Efraimson’s blistering pace in girls 1,600 sets a state record

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comMay 24, 2014 

Alexa Efraimson of Camas High School set the Washington all-time record in the 1600 with a time of 4:37.85 at the West Central/Southwest bidistrict track and field meet on Friday, May 23. Federal Way's Hannah Cunliffe hopes to do the same in the 100 and 200.

TJ COTTERILL, STAFF WRITER

KENT — Camas High School’s Alexa Efraimson is the state’s new all-time fastest girls 1,600-meter runner.

She entered the West Central/Southwest bidistrict track and field championships Friday as one of two runners in state history to run the outdoor event in less than 4 minutes, 40 seconds, but she passed Bellarmine Prep’s Brie Felnagle (2005) for fastest in Washington state history with a time of 4:37.85.

She didn’t know of that immediately after the race. All that was on her mind was how much she left on the track, despite finishing more than 20 seconds faster than second-place Alexis Fuller of Union (4:58.69).

“I know I’m in way better shape than that,” said Efraimson, whose time qualified her for the 4A state championships. She won the 1,600 state title in a meet-record time of 4:39.25 last year.

After learning Friday’s time was an outdoor personal record, she lightened up but continued to say she can be faster.

“I really am proud to be able to be under that and be able to represent Washington state and Washington state history,” said Efraimson, who ran a 4:32.15 indoor mile at the Millrose Games in New York in February. “But really, I’m just trying to go out here and get better.”

Olympia’s Peter Kesting was just as exciting in the boys 1,600. He passed Federal Way’s Mitch Stewart on the final lap, sprinted to the finish and ending up with an Olympia High-record time of 4:11.54.

Kesting hadn’t run faster than 4:18.55 prior to the meet and topped some of the state’s top distance runners in Gig Harbor’s Wolfgang Beck and Logan Carroll, both of whom were part of the Tides’ national championship cross country team in the fall.

Kesting was all smiles afterward.

“Where that came from, I couldn’t tell you. But it felt great,” Kesting said. “I was talking with my coach (Jesse Stevick) and we talked about just sticking with the front of the pack. ... I learned a new race strategy today.”

“I have no idea where this came from, but I have a new goal: win state.”

Gig Harbor qualified four runners to state in the 1,600: Beck, Carroll, Mahmoud Moussa and Tristan Peloquin.

FEDERAL WAY FIELD

Federal Way dominated the field events Friday. Chico McClatcher earned the bidistrict’s top seed in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 53/4 inches. It came just after Todd Beamer’s Adrian Shocks thought he had taken it with a mark of 23-21/2 and sprinted about 50 yards down the track in excitement.

Federal Way’s Keenan Curran also qualified in the long jump and made it through to Saturday’s bidistrict finals in the boys 300 hurdles with a time of 38.86.

Jared Pulu earned the top seed to state in the shot put (54-51/2), and Tyson Penn was first in high jump (6-8) for Federal Way.

FINAL PREPARATION

Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe didn’t beat her top marks in the state in the 100 and 200, but she had the top times in Friday’s preliminaries heading into Saturday’s finals. She finished the 100 in 11.93 and the 200 in 24.76.

“My goal tomorrow is to just prepare myself for state and see how fast I can push myself,” Cunliffe said. “But to be in state, that’s what I’ve wanted to do since my dad started taking me in sixth or seventh grade.”

Emerald Ridge’s ShaRaya Quinn earned the top preliminary times in both the 300 hurdles (43.29) and 100 hurdles (14.21). She entered the day with top times in the state in both events.

Federal Way’s Jason Palmer and Josh Dawson finished with the top two preliminary times in the boys 400 meter. Evergreen of Vancouver twins Jai’Lyn and Dai’Lyn Merriweather, both freshmen, had the top two times in the girls 400.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677 t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com @TJCotterill

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