Efraimson, Camas look to defend state cross country titles

State meet Saturday at Pasco

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Alexa Efraimson and the Camas girls cross country team will take the course at state cross country championships Saturday with hopes of defending their Class 4A state titles.

For Efraimson, it may be a foregone conclusion. But for the Papermaker girls, it will be a true race.

Efraimson enters Saturday’s race at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco with the top time in the state this season on a 5,000-meter course by almost 30 seconds.

In fact, the second-best time in the state belongs to Union’s Alexis Fuller.

Efraimson won last year’s state meet race by 36 seconds, and Fuller was third.

And once again, the girls team title appears to be a battle between Camas, Tahoma and Bellarmine Prep.

But this year Bellarmine enters the meet as the favorite, having beaten Camas by three points in last week’s bi-district meet. The Papermakers will need some strong performances, particularly from their Nos. 4 and 5 runners if they hope to overtake the Lions at state.

In the 3A girls race, Prairie’s Nicole Goecke is a contender for the individual state title. Goecke, who finished seventh last year, has the second-best time for 5,000 meters this season for a 3A runner, behind Andrea Masterson of Lakeside. The Prairie girls are ranked fifth in the state.

The Columbia River boys are ranked sixth in the state.

The La Center boys will try to use their team depth to challenge top-ranked Medical Lake in the 1A race. The Wildcats are ranked second in the state. The La Center girls are ranked fifth.