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Efraimson breaks USR 1600 at the 2014 WIAA State Meet - DyeStat

Published by
DyeStat   on May 30 2014, 04:00 PM

Efraimson runs into record book in the 1,600

 

By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

 
TACOMA, Wash. -- Alexa Efraimson's decision to go through with the state championships in Washington paid off on Thursday with a new national record in the 1,600 meters.

 
The Camas junior ran 4:33.29, pacing herself to the fastest outdoor 1,600 in prep history.


Efraimson had options this week. She was offered a spot on the starting line at the Prefontaine Classic, and opportunity to race Elise Cranny, Mary Cain and a slew of other professionals.


By staying put and running for Camas this weekend, Efraimson can continue to carve her legacy in Washington as well as give a nod to the WIAA, which changed its rulebook to allow her and other athletes to seek out additional competitive opportunities (like college and pro meets) without fear of losing eligibility.


The World Youth Championships bronze medalist lined up in the 1600 at Mt. Tahoma High School and tore away from the field in the first 150 meters. She ran 67-71-70-65 on the way to the record.


"It really helped having a big crowd cheering me on," she said. "I felt strong and I'm really happy."


Efraimson's performance helped kick-start at the state championships in Washington, which is bursting at the seams with distance running talent.

 

In the Class 4A boys 1,600, Drew Schreiber of Eisenhower ran 4:07.32 for the win. In Class 3A boys, Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep won it with a scorching last lap at 4:07.73. Ten guys in the two races ran 4:13 or faster. Gig Harbor put four finishers in the top nine of the 4A race.


One who sat out was Efraimson's NXN champion counterpart Kai Wilmot of North Central.


Wilmot will be part of a loaded 3,200 field on Saturday and has overcome long odds in order to make it to the starting line. An IT band injury kept him from training almost all season long and yet he still managed to qualify for the state meet by running 9:02 at his regional meet last week.


Teammate Tanner Anderson said Wilmot had 75 miles all spring and shook his head, saying "it's pretty amazing."


Wilmot has suprised himself along the way and doesn't know what he might be able to do on Saturday given his limited training and fitness.


But Hardy, for one, picks Wilmot to win it, such is the respect for Wilmot's guts and talent.


Also, sprinter Hannah Cunliffe made her state championships debut on Thursday in a prelim of the 4x200 meters. Cunliffe ran on the anchor for Federal Way and the squad ran within a second of the 31-year-old state record.


"I'm very excited, it's something I've always wanted since seventh grade," Cunliffe said. "I could hardly sleep last night."


Cunliffe has run independent of high school competition most of her career also had to sit out last year due to a transfer.


But she finally made it to Mt. Tahoma High School on Thursday, and she gives another boost to the reigning champion girls from Federal Way.


"(It's) awesome," she said. "I can't express any other feeling. It's a great opportunity."
Individually and collectively, it could be huge weekend for Cunliffe and Federal Way.

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