Tag Archive for: Track

Camas, WA — Sitting in the main Commons area at Camas High School (CHS) as the rain falls with great intensity, veteran CHS Track Coach, Alisa Wise, reflects on coaching a sport she loves, and why this was her last season.

On background, she started coaching in Utah, then became the assistant coach at Washougal, before her long run at Camas.

So, what are some of the top things Wise learned as a coach?

“After coaching for 20 years, I’ve learned that relationships are most important,” said Wise. “I’ve learned that you don’t remember the specifics of most meets, or the medals, but you remember the laughter, the moments on the bus, the disappointments, the emotions — all the things that aren’t attached to the points. I remember coming home from Jesuit — at midnight — to the kids dancing to the music on the bus. You do remember the crazy meets, you know the ones with ALL the rain and cold, the girl that got clipped with spikes, and cut her cheek open, and the trip to the ER. You remember the big blue van breaking down, and having to go rescue all the hammer throwers.”

Wise also said she’s learned to be more relaxed, and to keep perspective. Where she used to let her identity be tied to a victory or loss, it’s not like that anymore.

“The kids’ reactions have shaped me,” she said. “I still hate to lose, and I really like to win, but I’m able to let it go when the game is over. Sports teaches you hard things, and if things don’t go your way you, don’t let it crush you.”

She also emphasizes to NOT let the expectation level get too high, urging athletes to be push themselves, but to be honest and realistic with their abilities.

“You see some kids participate that may never place, but they can be part of a team,” she said. “You never know when a kid will have his or her moment.”

What are some the greatest accomplishments at CHS?

“Winning Oregon Relays in 2011 and 2014,” Wise said, without any hesitation. “That’s bigger than State! Plus, we’ve taken this small 3A school without much success, and turned it into a larger program with a lot of depth. These great kids continue to work hard, and they know how to represent.”

Wise is also touched by so many alumni who return and coach the sport.

“Look at Sienna Pittasi who now coaches at Heritage,” she added. “Tanner Boyd is coaching at Western Washington.”

Alumni Perspectives on Alisa

“The first thing you’ll notice about Coach wise is her smile and her individuality,” said Grayson Anderson, CHS Class of 2014. “I remember, it was the State track meet, I was in contention for winning the whole thing, and being the nervous 18 year-old I was I look to Coach Wise all the way across the track, leaning against the fence for advice. She waves me over and the first thing she does is crack a joke. As much as I wanted to be serious, I laughed and totally forgot why I even came over. In the biggest meet of the year, a jump away from a state title, here she is making me laugh. And this is Alisa’s gift. Her ability to connect with her athletes and discover what makes them laugh, smile, cry, what drives them and what will spark a fire inside them, is very special. She knew I needed to laugh and just relax even when I didn’t know that’s what I needed. Alisa Wise is so much more than a coach. She is a mentor, a friend and one of the most caring and involved individuals I’ve ever met. Her attention to detail and her passion are what make Coach Wise so exceptional at her craft.”


The 2016 Girls 4A District Champions.

“In big, stressful moments, she knew what to say to get me zoned in and ready to go,” said Anderson. “But the moments we’ve shared off the track, traveling to meets, sharing life experiences and just getting to know each other are what I appreciate most about her. She has a huge heart and truly cares about each and every athlete. Her team is her family. To this day Alisa and I have stayed in touch and regardless of how much time has passed she always greets me with a big smile, a big hug and a dozen questions about how my family and I are doing. And that’s what we love about her. She is a one of a kind soul, an exceptional coach and an amazing friend.”

“She was my High Jump coach and I always appreciated her energy!” said Adam Peterson, CHS class of 2014. “She always made me excited to be out there and she was always eager to give us chances to learn and grow not just as athletes but as leaders.”

What’s Next?

“Well, I’ll still teach,” said Wise. “I’m not dead. I just won’t have the time commitment that comes with coaching. It really begins in early January, and goes all the way to May. High school sports requires some much energy, and you simply have no balance in your life during the season. I need to focus on my grandkids, my family.”

She regrets missing her son’s birthdays through the years, but “they’ve forgiven me.”

Going forward, Wise will continue to compete individualy, and plans to do some specialized coaching. She’s just gotten certified as a USA Triathlon coach.

“I’m so grateful for all the coaches, and the support they’ve given me over the years,” she concluded. “Love Rod Raunig (the boys head coach). We worked very well together, we complement each other. I love Track, it’s been a part of me since I was 10. It’s part of my identity, and it will always be a part of me.”



Alisa Wise competes in several events each year, including triathlons.

 When it comes to sports, there’s something for just about everyone this weekend.

Baseball and softball fans can watch several Camas High School teams play on Friday.

The Freshman Baseball team plays Battle Ground at home today at 4 pm. Varsity and Junior Varsity Baseball travel to Battle Ground for 4 pm games.

The CHS C Softball team plays Union at home – also at 4 pm.

Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer competes with Hudson’s Bay at Doc Harris. JV starts at 5; Varsity at 7.

Camas Rugby competes Saturday at noon at Liberty Middle School field.




Camas Soccer plays tonight at 5 for JV and 7 for Varsity, at
Doc Harris Stadium.

CHS Dance travels to State in Yakima.

On Saturday, Camas Little League supporters are having their annual Little League Prep Day. It begins at 9 am.

CHS Track competes in the Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground. It starts at 10:30 am. It’s an annual event that’s a lot of fun.


Track Paige
Paige Jackson competes in the Pole Vault at last year’s Tiger Invitational.
Camas Rugby, aka Camas Mean Machine, starts their match at noon on Saturday at the Liberty Middle School fields.
And Camas LAX competes with Richland at 2:30 at Doc Harris Stadium. This will be their third game of the season.

Camas sophomore Ryan Gunther hasn’t let up since school let out.

For several years, he’s participated in middle and high school Track & Field doing various events, but this summer he’s doing even more. He signed up for USA Track & Field (USATF) and he just competed in a regional competition in Bend, OR, finishing second in 400m hurdles and third in high jump.

To qualify for regionals, he finished first at the State USATF meet in both events (hurdles and high jump), and at a recent association meet he earned second in the 400m hurdles and third in high jump.

USATF is divided into several regions across the country, and Gunther did well in Region 13’s meet this past weekend, qualifying him for the USATF national meet in late July, in Baltimore, MD. His family is seriously considering the invitation.

To be sure, Gunther is an athlete. He played Little League several years ago. He’s a successful soccer player, having played for years with the Cheetahs and now with WSA Alliance. Last winter, he gave swimming a try – and was quite successful.


Camas sophomore Ryan Gunther competes for USA Track & Field.


At a recent State competition in Seattle.

So why track?

“I have always enjoying racing and I thought track would be fun,” he said. “I started off doing 400 meter and 800 meter races and decided to try hurdles and I really like it. “

Gunther started track several years ago, as a sixth grader at Liberty Middle School.  He stays busy during these warm summer days by practicing hurdles Mondays and Fridays and the high jump every Wednesday, at Covington Middle School. Practices typically last 90 minutes to two hours.

His hurdles coach, Colleen Purwins, says Ryan “is very intense and focused.”

“He always works super hard and is always trying to improve,” she added. “If he sets his mind to do something he’ll do it.”

He will continue with track into the foreseeable future.

“Doing well at these meets feels great,” he said. “I love doing this.”

High jump
High Jump at State USA Track & Field competition.


The Camas Track & Field Team finished ninth overall with 56 points as the two-day event at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, OR wrapped up Saturday.

Freshman Alexa Efraimson wowed crowds with her first place finish in the 1500m run with a time of 4:34.23 just edging out her closest competitors.

“Today I wanted to push myself, but I didn’t want to take a lead until I knew I could win it, or have the potential of winning it,” Efraimson said. “I wanted to be able to present myself as not just a Freshman that’s quick but a runner that’s quick.”

Freshman Cole Zarcone placed fourth in the Freshman 100m race with a time of 11.78.

In the Triple Jump, Senior Sydney Allen got a fourth place finish at 35 feet, 9.5 inches.

Amber Corbett placed second in the Girl’s Javelin competition at 126 feet, 7.5 inches. She also scored a personal best.

Junior Andrew Kaler scored a personal best in the 1500m with a time of 4:15.09. He raced in the 3000m on Friday.

The Boy’s Sprint Medley team placed fourth, which consisted of Zarcone, Kyle Schrader, Josh Golden and John Doyle.

The CHS team competed against 45 other scoring teams and held their own, but have fared better in years past.

“I am so impressed with so many of these kids,” said Co-Head Coach Alisa Wise. “Two years ago, we won the whole thing, but to be in Top 10 is great. This is a big event and kids usually set PR’s in events like this, but that didn’t happen as much as we expected. In this big atmosphere you want them to be at or near their personal records. We want them to be consistent as we prepare for state championships.”

She attributed Efraimson’s success to her patience, training and overall personal strategy.

“She was extremely focused,” said Wise. “She was prepared.”

This was the school’s sixth time competing at Oregon Relays, which intertwines college and high school athletes at Historic Hayward Field, home to the Track & Field Olympic Trials and numerous historic events at University of Oregon.

The event itself is amazing and gathers some of the best Track & Field athletes from several states and British Columbia. CHS sent 28 of their best athletes, but several weren’t in attendance due to the Prom on April 21.

One observer from Gig Harbor said many eyes are on the Freshman this year from Camas. “Word has gotten around how good they are,” he said.


Alexa Efraimson
Alexa Efraimson won the 1500m race with a time of 4:34.23.
Girls Track
Some member of the CHS Girl’s Track & Field Team.


Cole Zircon
Cole Zarcone, right, prepares for the Freshman 100m race.


Cole Zarcone finished 4th in the Freshman 100 race.


Alexa Efraimson before she pulled out front. She won the Girl’s 1500m race.