4A district track: Motivation carries the day

Washington wins 200 as Skyview takes 4A team title

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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3A 4A District Track and Field meet Day 2

Kevin Washington turned his disappointment into elation Thursday.

Washington won the 200 meters at the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League Track and Field championships at McKenzie Stadium. In the process, he helped Skyview capture the boys team title.

"I just wanted to come out and win; I didn't care about the time," the senior said after finishing in 22.30 seconds, ahead of the 22.48 posted by Grayson Anderson of Camas.

"I didn't want the same thing to happen and feel the same way I did yesterday. That gave me much more motivation."

On Wednesday, the first day of the district meet, Washington finished second to Anderson in the 100 meters after entering the race as the No. 1 seed.

Thursday, he turned the tables, contributing to Skyview's total of 162 points in the team competition. Camas was second with 146, and Union finished third with 75.

The top three finishers in each event at the 4A district meet advance to next week's bi-district competition at Kent-Meridian High School. That will determine berths to the state meet.

While Washington was handling the sprints for the Storm, Colby Gilbert was dominating the distance races.

Gilbert, the top-ranked runner in the state at 1,600 meters, won that race in 4:20.42. Andrew Kaler of Camas was second in 4:25.71. On Wednesday, Gilbert won the 3,200 in dominating fashion.

"I didn't win district last year in either event, so my goal was a win, rather than time," he said.

On Thursday, Skyview also received victories from Jabari Marshall in the javelin; Forrest Russell in the long jump; and Tony Sparrow in the 110 hurdles, with teammate Skyler Piper finishing second.

Other highlights from the 4A meet:

• Prior to the first race of the day, Skyview's Elliott Willis ran a solo effort in the boys 400 meters.

Willis entered Wednesday's final as the No. 1 seed but finished ninth in 1:01.29. Skyview officials appealed, saying Willis' starting blocks had slipped.

Meet officials elected to let him attempt to meet the automatic qualifying time of 50.12 for the bi-district meet, but Willis finished in 50.33 on Thursday's attempt — a time that would have won Wednesday's race.

Meet director Cale Piland said that if Willis had met the automatic qualifying time, the bi-district committee then would have considered his application for next week's meet.

• Camas' Alexa Efraimson, one of the nation's best runners, won the 1,600 in 4:50.24 and anchored the winning 1,600 relay. On Wednesday, she won the 800.

"This is just one step," Efraimson said. "I'm focusing on state and post-state."

Union's Alexis Fuller finished second to Efraimson in the 800 and 1,600 and came across the line behind her in the relay.

Fuller, the defending state champion in the 1,600 — when Efraimson and Camas were competing at the 3A level — set personal records in both individual races.

"It's hard, but it's nice having competition," she said of having Camas join Class 4A. "Nobody likes running alone."

Fuller finished more than 8 seconds behind Efraimson in the 1,600 — and more than 15 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.

• Efraimson's performance led the Papermakers to the girls team title. Camas finished with 154 points to Skyview's 135. Union was third with 97.

The Papermakers got victories Thursday from Efraimson in the 1,600; Jordan Davis in the 100 hurdles; Caleigh Lofstead in the pole vault; and in the 800 relay and 1,600 relay.

• While Camas' Anderson finished second to Washington in the 200, he couldn't complain about his performance at the district meet.

In addition to winning the 100, he won the high jump by clearing 6-foot-6, and he was part of the Papermakers' winning 1,600-meter relay team. Along with Cole Zarcone, Ryan Gunther, and Michael Johnson, Camas finished in 3:26.67 and broke a 53-year-old school record.

• Union's Jessica Ojukwu won the 200 meters in 26.40. That gave her a sweep of the 100, 200, and 400 at the district meet.

• Aubrey Ward-El of Skyview won the girls shot put with a mark of 41-5. She earlier won the javelin title.

• Guadalupe Mendoza of Heritage won the girls discus with a mark of 119-3 — 1 inch better than Nicole Corbett of Camas.