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Camas runners sweep at 4A district meet

Reich, Buzzell win individual titles to go with team wins

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
21 Photos
Camas juniors Hayden Reich, right, and James Puffer hold hands as they head down the stretch Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during the 4A Greater St. Helens League Cross Country District Meet at Lewisville Regional Park in Battle Ground. The pair finished first and second in the race with times of 17:08.50 and 17:10.20, respectively.
Camas juniors Hayden Reich, right, and James Puffer hold hands as they head down the stretch Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during the 4A Greater St. Helens League Cross Country District Meet at Lewisville Regional Park in Battle Ground. The pair finished first and second in the race with times of 17:08.50 and 17:10.20, respectively. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

BATTLE GROUND — Cross country is an individual sport.

But it’s also a team sport, and the Camas boys cross country team put that on display Wednesday at the 4A district meet, albeit in a rather unique way.

Camas juniors Hayden Reich and James Puffer approached the final 100 meters of the 5,000-meter race holding hands, before Puffer released Reich to cross the finish line first with a spinning leap. Puffer followed in second with a somersault.

“We were finishing together, so Hayden said ‘hold my hand. Let’s finish this together,’ ” Puffer said. “Then he was like ‘I’m going to do my celebration.’ So he did his, and I did a somersault.”

Reich set the pace for most of the race, pushing hard on the final mile that included a big hill on the course at Lewisville Park. He finished in 17 minutes, 8 seconds, and Puffer followed at 17:10.

“Honestly, after that hill, I was pretty gassed and I just wanted a reason to slow down,” Reich said.

In the end, it really didn’t matter who finished first as long as the team did well. And the Papermakers certainly did that, outdistancing second-place Skyview 17-57 to take the team title.

Camas had six of the top seven finishers, with only Battle Ground’s Ben Gamblin breaking up the sweep with a fourth-place effort.

“We couldn’t have done it without all our teammates,” Puffer said. “They all killed it.”

Then Reich went down the roster: “Luke Tupper (fifth), Max Gregory (seventh), Gabriel Marcham (third), Joshua Ji (15th) and Porter Craig (sixth).”

The Camas girls made it a Papermaker sweep, although it was a much tighter battle. Camas edged out Skyview 35-38 for the team title.

Camas junior Gracie Buzzell won her second straight district title, winning in 19:02 to beat out Skyview’s Evelyn Reed (19:41) and Union’s Charlotte Wilson (19:50).

“Honestly, I felt pretty good,” Buzzell said. “It’s just when the hills came, my legs were burning pretty bad. But everyone behind me was pushing me, so I’d like to thank them.”

Next up is the large and competitive bi-district meet in Tacoma on Oct. 30, which will be a new experience for many of these Camas runners.

None of Camas boys’ varsity seven on Wednesday ran in the bi-district meet the last time it was held in 2019. On the girls side, only Buzzell and junior Alyson Robertson have bi-district experience.

“I’ve never been there before, but I’m excited to do it,” Reich said.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

4A DISTRICT MEET

At Lewisville Park, 5,000 meters

Team scores — Camas 17, Skyview 57, Union 80, Battle Ground 86.

Top individuals — 1, Hayden Reich (C) 17:08; 2, James Puffer (C) 17:10; 3, Gabriel Marcham (C) 17:27; 4, Ben Gamblin (BG) 17:30; 5, Luke Tupper (C) 17:51.

CAMAS — 1, Reich 17:08; 2, Puffer 17:10; 3, Marcham 17:27; 5, Luke Tupper 17:51; 6, Porter Craig 17:57; 7, Max Gregory 18:06; 15, Joshua Ji 18:29.

SKYVIEW — 8, Carson Clary 18:09; 10, Michael Ouelette 18:11; 11, Benjamin Merrill 18:15; 12, Evan Hebblethwaite 18:19; 16, Samuel Pollock 18:46; 17, Buzz Westhusing 18:59; 22, David Grant 19:51.

UNION — 9, Marius Lafond-Kervegant 18:10; 13, Grayson Caldwell 18:23; 18, Hyrum Lacher 19:00; 19, Canaan Moore 19:05; 21, Sabin Kotsovos 19:37; 24, AJ Moses 20:11; 26, Hayden Davis 20:32.

BATTLE GROUND — 4, Gamblin 17:30; 14, Caden Ashworth 18:27; 20, Calvin Hubbard 19:29; 23, Sterling Sutton 20:00; 25, Zachary Zamora 20:21; 27, Thadeus Chestnut 20:56; 28, Wyatt Marini 20:56.7.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

4A DISTRICT MEET

At Lewisville Park, 5,000 meters

Team scores — Camas 35, Skyview 38, Union 55, Battle Ground 102.

Top individuals — 1, Gracie Buzzell (C) 19:02; 3, Evelyn Reed (S) 19:41; 3, Charlotte Wilson (U) 19:50; 4, Lauren Amato (S) 20:08; 5, Natalie Peddie (C) 20:15.

CAMAS — 1, Buzzell 19:02; 5, Peddie 20:15; 6, Bethany McKinstry 20:22; 9, Alyson Robertson 21:03; 14, Amelia Merritt 21:54; 16, Erin Mitchell 22:21; 22, Aynsley Bjorge 23:51.

SKYVIEW — 2, Reed 19:41; 4, Amato 20:08; 8, Phoebe Abbruzzese 20:48; 11, Ava Logue 21:27; 13, Bianca Perez 21:32; 19, Charis Deitemeyer 22:34; 20, Samantha Williams 22:53.

UNION — 3, Wilson 19:50; 7, Jaylyn Lehner 20:36; 12, Amanda Grant 21:29; 15, Kayla Gorchels 22:08; 18, Abigail Rounds 22:28; 21, Claire Reeburgh 23:00; 23, Joohye Lee 24:25.

BATTLE GROUND — 10, Stacy Sutton 21:04; 17, Hailey-Jade Chase 22:23; 24, Aleena Knight 26:41; 25, Kadance Monta 28:18; 26, Riley Jackson 28:37; 27, Jessica Bailey 29:10.

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