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Rising to the occasion

 

Jaryd Cline

LEADING THE PACK: Goldendale freshman runner Ellie Rising cruises along the course during Thursday's meet at the Goldendale Golf Club.

The Goldendale High School cross country team has been an afterthought for many years, but the program seemingly has turned the corner and is on the rise.

Led by first-year Goldendale head cross country coach Juli Rising, both the boys and girls teams look poised to do things that not too long ago seemed unthinkable for the Timberwolves.

On Thursday at the Goldendale Gold Club, two Goldendale runners, siblings to be exact, rose to the wet, muddy challenge only to dominate the lone home cross country meet of the season for the Timberwolves.

Junior Dillon Rising and freshman Ellie Rising didn't just win Thursday's meet which was met with a constant rain shower and slick, muddy course, they conquered.

The siblings led start to finish in their five kilometer respective races throughout two laps around the golf course, helping their teams to second place finishes on Thursday and were seemingly unfazed by the rainy conditions.

"I knew it was going to be wet and muddy, but I've been in way worse races," Ellie Rising said. "It wasn't that bad though."

It was a little tricky running on the golf course, which took runners up and down moderate hills, through different levels and heights of grass and also on a gravel road filled with puddles. One runner from another school slipped and fell crossing the finish line leaving streaks of mud across his body.

"The course was a little soggy, pretty squishy," Dillon Rising said. "There were some muddy spots and some really, really soggy spots from the rain."

Rising didn't have too much trouble, adding that he wore 1/4 inch spikes in his shoes on Thursday, the longest length of spikes available.

Dillon was the first of three Goldendale boys runners who each ran to top-10 finishes on Thursday as the Timberwolves took second among five teams. The Royal Knights topped the team standings with 29 points and the Timberwolves followed with 38. Cle Elum (69), Highland (114) and Kiona Benton (125) rounded out the boys field, which included 47 runners.

Dillon's time of 17 minutes, 14.7 seconds was exactly 20 seconds faster than Thursday's second place finisher, Royal's Rodolfo Flores, who stopped the clock at 17:34.7. Sophomore Lucas Anderson cruised to a third place finish in 17:40.7 and freshman Corbin Riley turned some heads with a ninth place finish among the boys in 18:21.8.

On the girls side, Ellie was able to battle through her nagging hip injury, winning the race by over half a minute. She crossed the finish line in 21:01.9, while Cle Elum's Anais Mills took second in 21:34.5.

"I pretty much knew it would hurt because it really hasn't stopped hurting lately," Ellie said of her hip after Thursday's race.

She's been hampered by the sore hip since the beginning of the season, and took four days away from running to prepare for this Thursday's meet in Royal.

After Rising, three more Goldendale freshmen were the Timberwolves' second, third and fourth finishers. Abby Hedges took 11th overall (22:35.7) and has been the team's top runner behind Ellie this season. This also is Hedges' first year of running cross country.

Jade Smith followed Hedges, crossing the finish line in 15th place in 23:12.8, Savannah Ross took 24th in 25:13.8 and Goldendale sophomore Denice Owen finished in 27:44.09 for 28th place.

"There's a lot of freshmen who are really stepping up to the plate," Goldendale assistant coach Randall Jones said.

Jones is very excited about all the freshmen runners – seven who ran on Thursday – and believes they have the potential to do something special as a program down the road.

After Riley's ninth place finish in the boys race, Michael Jagelski, who was running under the weather on Thursday, finished 11th in 18:46.09 and was followed by Mykhail Lembke, who took 16th in 19:16.4. Jagelski and Lembke are the only two Goldendale seniors who ran last Thursday.

Freshmen Sterling Beasley (20:08.59) and Mark Blunt (20:39.3) rounded out the Goldendale runners, finishing in 26th and 30th place respectively.

Jaryd Cline

Dillon Rising makes his way across the gravel road on Thursday.

The Timberwolves return to action on Thursday, travelling to Royal City for a four-team SCAC meet starting at 4 p.m.

Boys ranked No. 10

The Goldendale boys made an appearance in the state's Oct. 10 poll, coming in at No. 10 among Class 1A schools. Goldendale checked in one spot behind the Royal Knights, the only two SCAC teams to be voted in the top 10. The rankings are compiled and voted on by coaches throughout the state.

"This is really the first year where we've had five committed athletes on the team," Dillon Rising said. "It's definitely cool to be ranked at state right now and hopefully we stay that way."

 

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