Camas' Efraimson is Gatorade state runner of the year for girls cross country

Junior is among top candidates for national honor

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Camas junior Alexa Efraimson added another accolade Thursday when she was selected the Gatorade state runner of the year for girls cross country.

Efraimson becomes the first Clark County athlete to be selected Washington state runner of the year by Gatorade, which started honoring cross country athletes in 2008.

Efraimson captured her second consecutive Class 4A state individual championship in November, setting a state-meet record of 17 minutes, 1.1 seconds for the course at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

She followed that up by winning the Nike Borderclash meet in Beaverton, Ore., and the Nike Cross Nationals at Portland Meadows racetrack with another course record of 16:50.1.

As a state runner of the year, Efraimson is now eligible to be selected Gatorade's national runner of the year, which will be announced later this month.

In winning at the Nike Cross Nationals, Efraimson beat Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley, Calif., California's Gatorade runner of the year and last year's national runner of the year.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the race course.

Efraimson has a 3.90 GPA at Camas High School, where she is also a member of DECA and the National Honor Society. She has also volunteered as a youth soccer referee and has served meals to the needy through Zion Lutheran Church's Lost and Found Cafe.

It is the second time Efraimson has been honored by Gatorade. Last spring, she was selected the state's athlete of the year for girls track and field.

Efraimson is the second Camas athlete to be honored by Gatorade this school year. Quarterback Reilly Hennessey was selected as the state's football player of the year last month.