Alexa Efraimson announces she will run as a pro for Nike

Camas High senior will forgo high school and college eligibility

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Camas High School senior Alexa Efraimson has decided to turn professional and forgo any collegiate eligibility, the running website Dyestat.com reported Monday.

According to the Dyestat report, Efraimson will compete professionally for Nike and remain under the tutelage of her current coach, Michael Hickey.

Efraimson told The Columbian last month that she would not compete for Camas High School in her senior season, but hadn’t made a further decision on going pro at that time.

Neither Efraimson or Hickey could be reached for comment Monday.

But Efraimson did talk to Dyestat.com.

“My family and I, along with my coach, did a lot of pros and cons lists as to whether we should go to college or whether we should go professionally,” Efraimson told Dystat. “And for my personal improvement both as an athlete and as an overall person, mentally and physically, I think that being able to stay with what we know and be able to go professional is just the best route for me.”

Efraimson said she still plans to attend college, but will not compete for that college.

Instead, she will follow the route of Mary Cain by declaring to go pro as a high school senior. Cain skipped her senior high school season in cross country and track and field in Bronxville, N.Y. to train with Alberto Salazar at Nike. Cain was planning to attend the University of Portland this fall while training with Salazar.

Efraimson said Cain was a bit of an influence on her decision.

“She’s a great competitor and she runs great races,” Efraimson said of Cain. “Being able to see how she’s done really well as a professional, that sort of shows … if it works for her, it could work for me.”

Efraimson said running as a professional will allow her to manage her own training and competition schedules, allowing her to focus on a few key events instead of being held to a team schedule.

“My performances (against elite runners) sort of helped push me over the edge,” Efraimson said of her decision. “It was a difficult decision, but overall I think being able to race against professionals and realizing that I could stand on my own and get (personal records) and just being able to compete with them was a big side on the pros.”