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By Andrew Christiansen

Podium finishes for Rising and Gannon at State meet


Andrew Christiansen

FINISHING STRONG: Goldendale's Dillon Rising sprints to the finish in 12th place at the State 1A cross country meet in Pasco.

Klickitat County had a pair of podium finishes at Saturday's State cross country meet in Pasco. The best time for a county runner was posted by Goldendale's Dillon Rising. The sophomore placed 12th in the 1A division with a time of 16 minutes, 39.7 seconds.

The other podium finish went to Bickleton's Andrew Gannon, who placed 11th in the division B race. Gannon, a senior ran the 5k course in 16:46.3. The top 16 places were presented on a podium to receive medals for their accomplishment. There were 149 runners in the 1A race, 140 in B.

Both runners slashed big chunks off their times for the course, setting new personal records. Rising also qualified for State in 2014 and was well back with a time of 17:58.81. This time around, Rising was among the front runners for the entire race. Comparing this year to last, Rising said, "I was in better shape....had a harder summer practice [this year]. I think I needed that extra strength to take off as hard as I wanted to."

In last year's race, Rising had a strong start, but faded during the race. This time he was able to handle the fast start and although he said the hardest part was a climb just before the downhill finish, Rising made up ground coming to the finish line. "I just looked at the clock and pumped my arms," said Rising.

Andrew Christiansen

Bickleton's Andrew Gannon finished his high school cross country career with an 11th place finish in the class B race.

It was Gannon's third trip to State. He made gains each year. As a sophomore, Gannon was 52nd in 18:14.55. Last year he was 22nd in 17:22.05. He also looked totally spent last year and was fading down the final stretch. This year he looked fresh and strong, passing three runners over the final 100 meters.

"Senior year....I had to go all out," said Gannon. "I got stronger and worked hard over the summer. I took it more seriously." Gannon said he would like to continue to run at the next level and is still debating over which school to attend.

Columbia-White Salmon also had runners at State, enough to compete as a team for boys and girls. The boys team placed 14th with Colin Howe running 17:56.2 as their top runner. The girls were led by Hailey Blair who ran 20:49.7 and the team placed 15th.


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