Camas' Anderson gets fast start at 4A district track meet

Sprinter scores mild upset to in 4A 100 meters

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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photoSkyview's Colby Gilbert runs out front en route to an 11-second victory in the 3,200 meters at the 4A district track and field meet on Wednesday.

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With a big day scheduled for Thursday, Grayson Anderson already has had a big meet.

Anderson, a Camas senior, pulled off a mild upset in winning the boys 100 meters at the Class 4A Greater St. Helen's League district track and field meet at McKenzie Stadium.

Anderson finished in 11.01 seconds, a step ahead of the 11.06 posted by Kevin Washington of Skyview and the 11.08 by E'Lon Mack of Heritage.

"I expected me, E'Lon and Kevin to be up there," Anderson said. "We're all really good friends, and I'm just glad I got to compete with them."

Washington came into the meet with the best seeding time, 0.19 seconds ahead of Anderson. But Anderson was a nose ahead at the end.

Anderson, who won two league high jump titles and a 200-meter crown at Mountain View, moved to Camas during this school year.

"We had to find a new place to move me and my mom, it was really my decision," Anderson said. "Camas is a great school and has a great track program.

"I'm extremely happy with my decision. They welcomed me as part of the family."

Today, the second and final day of the district meet, Anderson will compete in the high jump, 200 meters, and 1,600-meter relay. The top three finishers in each event advance to next week's bi-district meet at Kent-Meridian High School, which will determine berths to the state meet.

Anderson, whose season-best of 6-foot-6 in the high jump is tied for second in Class 4A throughout the state, hopes to clear 6-8.

"It's more of a personal endeavor," he said. "If I meet my personal goals, the wins will come with it."

Other highlights from the 4A district meet:

• Jessica Ojukwu of Union pulled off the difficult 100/400 double, with the 200 to come Thursday.

"I think I could have done better," she said after adding the 400 title to her earlier victory. "I could have started out better.

"I'm glad I got first, but I'm more concerned with my time; that determines whether I did my best."

Ojukwu finished in 58.11, well ahead of runner-up Anna Penttila of Heritage and a half-second better than her personal record.

• Alexa Efraimson of Camas won the girls 800 in 2:09.74, just off her state-best time of 2:09.63.

Alexis Fuller of Union pushed Efraimson the entire way, finishing in 2:11.63 -- 10 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.

• Union twins Luke and Levi Sparks, both juniors, finished 1-2 in the boys 800, with Luke winning in 1:57.73 and Levi just behind in 1:57.99.

• The Skyview boys, with Kalvin Johnson, Kyle Ponciano, Forrest Russell, and Kevin Washington, won the 400-meter relay in a strong time of 43.01. That was 1.15 seconds ahead of runner-up Heritage.

• Alissa Pudlitzke of Camas won the girls 3,200 in 11:21.74, holding off a hard-charging Sara Taferre of Skyview.

• Colby Gilbert of Skyview ran from the front throughout the 3,200 meters and won in 9:31.51 -- 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Andrew Kaler of Camas.

Gilbert, who has the best time in the state in the 1,600, also ran the 800 on Wednesday. He was unable to advance to the bi-district meet, however, finishing fifth.