The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Dillon Rising, Reece Michael, Allison Gilliam lead Wolves at state track meet

 

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale senior Allison Gilliam clears one of the hurdles in the preliminaries of the 100 meter hurdles on Friday at the state track and field meet in Cheney.

Goldendale senior runner Dillon Rising cruised to a pair of top three finishes in his long distance events, junior Reece Michael captured first in a pair of ambulatory events (shot put and javelin) while recording all-time best marks in both, and senior Allison Gilliam closed out a busy weekend with a fourth place mark in the 300 meter hurdles at the state track and field championships.

Making his fourth straight appearance at the state meet on last Thursday's opening day, Rising was the first of the three Goldendale boys to compete, doing so in memorable fashion. The distance specialist cruised to a runner-up finish in the veteran laden 1,600 meter run, where seven of the top eight finishers were competing in the event for the last time in their high school careers.

The senior distance specialist kept pace with another of the state's top runners in Riverside's Ben Shaw before Shaw pulled away in the second half of the one-mile race. Both ended the race with monster personal records, making it the fourth straight 1,600 Rising has run that's ended in a new personal best.

He was able to cut nearly five seconds from his previous best time in the event, finishing Thursday in 4 minutes, 24.31 seconds, trailing only Shaw who came in at 4:16.89, a PR by over six seconds.

The Goldendale senior wasn't done yet. After all of Friday and nearly all of Saturday waiting for his next event, he was up in the 3,200, the last individual boys race of the state championships.

Rising responded by closing out his high school career with a third place finish in the two-mile run, stopping the timers at 9:37.04. He trailed only Shaw (9:27.94) and Lynden Christian senior Eric Steiger (9:35.04), who earlier finished third in the 1,600 behind Rising.

It was a strong showing for Rising to close out his career on. The previous time the senior competed at state, last November at the cross country championships in Pasco, he was hindered by an injury that led to an 11th place finish.

Last weekend's top three finishes helped cement the lasting legacy the senior's had over his four years in the program. Earlier in the season, he broke a 35 year school record in the 3,200 that belonged to Randall Jones, his old cross country coach and is on a short list of Goldendale runners who advanced to state four times in four years in both cross country and track.

It will be different not seeing Rising run for the Wolves in the upcoming seasons, but he will be on to bigger and better things as he continues his education and potentially athletic career.

Rising garnered 14 team points for the Wolves, but another state returner also added to the total with top finishes in two ambulatory events.

Junior Reece Michael, who listened to the announcers call him Michael Reece multiple times over the weekend, was back in Cheney after debuting last year in the shot put. He returned with an added element, throwing his usual shot put while also taking up a new challenge throughout the season, the javelin.

Last year at state, Michael saved his best throw for last in the shot put, setting a personal record with his 15 foot, 4 inch throw, and although he didn't break 15 feet in the event throughout the regular season, he did again when it mattered most.

Michael delivered again on the biggest stage, crushing his previous top throw this season while breaking last year's shot put distance. He threw 15-08.5 in the event, a mark that's over two feet farther than any of his other distances this year.

He again took the top of the podium, waving his hands in the air while he was presented his award.

Although different from last year, Michael didn't win the state title in just one event, but two after taking up the javelin this season.

The junior fired away in the javelin with a 30-06 mark, his highest distance all season following his district mark of 31-02.

He helped the Goldendale boys team to an additional two team points with both his top finishes in the ambulatory events, giving the team 16 total and placing them in a tie for 12th place with University Prep.

While both Rising and Michael earned points for the Wolves, senior Caleb Pittman, the last of the Goldendale boys competing at state, just missed adding to the point total after a ninth place finish in the triple jump.

Pittman closed out his career among the state's best after qualifying for the first time with a third-place leap in the triple jump on May 18 at the South Central Athletic Conference District Meet.

He finished strong at state with a mark that was over half a foot farther than his previous personal best in the event, his farthest jump reaching 41-02 feet, seven inches farther than his old PR.

Girls

Gilliam, a senior who joined Rising in reaching the state championships in all four years in high school, kept her legs busy throughout the weekend with two hurdles events while also competing in the triple jump for the first time at state.

She entered the state meet with qualifying marks that placed her in the top half of the field in both hurdles events, but missed making the final heat of the 100 hurdles while also finishing seventh in the 300 hurdles preliminaries with the top eight advancing to the finals.

She rebounded during Saturday's 300 hurdle finals to finish fourth place, cutting over a second off her preliminary time and stopping the clocks at 46.08 seconds in the event. Her preliminary time earlier in the meet came in at 47.22, but she ran strong like she has been all season to take fourth.

Leading up to the state meet, Gilliam had cracked the 16 second mark on multiple occasions in the 100 meter hurdles. But her time slipped a bit in the preliminaries of the event over the weekend, coming in at 16.75 in the event and failing to make the final heat. Twice this season, Gilliam finished under 16 seconds in the 100 hurdles, finishing at 15.81 on April 25 in Highland and in 15.89 at the SCAC District meet on May 18 in Royal.

Along with the hurdles, she competed in the triple jump, an event she picked up this season. She qualified for state with a personal record jump of 34-11.5 at the district meet and finished at state in 14th place with a distance of 31-09.75.

Joining Gilliam in Cheney was sophomore Ellie Rising, who was making her second straight state appearance in the 800 and 1,600 meter runs. She ran faster in the 800 at state than she did when taking second at the SCAC District Meet, finishing 13th out of 20 in the preliminaries with a time of 2:25.35.

She also ran in the 1,600 during the opening day of the meet on Thursday, finishing 15th out of 20 in 5:30.60 and was the second SCAC runner to finish.

Jaryd Cline

Junior Reece Michael is seen in action during Friday's ambulatory javelin event at the state meet in Cheney. Michael took state titles in both events (Shot put and javelin) he competed in over the weekend, recording a new personal record in the shot along the way.

Along with those two running events, she also teamed up with junior Lene Riggers, sophomore Abby Hedges, and freshman Tiana Watson to run in the 4x400 meter relay, finishing in 4:31.33.

Joining Gilliam and Rising as individuals competing for the Wolves was Watson in the javelin. The freshman entered the state meet with one of the top marks in the state among Class 1A athletes, but her throw of 107 feet, 6 inches, on Saturday at state was a little lower than her recent throws.

She placed 12th out of 16 total competitors in the event and was one of four freshmen throwing the javelin.

Athlete of the Week

One week before the state meet, Gilliam was honored by the WIAA for her strong performances at the SCAC District meet in Royal.

She took first in both hurdle events, fifth in the triple jump, and helped the 4x400 relay team qualify for state with a third place district finish.

 

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