Camas High School junior Alexa Efraimson will be on the course Wednesday at the Class 4A district cross country meet, competing for the first time since being declared ineligible by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association earlier this month.
Efraimson, a nationally ranked runner, appealed for reinstatement, which was granted by the WIAA late last week, WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said Wednesday.
Efraimson was originally declared ineligible after competing against college runners at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 5. The high school junior won the 5,000-meter meet in a time of 16 minutes, 35 seconds. She ran the meet as an unattached competitor, meaning she was not representing Camas High School.
"The WIAA rules state that when a high school athlete competes in a meet against college athletes who are representing their schools in a scored meet, that violates our amateur status for the high school athlete," Colbrese said.
Efraimson's parents filed for reinstatement with the WIAA, which began a review of the case. Efraimson has not competed for Camas since running in a Class 4A Greater St. Helens League dual meet on Oct. 1.
"It's a very common for the WIAA to handle these situations in this manner," Colbrese said. "We wanted to review what the parents knew about the rule. We ascertained that they got some misinformation from (Alexa's) previous coach, and that her current coach didn't have the correct rule interpretation. We felt that the student was caught in a situation that was not of her own creation, so the decision was made to reinstate her."
Mike Hickey served as Camas cross country coach during Efraimson's freshman and sophomore seasons before leaving last summer to become the cross country coach at Clark College. Hickey was replaced at Camas by Laurie Porter.
With her eligibility reinstated, Efraimson will be running for her third consecutive district championship Wednesday at Lewisville Park near Battle Ground. She is the defending Class 4A state champion and is ranked No. 2 in the nation for high school girls cross country by running website Dyestat.com.