Talk about rising to the occasion.
By leaps and bounds, Jessica Chrisp and the Riverside girls have moved into contention for a high finish at the State 1A/2B/1B track and field championships at Eastern Washington University.
After finishing third in the long jump, Chrisp overcame her own doubts and posted her second personal best in barely an hour Friday afternoon to win the high jump and put the Rams in first place in the 1A team standings.
In Chrisp’s case, it wasn’t exactly a leap of faith.
“I had seen some of the other girls and how high they jumped and I’d never been close to that,” said Chrisp, who nevertheless cleared 5 feet, 6 inches to account for 16 of Riverside’s 22 points after the first day of competition at Roos Field.
“But I was really excited once I saw that my feet were clearing the bar,” said Chrisp, a senior, who has a chance to add more points in today’s triple jump; she enters with the second-best mark in the state.
Riverside, which finished sixth overall last year, also has the top 1,600-meter relay team, and figures to pick up more points in the 400-meter relay.
“The kids have worked hard,” said coach Chris Dunn, whose team is six points ahead of Lynden Christian and seven ahead of Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and Cedar Park Christian.
Elsewhere in the 1A girls, meet, Medical Lake sophomore Amarah Nicholson will contend for titles in the 100 and 200. Nicholson’s time of 12.95 seconds in the 100 was six-hundredths of a second better than Seattle Christian freshman Abi Kim. However, Kim easily took the 200 prelim in 26.03, while Nicholson ran 26.45 – good enough for third.
In the 2B team race, Willapa Valley racked up 32 points, just ahead of Northwest Christian of Lacey (27) and Pe Ell (26).
Freshman Scout Cai of Colfax finished second in the pole vault at 9 feet, 1 inch.
In the 1B team race, Columbia of Hunters sits in a three-way tie for second place, just two points behind Mount Vernon Christian. Elizabeth Larrew finished second in the long jump at 15-11, while teammate Kaitlin Jones finished third in the shot put with a heave of 32-11, just 7 inches behind Serena Hedman-Burgmeier of Mount Rainier Lutheran.
Northport senior Kassie Guglielmino, a triple-winner in the 100, 200 and 400 in her first three years, easily won her 100 heat in 13.32.
“I think the competition is tougher this year,” Guglielmino said after Mount Vernon Christian junior Carla vanRooyen took the other heat in a blistering 13.02.
Becky Smoak of Republic tied for third in the high jump at 4-10, just 2 inches behind winner Elaina Thomsen of Waterville.
The top performer of the day was Entiat senior Emily Woodridge, whose 11:52.24 time in the 3,200 meters was exactly 11 seconds better than the state record 12:03.24 set two years ago.