X-C girls cruise to state

Coming into the season, the HRV girls cross-country team knew it belonged among the state’s elite.

Now, after taking seven of the top 27 places (out of 58 runners) at the Oct. 24 district meet in Gresham, the girls will have a chance to prove it.

Led by Christy Paul's course-record time of 17 minutes, 56 seconds, the Eagles are headed to state -- a goal they have been shooting for since last summer, if not the end of last season.

"We're ecstatic!" coach Kristen Uhler said. "We made it, and we ran better against Centennial than the previous week. We tapered, rested and did our mental work for this race, and it really showed."

Hood River totaled 62 points to place second out of eight Mt. Hood Conference schools -- just 14 behind district winner Centennial, and 15 ahead of the other top MHC contender, Barlow.

The Bruins made the race interesting by placing three runners in the top seven, but each HRV runner did her part to prevent Barlow's fourth and fifth runners from becoming a factor.

Laurissa Pennington overcame a sprained ankle suffered last week to place 10th overall with a time of 20:21. Allison Byers also ran a superb race, taking 13th overall at 20:41.

Emily Meyer reclaimed her place among the team's top four, clocking in at 21:04 for 16th overall, while Suni Davis (21:15, 22nd overall) and Kristen Hedges (21:16, 23rd overall) crossed the finish line side by side.

Jenny Villagomez wasn't far behind in 27th place at 21:36, showing how far she has come this season, and what can be expected of her next season.

"The strategy is to pack up at the front, and we did a good job of that Wednesday," Uhler said. "It's a big advantage to have a No. 1 runner (Paul) because it's like our four versus the other teams' five."

Paul shattered the previous course record of 18:10 by running 5:39 the first mile, 5:46 the second mile, and 6:26 for the final 1.1 miles (the 5K course equals 3.1 miles).

She has outrun the competition by almost one minute at each race this season, making her one of the favorites to win the state individual title.

"Christy"s going for a state championship," Uhler said. "She's posted the fastest times in the state this season, and she's ready."

Paul and the Eagles will put everything on the line at the state meet Nov. 3. Uhler said the team is shooting for the top 10.

The girls junior varsity team also had a strong showing at districts, with three runners in the top 15. Caitlin Becker and Chelsea Nance led the way for HRV in fifth and sixth places, respectively.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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