PASCO — Camas’ Alexa Efraimson capped a roller coaster season with a dominating run to win the state 4A title Saturday.
Less than a month after briefly being ruled ineligible, the only thing stopping the junior from winning gold at the State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course was something out of her control.
She was never challenged, opening up a 50-yard lead after just one mile and eventually winning by more than a minute, setting a course record in the process.
“It feels really good,” she said. “When I heard (that she was suspended) I was thinking about my team and how would my team do. However the team does is how I’m proud.”
Efraimson finished in 17 minutes, 01.7 seconds. Richland’s Lindsey Bradley was second in 17:57.3.
The Papermakers as a team didn’t have quite as good of a day as Efraimson, taking second place to Bellarmine Prep. Prep finished with 92 points to Camas’ 105, a repeat of the result between the two teams at the bi-district meet two weeks ago.
“I knew Bellarmine would give us a fight,” Camas coach Laurie Porter said, “but I was hoping everyone would have a great day. Bellarmine was just a little better.”
Camas junior Alissa Pudlitzke joined Efraimson in the top 10, finishing in 18:19.2. Freshman Marley LeFore took 17th, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four runners in the top 18.
“We worked really hard and depend on each other,” Pudlitzke said. “I’m really happy with my time. I got a PR for the season and I’m really happy for my teammates.”
Union’s Alexis Fuller took third in the race, finishing in 18:06.4, just holding off Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin.
“I’m really happy with how I finished,” Fuller said. “It’s a PR for my season.”
Fuller took second as a freshman and third as a sophomore. On Saturday, she knew she wouldn’t be able to stay with Efraimson, so she concentrated on hanging with the secondary group and was happy to get back into the top three.
In the Class 3A race, Prairie put in a strong showing, taking fourth place with 156 points.
Nicole Goecke wrapped up her career with a third-place finish in 18:13.8. She will attend Oregon State next year.
“My goal was to win,” Goecke said. “It’s a blessing to be able to run. (The winner) was whoever ran the perfect race.”
Lakeside’s Andrea Masterson won the race in 17:51.5, as Glacier Peak captured the team title with 102 points.
In Class 1A boys, La Center finished second with 112 points, while Medical Lake won the title with 72. Jordan Bigler was seventh for LC in 16:25.8.