All-Region girls track and field: Record season only the beginning for Alexa Efraimson

Camas runner has a busy summer ahead

By Micah Rice, Columbian sports editor

Published:

 

On TV

Adidas Grand Prix, 1 p.m., NBCSN.

Efraimson will run the 1,500 meters at 2 p.m. The field includes three of the top four ranked American professionals and two world champions.

The end of this spring's track season was just the beginning for Alexa Efraimson.

It marked the start of the Camas junior's reign as the undisputed queen of the nation's high school distance runners.

It also marked the dawn of a busy summer that could decide her competitive future.

Whatever the future holds, Efraimson will always have a place in Washington high school track history.

On May 29, the first day of the state track meet, she ran the fastest 1,600 meters ever by an American high school girl. Two days later, she ran the fastest 800 meters this year by any high school runner.

As the best middle-distance runner in the nation, Efraimson is of course The Columbian's All-Region girls track and field athlete of the year.

Like many elite athletes, Efraimson is rarely satisfied with past performances. She hopes her national-record 1,600 is a springboard, not an apex.

"I think it has mostly just motivated me to continue pushing hard, especially for the postseason," she said.

That "postseason" begins Saturday at the Adidas Grand Prix Diamond League meet in New York City. Efraimson will compete against professional runners in the 1,500 meters.

A week from today, she'll run the 800 at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle against other high school elites. The following week will see her run the 1,500 against pros at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

Efraimson's summer will culminate in late July at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore. Last year, she won a bronze medal in the 1,500 meters at that meet in Ukraine.

There's little question Efraimson will one day be a professional runner. The question is when.

The move could come within a few months. It partly depends on how she fares against pro competition this summer, she said. Yet the prospect of running in college also interests her.

"I'm not quite sure what will happen yet," she said. "But I'm making sure all my options are open."

Whenever she turns pro, Efraimson is already soaking up wisdom from elite athletes. After racing at the Millrose Games in February, Efraimson had a memorable meeting with Alan Webb, the American record holder in the mile who retired after the Millrose Games.

"He told me 'don't be over-serious and celebrate the little things,'" Efraimson said. "You might not achieve what you want, but celebrate the little things that might help you build up to your overall goal."

For Efraimson, it seems there is no limit on what that overall goal might one day be.

Athlete of the year

Alexa Efraimson, jr., Camas

A three-time winner of this award, Efraimson set an American high school record for 1,600 meters and ran the fastest high school 800 meters this year.

Rest of the All-Region team

JOSSILYN BLACKMAN, JR., BATTLE GROUND: Third in 4A state in shot put, fifth in javelin.

NICOLE CORBETT, JR., CAMAS: Second in 4A state in discus. Tenth in shot put.

ALEXIS FULLER, SR.< UNION: Eighth in 4A state in 800. District and bi-district runner up in 800 and 1,600.

CALEIGH LOFSTEAD, SO., CAMAS: Third in 4A state in pole vault. District and bi-district champion.

GUADALUPE MENDOZA, SR., HERITAGE: Fourth in 4A state in discus. District and bi-district champion.

DAI'LYN MERRIWEATHER, FR., EVERGREEN: Third in 4A state in 400, sixth in 200.

JAI'LYN MERRIWEATHER, FR., EVERGREEN: Fourth in 4A state in 400. District and bi-district champion.

EMILY MORGAN, SR., COLUMBIA RIVER: Second in 3A state in 100, third in 200.

DANICA PERSON, SR., MOUNTAIN VIEW: 3A district champ in 200 and runner up in 100. Limited at state by foot injury.

ELLIE WALKER, FR., COLUMBIA RIVER: Seventh in 3A state in 100 hurdles and high jump. Bi-district high jump champ.

AUBREY WARD-EL, SR., SKYVIEW: 4A state champion in shot put, second in state in javelin.

ERYKAH WEEMS, SO., HUDSON'S BAY: Fourth in 3A state in 300 hurdles, district champion.