Kelso, WA — Even though rival Hanford won Saturday’s meet, Camas still won the District 4 Title, and is sending seven athletes to State. Hanford swims competitively with District 4 multiple times a season, but they actually represent District 8, and carry that title, as well. Yes, it’s confusing.

“The girls swam really well today, and we had a lot of really close races,” said Camas Head Coach, Mike Bemis. “But, we simply don’t have the numbers that Hanford has. We’re pretty happy that we have seven girls going to State next week. The girls have a lot to be proud of. We still won the District 4 title.”

The Papermakers got off to a great start in the 200 Medley Relay, narrowly winning with 1:53.17. Hanford placed second with 1:53.57. Union placed third. The Camas team included Mia Kamenko, Kristina Perian, Bailey Segall, and Paeton Lesser.

Walla Walla, Hanford, and Richland took the top three wins in the 200 Free. Walla Walla also came out top in the 200 IM, with Lesser placing second, and Mary Workman, of Richland, placing third.

The 50 Free event was ultra tight: Hanford’s Kodi Younkin (25.11); Heritage’s Meliah Franklin (25.17); and Camas’ Bailey Segall (25.22).

“I scored a personal best in the 50 Free,” said Segall. “I’m so happy right now.”

In the 100 Fly event, Union’s Abby Crowson won (59.96), and Segall would place second (1:01.00), earning a spot to compete at State next week. Hanford’s Carrie Moore placed third.

Papermaker Lesser won the 100 Free (54.71) with Heritage’s Meliah Franklin placing second, and Hanford’s Younkin rounding out the top three.

The 500 Free event was won by Hanford’s Regan Geldmacher (5:06.43). Walla Walla’s Laurel Skorina and Richland’s Bryn McGinnis rounded out the top three.

In the ultra competitive 200 Free Relay, Hanford edged out Camas by one second, setting a meet record (1:41.05). Union’s relay team placed third. Walla Walla’s Kyra Hartley earned the top spot in the 100 Back, with Battle Ground’s Jacqueline Ramsey, and Union’s Abby Crowson placing second and third, respectively.


100 Backstroke Event.

Union’s Avery Gunderson handily won the 100 Breastroke event (1:10.08) with Papermaker Kristian Perian placing second (1:12.04) and Hanford’s Haha Fathali placing third (1:15.27).

Hanford came out on top again in the 400 Free Relay (3:47.88) with Walla Walla and Camas finishing second and third, respectively.

Camas looks forward to sending seven athletes to State: five swimmers, and two divers. Bailey Segall, Paeton Lesser, Hope Yim, Kristina Perian, Mia Kamenko will swim, and sisters Shae and Lynn McGee will dive.

“We’re really happy with the results,” said Segall. “We have a good team, and we’re looking forward to State.”

Photo Gallery


Recently, the Opinion column in the Camas-Washougal Post Record suggested that a competition pool only satisfies the needs of a handful of local Camas/Washougal high school swimmers, and that it would be of little use to over 99% of the community. A similar argument could be made of many other community venues and facilities, but I think the more important point is that this view grossly underestimates the popularity of organized swimming.

There is a perception that swimming is a niche sport and that only a few participate in competitive swimming. In truth, it is precisely the opposite. Swimming on a team is the third fastest growing sport in the US (Sport & Fitness Industry Assoc 2017) and USA Swimming boasts 400,000 age-group members on more than 2,800 teams nationwide. US Masters Swimming represents 65,000 adult members, and USAT (triathlons) reports 4.04 million people participated in triathlons in 2017. In short, swimming is huge!

And it’s popular for all the right reasons. Swimming is an inexpensive lifelong sport that can be enjoyed from toddlerhood to the centennial years, and for most it is an exercise that is virtually pain and injury free. Indeed, the physical and mental benefits of lap swimming are well documented and indisputable. Moreover, swimming allows every person to pursue their own journey within it, in either a solo or group setting. Some might be training for headline events, but most pursue more personal goals.


The 200 Free Relay team from Camas. They broke a Kelso Invitational Meet record.

The Opinion made the claim that only 80 Camas/Washougal high school swimmers (two-tenths of one percent of our county population) would ever need a competition pool, evidently concluding both that no other juveniles engage in organized swimming and that none of our adult and/or increasing senior population would ever have use of it either. Interestingly, that argument actually works better for sports other than swimming, and for sports venues already built.

With adults/seniors, even cursory research reveals that organized swimming is alive and well. There are regional and national masters meets, and multiple swim practices just for adults. It is not uncommon to attend a masters meet and see men and women in their 90s still competing! For those of us in masters swimming who have seen the packed 5:30 am practices, the swim meets with 65 heats of 100 free, and the 80-year-old who sets a state record, it boggles the mind to hear the assumption that adults are not interested in competitive or organized swimming. It simply isn’t true at all. In fact, the 2018 US Masters National Short Course Championship set a new attendance record, with over 2400 adults traveling to Indiana for a 4 day meet. Of those, over 400 were over the age of 65.


Even bigger is age group swimming. The Opinion assumes only high school swim team members need a competitive pool. Again, that just isn’t true. One only need visit an aquatic center in an afternoon to see hundreds of kids, of all ages and abilities, at swim practice. To suggest only the high school team needs a competitive pool is akin to suggesting that only the high school track team would use a track or only the high school tennis team would use tennis courts. These sports involve far more kids than the tiny percentage mentioned in the Opinion.

A competition pool offers benefits that a recreational pool simply cannot. Much like the football team needs a “real” stadium or bikers need a separate traffic lane, a swim team or fitness swimmer needs a competition pool for a proper workout. Those pools are designed for lap swimming, maintaining correct temperatures, dimensions, and atmosphere for a workout. They also provide practical, inexpensive, equipment-free, weatherproof use of virtually every single member of the community every single day of the year (yes, there is swim practice Thanksgiving morning!!). If you have a suit and goggles, you are ready to swim. High school swim teams, local swim teams, masters groups, home school swim groups, diving teams, teen fit classes (coached workouts w/o competition aspect), water polo, synchronized swimming, triathlete training, open lap swimming, pre-swim team (kids bridging lessons to workout level), regional and national meets, lap swimming for physically handicapped (chair lifts in/out pool) and others can all use the competition pool without ever once setting foot in the recreational pool, which would be fully booked with swim lessons, water aerobics, lifeguard classes, fun/family swim, and physical therapy patients.

I recently returned to North Carolina to see family and took the opportunity to research a few pools when I heard about the Opinion published. In Fort Mill, SC (popl 17k, 25 min from Charlotte) the city is building an Olympic sized pool (50 m x 25 y) on land from a defunct mill donated by Springs Industries. Fort Mill already has an 8 lane, 25 yd pool but demand exceeds space. In Huntersville, NC (popl 50k, 25 min from Charlotte) the Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatic Center was built, with both an Olympic and recreational pool. In Greensboro NC (popl 273k in 2011), it took years and multiple denied bond votes before an aquatic center was built in 2011. The city is now building its fourth pool on the same site to satisfy unprecedented demand. And in little Clover SC (popl 5900!!) the town enjoys a 25 yd competition pool, a 25 yd recreational pool, and an Olympic sized pool all on a single site.


The future of practice and home meets is in question for the 2X State Championship winning CHS Boys Swim Team.

Locally, Bend OR (popl 75k in 2007) built Juniper Aquatic Center in 2007 with both an Olympic and recreational pool. And Issaquah WA (popl 38k) enjoys an aquatic center with a competition and recreational pool. Mike Nelson, from the Facilities Development Department of USA Swimming, advised me that “every ‘new design’ aquatic facility we have been involved with in the past 14 years has had multiple pools.”

Camas/Washougal (popl 40k) and Vancouver (popl 173k) would greatly benefit from an aquatic center that includes a competition pool and recreational venues. I think this area could accommodate an Olympic pool and recreational pool, and that such an option should be considered. Such a facility would comply with US Swimming requirements, availing us to regional and national meets that generate revenue. The demand is there, and will only increase when the facility is built. Indeed, the Beaverton facility undoubtedly pulls in swimmers from areas far beyond what its founders likely ever envisioned. More importantly, two pools would do a better job of addressing water safety. Swimming lessons and water safety are paramount. They should be a robust aspect of any water facility and there should be plentiful and budget-friendly options.

Every pool in the area should be busy with swim lessons. Two pools gives us the flexibility and logistics to coordinate both lap swimming and swim lessons, which often have competing needs with temperatures, lane lines, and coaches/teachers needing deck space. A larger facility also eliminates buyer’s remorse, where we outgrow what we’ve built before it’s ever used. While interest and usage must certainly be researched in these planning stages, there is a well-known maxim that “if you build it, they will come.” A city doesn’t just build a high dollar race track, casino, or music hall, for example, because it has ascertained that an unusually large number of those participants happen to live in the local area. Rather, it sees a hole in the market and fills it and, if thorough research was done, the effort is community enriching and financially responsible.

I’m sure such effort was made before many other facilities in this area were built. The football stadium, the library, the Excelsior culinary program, Camas High ceramics studio, and the waterfront park are all different and varied examples of this community going the extra mile to build something special and that would meet the needs of its people not just now, but for years to come.

By Connie Roberts

Photo Gallery

Camas, WA — Camas beat Skyview Friday night, but it didn’t come without a hefty price, given the injuries the Papermakers sustained — especially to starting QB/Safety/Kicker Andrew Boyle, who is scheduled for surgery today to treat ACL and Meniscus injuries.

During the second quarter, Boyle, who was involved in four touchdown plays already in the first half, carried the ball up the middle and was injured during a tackle by the Skyview defense. He went down in agony, laid on the field for several minutes, and was carried off to the sidelines by his teammates.

He was treated on the spot, then got up and wore crutches during the rest of the game. JV quarterback, Blake Asciutto stepped in, as backup QB, Jake Blair, was suffering from a plantar strain. He’s expected to play Friday against Union.

While in pain, Boyle was also visibly angry knowing the impact the injury would have on him, and his team.

“I felt my knee get hit, and I felt a pop,” he said. “And, it’s felt really unstable ever since.”

Kevin, his father, said Andrew spent the weekend resting, and then saw several specialists, including the Portland Blazers knee specialist, who is performing today’s surgery.

Being as versatile as Andrew is, he’s been recruited by colleges for both his football and soccer talent. His family is confident he’ll make a full recovery, but it will take time.

Asciutto said he was shocked by Friday’s events, but he delivered for the Papermakers, and said his team is rallying behind Andrew. They’re hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.

Papermaker Kenny Wright was also injured Friday with a hit to his knee. He was treated at the scene, has been resting, and his mother, Kristin, reports he’s recovering very quickly.

“He was so sad because he thought he was done for the season and maybe basketball,” said Kristin. “He felt his knee pop and was in a lot of pain. I actually can’t believe he is doing so well!”

Stay tuned for continued updates.

Kelso, WA — The Camas Girls Swim Team won the Kelso Invitational Saturday, and set a new meet record along the way.

”We broke the meet record in the 200 Free Relay,” said Camas swimmer, Bailey Segall. “We were only .2 off of the state time and are planning on getting it shortly. We were all really trying to pump each other up and we all swam very well.”

Their time was 1:43.91, and broke the record set five years ago. The 200 Free Relay team included Paeton Lesser, Bailey Segall, Hope Yim, and Kristina Perian.

“We really wanted to get the state time because we were about two seconds away and we gave it our best shot,” said Hope Yim. “We will continue to work hard and hopefully break the pool record!”


Here are the results from several events:

200 Free
-1st Bailey Segall
-4th Hope Yim

200 IM
-2nd Paeton Lesser
3rd Lily Seitz (Wash)

50 Free
-2nd Kristina Perian
-5th Mia Kamenko

100 Fly
-4th Lily Seitz (Wash)

100 Free
-2nd Paeton Lesser
-4th Bailey Segall
-5th Hope Yim

500 Free
-1st Grace Benjamin
– 5th Audrey Hinchliff

100 Back
-2nd Mia Kamenko
-4th Madi O’Neal

Camas also placed first in the 400 Free Relay swim event with Grace Benjamin, Mia Kamenko, Kate Gerstler, and Jessica Bretz.

“This year we are just very lucky to have a great group of girls,” said Lesser. “Everyone is very encouraging, and I feel very fortunate to be on a relay with them.”

The girls will keep going after the state cut in the 200 Free Relay.

“Bailey pumped everyone up before the race,” said Perian. “I believe that we all performed the best we could for our team.”

“We are very fortunate to have such an amazing group of girls extending well past the relay,” said Segall. “We had decided we wanted to make the cut, both for us and for our team. More importantly we wanted to swim the best that we could. We were all hyping each other up both in the warm up pool and behind the blocks. The majority of our team was there encouraging us and cheering us on. We all swam fantastic and every single girl on the relay gave it her all. I am so excited to be apart of such a fantastic and enthusiastic team and relay. I can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish.”

Photos by Kristie Greenwood.


The Camas High School Girls swim team.

Camas, WA — To raise awareness in his fight against obesity, and create unique parks across the country, Camas Football coach Dale Rule walked for 24 hours this past weekend at Doc Harris Stadium.

During that time, he logged 50+ miles, or 100,866 steps in loops around the football field, and got to speak with many members of the community.

“Some may think I’m an idiot for doing this,” said Rule. “I am, but this is what I’m supposed to be doing, and the doctor gave me clearance to do this just a few days ago. I was so happy to make it to the finish line, it was brutal, but I made it!”

Rule, who along with his wife, Lya, have been championing the fight against obesity for several years. At one point, Dale weighed more than 400 pounds, and decided to exercise more and significantly change his eating habits. He was set to walk from Portland to Chicago this past summer, but suffered from a burst colon just days prior to his journey.


“If it would have happened during my walk, I’m sure I would have died,” said Dale.

Dale spent weeks in the hospital, and it took months to be in shape to even walk for an hour.

Along this weekend’s walk, he spent time with community members talking about his vision to raise funds to build special parks throughout the nation, starting here in Camas.

“I just ask for people to contribute $1.50 a month,” he said. “Building these parks will create jobs, help kids stay in shape, and stay out of trouble. I know this all sounds crazy, but I believe this is why I’m here. We will make this happen.”

During his walk, he spoke with friends and acquaintances about how best to promote what he’s doing.

“There are negative ways to do it that will generate more buzz, but we’re a group of positive, optimistic people, so we’ll just stay on that route — Everyone Walk!” he said.

To learn more, visit


CAMAS — They never doubted themselves. That’s what Bellevue’s quarterback, Bryson Sleeper, said after Friday night’s incredible rally late in the fourth quarter at Doc Harris Stadium.

The Wolverines, trailing by 14 points half way through the fourth quarter, scored 24 points on the Papermakers, winning the incredible game with a 41-yard field goal with 1 second left on the clock. Final score: 38-35.

“We’ve known all season that we are we so motivated, and dedicated,” said Sleeper. “We do weight room in the morning, after games, we do conditioning all the time. We practice every single week as hard as we can. We practice every single play. We were down by two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, but we knew we weren’t going to lose. We came back. We had a strong motivation on the sidelines. Everyone was cheering as loud as they could. Honestly, we couldn’t get ourselves down at all. We were confident, but we knew going into this it would be a close game.”



Jed Michael felt confident, but was also shocked he made the final field goal that sealed the deal.

It wasn’t the ending that Camas was expecting.

The Camas defense halted Bellevue on three consecutive drives with fourth-down stops, but Bellevue’s defense, though, forced a punt that was blocked, which set them up for their late rally, with under 5 minutes left.

Bellevue recovered an onside kick and scored on a 53-yard run by Drew Fowler to tie the game at 28.

A Camas pass was then deflected, which was caught by Bellevue, and within three plays, Alex Reid scored for Bellevue, leading 35-28.

Camas executed well deep into the fourth quarter, and when they got behind, they didn’t give up.

Andrew Boyle threw to Jackson Clemmer, who ran 63 yards to score at 2:17, tieing the game. The Papermaker defense forced a punt, but the Wolverines intercepted with 25 seconds on the clock — and they got close enough to score a field goal.


Camas QB Andrew Boyle.

“We just knew Bellevue was going to bring a lot of guys that like to blitz,” said Boyle. “We knew we’d have to throw the ball, so we prepared well this week, and we did make a lot of great plays — the line protected me well. It was just a great team effort. We don’t give up, and it’s a great team to be a part of.”

Boyle threw for 292 yards and five touchdowns. Luc Sturbelle scored three touchdowns, while Clemmer scored two.

“We came out knowing they had a good defense but the corners played soft,” said Sturbelle. “They were just good throws by Andrew really. He just dropped them in perfectly.”

Camas plays at Heritage next Friday.

Photos by Jon Pugmire.

Camas, WA — For the first time ever, Downtown Camas is hosting the Hoops 360, 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. The event stems from a long tradition of outdoor 3 on 3 events that have averaged, over the years, 200+ teams of fun basketball competition from youth to elite athletes.

According to the Downtown Camas Association, this event has been happening locally for over 20 years. Games will start Friday, August 17 at 8 pm, and conclude at 10 pm. Saturday games begin at 10 am, and end at 5 pm. Games will resume Sunday at 10 am on Sunday and conclude by 3 pm.

Shoot 360, which owns Hoops 360, is the facilitator.

“We are a tech firm for basketball development,” said Brad Butterworth, who represents the company. “We have facilities all over the country. We use a tech platform to teach basketball skills — ball handling, shooting and passing. The company began in 2012 in Beaverton. Then they opened in Vancouver, then LA, Indianapolis, and we are opening a second California location soon.”

Shoot 360 recruited Butterworth, who is a former coach, after he started his own tech firm.

“I really believe in Shoot 360’s mission,” said Butterworth. “It’s incredibly powerful. We engage a positive way to teach our kids. And, it’s a very intriguing and powerful company.”

Their business model is member-focused, and boasts a membership of 500 in SW Washington.

“We are using technology as a coaching tool and resource,” said Butterworth. “It’s like Fortnite for basketball.”

Their Vancouver site is located at Fourth Plain in Orchards. To learn more, visit

“Currently, every year we run a 3 on 3 event, which used to be Hoops on the River,” he said. “They closed shop. We wanted to keep that 3 on 3 thriving, so we rebranded it Hoops 360 3 on 3, and we ran it at Marshall Park, near Clark College. This year, we are moving it to Camas, so we’re really excited. We’re turning all of 5th Ave. from Adams to Dallas into an outdoor basketball venue.”


Three men jump battling for the ball in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament held on the streets.

The events will happen on Birch Street between 5th and 4th, and on Cedar, between 5th and 4th — all of which will be basketball courts for three days.

Event organizers anticipate 4,000 people, and the City of Camas said it would be the second largest event behind Camas Days. They’re expecting 275 teams, most of which come from Clark County, but a few are coming from Seattle.

Hampton Inn and Subaru of America are key sponsors, who are helping them market and spread the word. In addition, there will be 12 vendors on hand, and they will be playing basketball movies at the Liberty Theater. A beer garden will also be available.

“We are trying to make it an entire family affair,” said Butterworth. “We want it to be a vacation-like experience. There will be live music playing. We’re bringing in people from Savannah to play. It’ll be fun!”


Camas, WA — After many weeks of negotiations between Lacamas Athletic Club and Camas High School (CHS), the school’s athletic program was forced to find a new home for the Girl’s swim team this season, and is leaving the future home of the two-time State Championship winning Boy’s swim team in doubt.

“Our girls swim program will be swimming this season at Cascade Athletic Club,” said CHS Athletic Director, Rory Oster. “Cascade Athletic Club and Evergreen School District has been excellent in working with us to accommodate our kids. All I can say is that our preference would be to have Camas High School girl’s swim program using Lacamas Athletic Club facilities. Unfortunately an agreement could not be made in order to do so for this upcoming swim season, my hope is that our boys swim team will be able to use Lacamas Athletic facilities as again, that is the preference of Camas School District Athletic Department.”

Oster said that Camas High School will not have any “home meets” and that all of their competitions will be at other pools.

In June, Denise Croucher, owner of Lacamas Athletic Club, approached Oster with demands that CHS could not meet. Among those initial demands, according to Mike Bemis, CHS Head Swim Coach, was to find another coach who wasn’t affliated with Columbia River Swim Team (CRST) — a competitor of the Lacamas Athletic Club’s Headhunters private club swim team. Bemis is a two-time State Championship swim coach for CHS, and the team won back-to-back State titles in 2017 and 2018.

Camas reaffirmed their loyalty and commitment to Bemis and his successful program.

According to Bemis, Lacamas Athletic Club accused him and CRST of recruiting athletes away from the Headhunters program.

”Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Bemis. “These are great kids and we have athletes from multiple clubs who compete for Camas High School. The athletes all get along quite well, and it shows with their accomplishments. CRST, for which I work very part-time, has not recruited any athletes from Lacamas or any other club.”

Bemis said the final gap that couldn’t be bridged was that Lacamas Athletic Club also demanded that Bemis sign an agreement between CRST and Lacamas Athletic Club that neither club could recruit any swimmers from each other’s clubs that are aged 14 or older, and that after turning 14, they could never switch club teams.

”That’s an agreement I simply could not sign,” said Bemis. “I have no authority to do that, and the owner of CRST was never approached. Such an agreement also infringes on parental choice as to where they want their child to practice and compete.”



Camas High School girls swimmers hold up the US flag during the pledge of allegiance at a 2017 home meet.

The management at CRST concurs.

”We were never approached by Denise or anyone at Lacamas Athletic Club with an agreement,” said Darlene Lumbard, owner of CRST. “I even spent four days next to Denise at a recent club meet and nothing was ever said. In fact, the kids from both programs get along very well.”

When Lacamas Magazine approached Croucher in late June about possible outcomes, Croucher said of Oster: “He may be considering moving the team, but this is not the outcome we are hoping for.”

Following the official move to Cascade, Croucher was asked to reply to details about the negotiations, and she said:
”Our agreement with the school district had to be re-negotiated because the current terms no longer worked due to the time changes at the school district; they could no longer swim at 2:30 pm. It is not uncommon to renegotiate the terms yearly if needed. With our drastic membership growth over the past two years, the members’ pool usage has also increased. This makes an agreement more difficult as we have to keep our valuable member’s needs a top priority. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement this year that worked for both parties. Being a private business, we will not discuss the details of a business agreement. Hopefully we can accommodate the school district’s pool rental needs in the future.”

At one of the 2017 Camas High School home swim meets.

“I think again this just goes to show you that you can’t demand this upon parents,” said CHS Assistant Swim Coach, Leslie Levesque. “She [Croucher] has no legal ground to stand on. Parents have the right to decided which club their kids swim in. This is absurd. And Mike said we can easily practice in the morning times at Lacamas as we did last year.”
The move has scheduling, traffic, and other complications, and poses some additional burdens on the coaches, Cascade Athletic Club, and the parents. Bemis also expressed gratitude toward Cascade for making this accommodation. The club will see how things go with the girl’s season, and then make decisions about the future with the boy’s season. Levesque said CHS will have two lanes at Cascade Athletic Club from at 5:30 am, 6:15 am, and 7:15-8:45 each evening, and will share the pool with CRST.

Camas High and Washougal High School seniors honored at Senior Night.

Making It Work
“We’ve been put out to pasture,” said Bemis. “This makes it a lot tougher to keep winning championships. It creates travel issues. No home meets. It’s hard to build up new kids in a situation like this. It makes it more challenging to get to the facilities. This is my biggest fear. It’s been challenging to work with Lacamas Athletic Club over the years but we’ve always made it work these past 12 years — until now. We’re really grateful to Mitch Merwin at Cascade — he’s been great to work with. He’s been very helpful.”

Swimming at a home meet.

A Parent’s Perspective
“Well, besides the Lacamas pool being a beautiful facility, I’m glad the Camas school district isn’t playing the blackmail game,” said Sarah Segall, mother of CHS swimmer, Bailey Segall. “Denise never treated the swimmers well and frequently wouldn’t have the pool open when they arrived for an early morning practice. It will be tight to have all the swimmers at Cascade but the girls seem excited about the opportunity to train with each other. Although it’s not ideal for them to drive so far across town for their practice, it will show their dedication to the sport. It would be great if the city of Camas were made aware of the need for a facility for the community as well as for the high level swim program at the high school. CHS is still working out details on transportation from morning practices to school, and is uncertain how this will impact the boy’s swim team season.”

The future of practice and home meets is in question for the 2X State Championship winning CHS Boys Swim Team.

“For practice we are able to give our students options for attendance so it has the ability to fit everyone’s schedule,” said Oster. “Camas SD and Evergreen SD will be sharing facilities during practice times. Our hope is that Lacamas Athletic Club has a change of heart by the time boys season begins and welcomes us back to our prior relationship which has always been positive and effective.”

Statement from Camas City Councilor Rusch

“Although the only information I have on this is what’s been reported in your article, this is disappointing,” said Camas City Councilor, Deanna Rusch. “However, I can say the City is actively working to pursue a year round pool/aquatic center/community center. A multi jurisdictional committee is set to begin meetings September 5 to discuss this. I look forward to serving on this committee and to helping to further the current momentum and progress we are having on making sure Camas has a safe and fun place to swim. My goal would be to provide a year round facility for our swimmers and divers.

Further, although the existing Crown Park pool will be demolished, City Council hasn’t made a decision on what will happen in its place. I, for one, don’t believe a small neighborhood pool and a larger community center pool are mutually exclusive and I’m examining all of our options in this regard.”

Swim Gallery


Tulsa, OK — July was a very busy month for Camas elementary student, Aubrie Wheeler, who won the top title at a National Horse show in Tulsa, OK, which was preceded by wins at two major competitions in Longmont, CO.

“From July 5-6, Aubrie competed at the Rocky Mountain Regional POA High Point Show and won (9 & Under Divison), and from July 7-8, she competed at the World West POA Show High Point (9 & Under Division),” said Mamie Wheeler, Aubrie’s mother. “Then we went on to Tulsa, Oklahoma to our National show, where she won National Congress High Point All Around 9 & Under. That was three overall titles in three shows — at the national level.  It was a huge accomplishment for a little one!”

POA (Pony of the Americas) is the breed of her horse, and over the course of four days, Aubrie competed in 43 classes, and won the overall title for her division at both of those shows. There were participants from nine states, and Aubrie was high point all around 9U for both shows. She had a bunch of class wins, and she was the top of her division in both shows. There were 14 in her division.

Each class is a separate event, or competition. At end of show, judges combine class totals together and name overall titles. She won the national title at the National High Point All Around 9U.

Aubrie Answers Questions

What is your favorite part of showing your Pony? 

AW: Being with my ponies and making new friends.

Who are your new friends this year?

AW: Olivia and Avery Mae (Tennessee), Grace (Georgia), Olivia and Kelly (Oklahoma), Katie (Wisconsin) & McKenzie and Hailey (Illinois).  And I made the trip with my friends Chloe and Kylee from Washington!

What is your favorite event at the shows?

AW: Gaming.

Why do you like Gaming?

AW: Cause you get to go fast.

What does it take to win the an Overall National Championship?

AW: You have to work hard.  Practice a lot.

What is your goal next year for the National POA Congress show?

AW: To win the Overall High Point Championship again!

What do you need to do to reach that goal?

AW: Practice and try hard.


“We do a lot of training ourselves, and we work with two trainers,” said Mamie. “She rides 5-6 days a week, and trains with a trainer in Ridgefield, while the other trainer comes to our house. We’ve been competing since January, and she has competed in two to three competitions a month since March. This was helping her prepare for Nationals — to get lots of practice.”

Her trainers are Anthony Wilson of Wilson Performance Horses in Ridgefield, and Amy Vesneske, of Battle Ground. Veneske specializes in jumping, and Wilson specializes in pleasure horses. Mamie teaches the speed competitions.

“We are a fourth generation equestrian family,” said Mamie. “We raise our own babies. Grandpa did rodeo, and her dad was a professional bull rider for several years. She was born into it, and has competed in rodeos and horse shows since she was 2 years old.”



Salem, OR — The Camas Dream Team 3rd graders went 6-0 this past weekend and dominated the 8-under division to win the Oregon Hoopla 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Oregon’s capitol. Oregon Hoopla is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Oregon, and the boys played well.

The tournament itself comprised 16 teams in the 8-under division, and the Camas boys outscored their opponents 211 to 42 in six games during throughout the weekend.

The Camas Dream Team players are Lincoln Fogle, Max Gibson, Pierce Harrington and Jaxson Sullivan. All boys will be 3rd graders at area Camas schools this fall. To learn more about this program, visit

The next tournament they play in is the Shoot 360 3-on-3 Tournament in Downtown Camas on August 17th-19th.  This next event is sponsored by Shoot 360. To learn more about that event, please visit

Here is a summary of their game scores:

Camas Dream Team 35 Hampton Inn (Vancouver) 2

Camas Dream Team 35 Team Pitbull (Salem) 4

Camas Dream Team 35 Oregon Flash Red (Portland) 12

Camas Dream Team 36 Fearsome Foursome (Eugene) 10

Camas Dream Team 35 Vipers (Keizer) 9 – SEMIS

Camas Dream Team 35 Beast Squad (Wilsonville) 5 – FINALS


Camas Dream Team. Max Gibson, Lincoln Fogle, Jaxon Sullivan, and Pierce Harrington.