Alexa Efraimson probably didn't realize that you can run all the way to Ukraine. But that's just what she did Wednesday.
Efraimson, representing the Evergreen Storm Track Club, won the girls 1,500 meters at the World Youth Track and Field Trials in Edwardsville, Ill. Alexis Fuller, also running for Evergreen Storm, finished eighth in the final of the girls 800.
Finishing in a time of 4:23.12, Efraimson, a Camas High School junior-to-be, earned a trip to Donetsk, a city of about 1 million inhabitants, for next month's championships. The World Youth Championships, conducted by track's worldwide governing body, are for athletes aged 16 and 17.
"I know there will be Ethiopians and Kenyans, so I hope I can get a PR there," said Efraimson, who has personal record of 4:16.00 in the 1,500.
Wednesday's event came down to a two-person race, with Anna Maxwell of Felton, Calif., finishing in 4:25.93.
"My coach said to stick behind her the first two laps," Efraimson said. "With about 600 meters to go, I took off.
"I didn't think it was going to be a PR because it was hot and humid, and it was windy in one stretch."
Efraimson said she will return to Southwest Washington for a few days before attending a training camp in Illinois and then heading to Donetsk, 5,863 miles away from home.
"I don't think it's really sunk in yet," she said, hours after her victory. "I've never been out of the country."