The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Boys again place 10th, girls 15th at state cross country meet


November 8, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Sophomore Kimberly Chestnut runs through the finish during the Class 1A race on a chilly Saturday afternoon in Pasco.

For the second straight year, the Goldendale cross country boys team came away with a top-10 finish at the Class 1A state meet on Saturday in Pasco, but this year they were joined by the Goldendale girls, who finished 15th as a team in the first year in school history that both the boys and girls teams competed at state in the same season.

All 12 of Goldendale's runners competed at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco on a chilly afternoon that forced many of the runners to bundle up with gloves and thermal leggings and sleeves.

"I had heard coaches that have been going (to Sun Willows) for ever saying that this was the coldest year they've had," Goldendale head coach Juli Rising said.

The weather was cold, but that didn't seem to affect

"I don't think anybody's race was really affected by the weather," Rising said. "Obviously your body works better when it's warmer ... But I don't know that it affected how they raced.

"The kids that are mentally tough are going to do better in a situation like that ... but on the whole everybody pretty much ran what I expected," Rising added.

Senior Dillon Rising paced the Timberwolves in his fourth straight appearance at the state meet, finishing 11th overall out of the field 156 runners. Rising crossed the finish line of the five kilometer race in 16 minutes, 11.6 seconds, about 22 seconds faster than his time at state last year. However, the senior again was pestered by an Iliotibial band issue, something that's bothered him the entire second half of the season.

Had he not been hampered, his coach believed he could have finished as high as third on Saturday. Rising's fastest time this year on a 5K course was 15:53.8 on Oct. 5, which would've placed him third on Saturday behind SCAC rival Kenneth Rooks, of College Place (15:18.8) and Riverside's Ben Shaw (15:35.7).

However, any way you slice it, it was a brilliant cross country career for one of the best runners in school history. A four time qualifier while reaching the podium at state in each of his last three seasons, the cross country program won't quite be the same without Rising and all the intangibles he brought.

Junior Lucas Anderson made his state debut last year, and made a big jump this year while also setting a personal record in his last race of the year. He came in at 26th overall in 16:39.2, a big improvement from when he finished 59th (17:28.7) last year at state. He also topped his previous best (Oct. 12 in Goldendale) on a 5K course by nine seconds.

Sophomores Corbin Riley (79th in 17:34.4), Mark Blunt (122nd in 18:06.2), and Sterling Beasley (129th in 18:09.7) rounded out Goldendale's top five runners, with Beasley finishing with a personal record by just over three seconds. Beasley has been one of the most improved runners this season with his workhorse attitude and mentality. He cut over two minutes off his first 5K time this season (20:35.2 on Sept. 20 in Hood River) with his finish at state.

Making their first state appearances, freshman Austin Williams PRed with a 19:08 time that placed him in 147th, and senior Ryan Kindler followed at 155th in 20:11.6, more than 42 seconds faster than his previous fastest 5K time.

The girls, with a pair of state veterans in sophomores Ellie Rising and Abby Hedges, finished 15th overall as a team, with 329 team points that edged out Royal (332).

Goldendale's group of super sophomores were led by Ellie Rising, who came in at 34th in 20:04.7. She also hasn't been completely healthy for the majority of the year, finishing 37 seconds faster the week prior at the SCAC district meet.

Abby Hedges, also returning to state, finished 13 spots higher than last year at 60th overall while also setting a personal best by 1.2 seconds with her 20:43.8 time.

Jade Smith was the third Timberwolf to cross in the girls race, finishing with a huge personal record with an impressive race. She had missed a lot of practice with an illness, and didn't even run a 5K race in October, but finished in 22:00.7 on Saturday, a minute and 18 seconds faster than her previous fastest run this season.

Kimberly Chestnut also had a big personal best run on Saturday, finishing in 22:15.9 while cutting just over 30 seconds off her old PR and was followed by Savannah Ross, finishing in 23:50.1.

Returning to state, the Risings, Anderson, Riley, Beasley, and Hedges had the valuable knowledge of having ran the state course before, and shared some tips with the newcomers to state. They also arrived in Pasco a day earlier than they had in the past, giving the team a chance to run the course instead of walking it.

Jaryd Cline

Junior Lucas Anderson running at state. He was making his second appearance at the state meet.

"We always walk it ahead of time but to be able to come the day before and run it, it's a way different ballgame running it," Rising said.

"The kids that had been there before took them out and knew the course," she added. "It was nice that they were able to do that."

All League

● Dillon Rising, first team

● Lucas Anderson, first team

● Ellie Rising, first team

● Abby Hedges, first team

● Jade Smith, second team

● Juli Rising, SCAC West boys coach of the year


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