,200; district champ; 2nd at bi-district.
Lindsay Tompkins, sr., Prairie: 4th at 3A state in 3,200; 8th in 1,600.
Aubrey Ward-El, jr., Skyview: 4A state shot put runner-up; 4th in javelin.
Now, as she finishes her sophomore year at Camas High School, Efraimson is a name nationally.
Her talent has gone big-time, but her attitude has not.
"It's very humbling," she said. "I'm really fortunate to be able to be in this position. But I know I have to make sure I focus on why I love to run and not the publicity I receive."
It was about a year ago, she said, when she realized she had a special talent, an extraordinary ability. Since then, she has used just about every waking hour to maximum her skills.
This spring, Efraimson won the Class 4A state track and field championships in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Actually, she did more than that.
She won the 1,600 by 12 seconds, and her time of 4 minutes, 39.25 seconds was a state meet record and the best high school time in the nation this year.
Two days later, she set the meet record in the 800, finishing in 2 minutes, 8.17 seconds.
For her efforts, Efraimson is once again The Columbian's All-Region girls track and field athlete of the year. That makes four of these "titles," after earning the designation in track last year as well as two in cross country in her first two high school years.
Maybe one day Efraimson will look back at all this, take a breather, and reflect on her accomplishments.
Not now, though. She celebrates her victories, but not for too long.
"There's always the next meet to look forward to," she said.
As well as workouts to prepare for the next meet.
"There's always something to work on. Everybody has weaknesses," Efraimson said.
(Efraimson's form suffers when she gets tired, she claimed.)
Not that anyone would have noticed that last month at the state championships. All of her fans, all of those in the running community, were too busy looking at her margin of victory and the clock.
• In case you were hiding under a rock the last couple of months: Efraimson became one of the fastest high school runners in the nation, winning race after race.
• Took first place at the 4A state meet in the 1,600 with a state meet record time of 4 minutes, 39.25 seconds. That’s the fastest time in the nation this year.
• Two days later, she won the 800, with another state meet record.
More about Alexa
• Alexa says she can tune out most of the crowd when she races. “I’ve learned to keep an ear out for my coach and sometimes I hear my parents yelling.”
• Her favorite athlete is U.S. Olympian Andrew Wheating.
• She will run in the New Balance Nationals this weekend in North Carolina. Later, she will be in Illinois for the World Youth trials, hoping to qualify for the championship, which will be held in Ukraine.
Next year and beyond
• She is looking forward to another cross country season at Camas, hoping the team can repeat its state championship. Then more success on the track next spring. As far as college, she has not thought that far ahead.
“It’s so exhilarating. The atmosphere. The adrenaline. That’s what makes the state meet the state meet.” — Alexa Efraimson, state champion