High School Sports

Watch: All contestants winners in special race at Camas-Columbia River track meet

During a time when perspective appears to have been lost with the win-at-all-costs allegations coming out from the Bellevue High School football program, there came a moment in Wednesday’s Camas-Columbia River track and field meet that help restore our faith in high school sports.

The Columbia River 400-meter girls relay team decided to give its anchor leg to Ellen Hardy, a special education student at River.

Columbia River coach Michelle Buss informed Camas coach Alisa Wise of the Chieftains intentions, and Wise fully supported the plan.

But what Wise was not aware of her runners would do during the race.

When the members of Camas’ varsity relay team – Emily Karkanen, Alexa Dietz, Aliya Ponder and Karsyn Quade – learned of River’s plan, they decided, along with two Camas junior varsity team, decided to come up with their own plan.

As the race started, Columbia River’s Tiarra Ringold passed  to Sophie Landers, who passed to Allison Frank. When Frank approached the final leg, she handed the baton to Hardy, then ran with Hardy down the final 100 meters to the cheers of those around.

Meanwhile, all three Camas relay teams pulled back to allow Hardy to cross the line first.

“These kids (did) this on their own,” Wise said of her athletes. “These are the kind of student-athletes we have the privilege to work with every day and our school is filled with them. I’m humbled and motivated by them every single day.”

Columbia River athlete Reilly Watts tweeted about race: “Definitely the most memorable race in all 4 years I’ve ran at River. Thank you Ellen for being my inspiration.”

We’d like thank the athletes on the Camas and Columbia River girls track and field teams for reminding us what high school sports are all about and the true meaning of winners.

As Wise said: “Two schools, in competition setting aside winning for the memory of a lifetime for this sweet gal.”

A special moment indeed. Enjoy.

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