The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Dillon Rising excels in season-opening cross country meet


September 20, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale senior runner Dillon Rising runs through the Goldendale Golf Club during last year's home meet. Rising paced the field of 195 runners in the three-mile varsity II course on Saturday in Cowiche.

It took a week longer than it was supposed to, but the Goldendale High School cross country team finally was able to run in its first meet of the season.

It has been a weird start to the season for the Goldendale runners, whose boys finished 10th overall as a team at last year's state meet and whose girls boast a young, talented team.

Their opening meet, 13th Annual Ellensburg Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 9, was canceled because of poor air quality, but the smoke cleared out enough for the team to travel to Cowiche for the Apple Ridge Invite.

In the week building up to the first meet, smoky air forced the team to practice inside the gym for a handful of days, throwing off head coach Juli Rising's practice routine.

"Being inside, I had to change my plan," Rising said. "You can't go out and run seven miles in the gym."

The team goes through vigorous practices each day and is used to a specific routine when practicing outside, but being inside threw off some of the runners.

However, Rising was pleasantly surprised with how her girls team ran on Saturday, which was missing its best runner in sophomore Ellie Rising. Four of the five girls who ran on Saturday set personal-record times at the same course where the district meet was held last year.

"I can't say I'm super surprised, but really excited about the girls," Rising said. "For them to get out there in their first race after the first was canceled – and everyone PR – that's a pretty awesome deal.

There were three different courses at the Apple Ridge setup. The varsity I race was a quick, flat race. The varsity II race is the same course as the South Central Athletic Conference District meet, while the Varsity III race was a course with more hills.

All five of the girls wan the varsity II race, led by sophomore Abby Hedges, who finished fifth overall and was the top SCAC runner. Her time of 19 minutes, 38.8 seconds was over a minute and a half faster than her time last year at districts in which she qualified for state.

Sophomore Jade Smith finished 17th among the 111 runners in the race, finishing in 21:07.3, again more than a minute and a half faster than last year's time at the same course.

Sophomore Kimberly Chestnut, who ran last year at Stevenson, finished just shy of 23 minutes at 22:59.2, and was followed by junior Denice Owen (23:12.9) at 44th and sophomore Savannah Ross (23:14.7) in 45th place.

Ellie Rising sat out the race with a minor injury. It is unknown if she will run at today's meet in Hood River.

For the boys, senior stud Dillon Rising was out in front of the pack in the varsity II race, finishing in 15:31.8, more than 12 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Rising's time at districts last year was 16:07.6 on the same course. He was just one of two runners to finish in under 16 minutes on the course on Saturday.

On Monday, Rising was in Spokane for a visit a college visit at Gonzaga University, and met with GU head cross country coach Pat Tyson, who's recognized as one of the top cross country coaches in the United States. They visited for a while, and Tyson will be watching how Rising runs throughout the remainder of his senior year.

Freshman Austin Williams was the second Goldendale runner to finish in the varsity II race, crossing the finish line in 18:21.7, followed by senior Ryan Kindler in 20:51.2. Kindler however, was hindered by an injury he sustained while the team was practicing inside.

Goldendale No. 2 runner Lucas Anderson ran in the hilly, varsity III race, coming in fourth place (and the top SCAC runner) with a 16:51.8 time. He was joined in the race by sophomore Sterling Beasley, who stopped the timers at 18:17.9.

Sophomore Corbin Riley cracked the top 15 in the varsity I race, finishing at 15th in 17:27.8. Sophomore Mark Blunt followed in 18:08.7.

The Goldendale runners return to action today for the Hood River "Skip Sparks" XC Festival, with races starting at 3 p.m. Goldendale will have two middle school boys running a 3,000 meter race at 4 p.m. followed by the 5,000 meter varsity boys race at 5. The girls varsity 5,000 meter race starts at 4:30 p.m.

They have another meet on Saturday in Connell, the Connell Invite, which is a 23 high school team race starting at 11:45 a.m. with the boys middle school race.

Bickleton runners

The Bickleton Pirates also got in their first running action of the season with five competing at the Apple Ridge Invite.

Last year's state competitor Michael Gannon, running on the hilly varsity III course, finished 11th overall out of 83 runners in 17:30.6.

A pair of freshmen ran in the varsity II race, with Christian Arriaga leading the way in 44th place with an 18:22.2 time followed by Hayden Andrews, who finished in 20:28.4.

Two Pirate sophomores also ran in the varsity I flat-course race. Ethan Andrews led the way with and finished in 22:07, and Scott McBride followed in 28:22.6.

Gannon, Arriaga, and McBride each set personal best times for three-mile races with McBride's time almost two minutes faster than his only three mile race last year.


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