The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale runners compete in huge Yakima meet, home race coming soon


October 4, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale freshman runner Austin Williams runs through the trails during the Hood River 'Skip Spark' XC Festival on Sept. 20 in Hood River.

It's not every week that the Goldendale cross country team competes at a meet with just about 1,000 less people than Goldendale's population.

That was the case on Saturday as the Timberwolves competed in the 44th annual Sunfair Invitational in Yakima, which featured 36 high school teams from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well as over 20 different races for a full day of running against the best competition around.

"It's a really cool meet to bring these kids to," Goldendale head coach Juli Rising said. "There was like 2,500 kids there. A huge balloon across the starting line. It's like a running festival."

Think the state cross country meet, with tents set up all around the course and hundreds of spectators lining the course cheering on all the runners. It was a state-like atmosphere as well, with the best runners in the state across all classes.

A pair of Goldendale runners also competed in the three-mile elite races, with senior Dillon Rising placing sixth in the boys in 16 minutes, 8.52 seconds, and freshman Ellie Rising finishing 15th on the girls side in 20:45.09.

Two other Goldendale runners earned medals and stood at the podium on Saturday, sophomore Corbin Riley after his 10th place (17:49.66) finish in the flight three race and junior Lucas Anderson after he came in 12th place (17:15.85) of the flight five race.

Sophomore Savannah Ross was the only other girl to compete for Goldendale, finishing the three-mile flight three race in 23:54.64. Freshman Austin Williams (22:12.94 in flight one race) and sophomore Sterling Beasley (18:26.63 in flight two race) also were in Yakima running with the Wolves.

Royal Meet

The Timberwolves competed in their first South Central Athletic Conference last Thursday in Royal City, finishing second overall on both the boys and girls side.

Without top runner Dillon Rising, the Timberwolf boys garnered 52 points to the Knights 43 points while the girls, led by a first place finish from Ellie Rising, finished second with 37 points to the Knights 33.

Rising woke last Wednesday with pain in his knee, but later found out it wasn't a serious injury. He saw a physical therapy specialist in Hood River who lined his hip back up after Rising had pulled his pelvic bone out of line. There is still some pain, but it's not a threatening injury and he should be back to full health soon.

With Rising not running for the boys, the Timberwolves had three runners finish in the top 10. Anderson finished fourth and was the top local finisher with a time of 18:01.1 on the five kilometer course. Riley was eighth overall in 18:45, Beasley 10th in 19:11 and sophomore Mark Blunt followed right behind at 11th place in 19:11.6. Williams was the final Goldendale runner to cross the line, finishing in the top half of the race at 19th in 20:16.9.

For the girls in Royal, there were three Timberwolves that ran to top 10 finishes including Ellie Rising's top overall finish in 20:46.4. She was the only runner on the day to finish quicker than 21 minutes. Sophomore Abby Hedges was next for Goldendale, finishing faster than she had all season in a 5K race, placing third in 22:11.4. Sophomore Jade Smith also ran her fastest 5K race so far this year in Royal also, taking sixth in 23:18.5.

Sophomore Kimberly Chestnut (13th in 26:52.1), Ross (15th in 27:12.7), and junior Denice Owen (17th in 28:24.5) rounded out the Goldendale girls, who all finished inside the top 20.

Up next

Goldendale will be at Zillah on Thursday for another SCAC meet with the girls starting the 5K race at 4 p.m. and the boys at 4:30.

Juli Rising has been busy, and will continue to have her hands full in the next week as Goldendale prepares for its home meet on Oct. 12 at the Goldendale Golf Course. It's the third straight year Goldendale's home meet will be held at the golf course, and there will again be a big spaghetti dinner afterwards for all the runners, coaches, and anyone else hungry after the meet.


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