Middle school cross-country team runs at state

The Hood River Middle School cross-country program completed a successful “rebuilding year” with a strong showing at the Nov. 9 state meet at Sandy High School.

Eight runners competed at the United States Track and Field Association Junior Olympic state championships, and six of them qualified for the regional meet, which will be held today in George, Wash.

Leading the way for the Panthers team was seventh grader Ashley Braniff, who placed third in the Midget Division, which gave her a medal and a trip to regionals. Coach Traci Lucas said that Braniff’s third place was the highest individual state finish for the program in its eight years.

“We think Ashley could bring home a medal at regionals,” Lucas said. “She’s just been on fire, and hasn’t even tapped her potential yet.”

Also qualifying for regionals were fifth grader Boo Lucas, who took 10th in the Bantam division; seventh graders Elise Byers and Kari Hidle, who placed 19th and 24th in the youth division; Janne Lucas, an HRV freshman who placed 17th in Youth; and Jenna Fisher, another young HRV star, who placed 20th in the Intermediate division.

For the boys, middle-school district champ Alex Van Slyke finished 52nd in the Youth division, while sixth-grader Alex Zartler finished in the top 40 of the Midget division.

Van Slyke, a seventh grader, won the district championship two weeks ago at Sorosis Park in The Dalles, but because of an early birthday, he was placed in the youth division along with a group of high-school freshmen.

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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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