Jon Ashcraft Riverside Year: Senior Sport: Cross Country
If Bill Kemp’s hunch is right, this is the year Jon Ashcraft will turn district success into state success.
Ashcraft has finished in the top three at three consecutive District 7 meets. He reached the top of the heap Oct. 30 during the District 7-AA race at Hangman Valley Golf Course, completing the 3 miles in 16 minutes, 2 seconds.
The best Ashcraft has shown at state, however, was his 22nd-place finish as a sophomore. Last year Ashcraft didn’t finish the race at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
Ashcraft may have an advantage at Saturday’s State AA meet because he’s relatively unknown. Yet the top returner from last year’s state meet, East Valley-Yakima’s Brandon Hauver, surely recalls Ashcraft as the guy who pushed him at this season’s Richland Invitational.
As a freshman, Ashcraft was an alternate on the Rams team that tied for the team title at state. The year Ashcraft came home 22nd, Riverside placed third and bid adieu to Class A because of growing enrollment.
“He’s been our most valuable the last two years,” Kemp said of Ashcraft. “I’m sure he’ll get it again. … He’s the glue keeping it together.”
In 17 years, Kemp has coached Rams boys and girls teams to 13 top-four trophies at state. The one thing Kemp’s never had is an individual state champion.
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