“I value honesty, integrity, and being a good teammate. That’s really important.”
That’s what Laurie Porter, head coach of CHS Cross Country, said when asked about what she wants to see in her athletes, and so far, it seems that she has gotten her wish. The team is working together, with a strong start to the season and all eyes looking ahead to an even better finale.
The cross country season started out with a bang, Camas destroying Skyview in their first meet and continuing on to get second place at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational (in which over 100 teams participated). Included in the runners this year is current State Runner-Up, senior Daniel Maton, whose current season record is a 15:40 5k (3.1 miles).
In the very first timed run of the year, a 2-mile time trial, the varsity and JV athletes were selected based off of their times. Porter stated that going into the season, she “knew we had a good group of freshman coming up… and sure enough, they’ve exceeded my expectations.” The coach may have been referring to multiple events with that statement, such as freshman Tanner Dozier placing first in the JV race against Skyview or the outstanding results at Fort Steilacoom in the freshman JV race in which Dozier and fellow teammates Tyler Dinh and Porter Craig all placed in the top 15. However, the most likely event she is referencing is the time trial, which saw multiple freshman make varsity, beating sophomores and upperclassmen to get their spots.
It is not only the freshman that have been performing well. Runners of all four grade levels – freshmen through seniors – have made varsity and are well deserving of that position. The JV teams also have a wide array of skill and have been doing quite well. A recent example of that was at the Nike Portland Invitational, where sophomore Wilson Fresh placed first in the 10th JV race with a time of 17:51. Freshmen Candice Owen, Chloe Buzzard, Emma Coates, and Callie Ulin all placed in the top ten for the freshman and sophomore combo race, taking 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th respectively. Andrew Puffer and Lily Dozier also got in the top 10 for both of their junior/senior races.
As Coach Porter says, “I love athletes that are willing to work hard [and] stick with it ‘til the end.” The Camas Cross Country team certainly has a surplus of athletes that fit that bill, and they are eager to continue working hard, improving their skill set, and making their coach proud.
Saturday, October 6 the “Hole in the Wall” tournament took place in Arlington, Washington where the top 14 boys and top 14 girls raced. Varsity runners Jackson Lyne, Luc Utheza, and Sam Geiger all placed above 30th and broke 16 minutes for their 5k (Utheza and Geiger for the first time). The meet marked the grand finale of the season; however, there is one final regular season meet ahead on October 9th.