Girls X-C team on pace at NW Classic

EUGENE — For a young team to build confidence, it can’t be thrown to the wolves week in and week out.

So instead of having her team run against the best teams in the West at last Saturday’s Northwest Classic, Hood River Valley girls cross-country coach Kristen Uhler chose to enter her team in the junior varsity race instead.

And the plan worked, as the Eagles ran to a seventh-place finish out of 18 teams.

Led by sophomore Janne Lucas (30th overall) and freshman Melissa Kauffman (31st overall), HRV finished with a score of 220.

Sophomore Jennifer Jeffries was third on the team in 44th overall, while sophomore Jolie Hobbs was 51st, and senior Caitlin Becker was 64th.

“Our plan was to run up front and compete in the JV race,” Uhler said. “And despite the heat, most of the girls ran PR’s.”

Uhler said she wants her team to experience what it’s like to run toward the front of the pack, and in order for a young team to be competitive, sometimes it has to run against younger competition.

“This was a real learning experience,” she said. “We have been running JV times of late, and I think it’s for the best right now to run JV races.”

The Northwest Classic, held at Lane Community College, attracts the top teams in the Northwest, and provides an excellent midseason barometer for a team’s progress.

And after last Saturday’s race, the HRV boys discovered that they have a little ways to go before they can be considered one of the best in the Northwest.

The Eagle boys placed 19th out of 22 teams in the varsity race, with junior Alex Jimenez clocking in first at 49th overall (official times not available).

“Half of the team ran well in the heat, but the other half struggled,” boys coach Rich Hedges said. “The 95-degree temperatures definitely made it tough on everybody, and as a result, we took a small step backward.”

But, while the results weren’t as astounding as the Sept. 20 race at Seaside, Hedges said he was pleased with the progress of some of his runners.

“Chris Jennings and Kevin Dye outran two varsity runners, and they will jump up to varsity for our next race (today at Grant High School),” he said. “We need to run faster and pack better, but we have still trained very well the past two weeks.”

Hedges said that Jimenez had an “off day,” finishing behind 10 runners from Intermountain Conference rivals Mountain View and Hermiston.

Senior Fernando Ochoa finished second on the team, followed by senior Graham Hay, junior Jess Jennings and sophomore Carlos Quintana.

Senior Brian Crosswhite and junior Mat Foster each had rough outings, and will have to earn their way back onto varsity at today’s P.I.L. Crossover meet.

The JV boys finished 14th out of 23 teams, and were led by Chris Jennings, Dye, K.C. Christiansen, Gary Paasch, Ian Myer, Victor Martinez and Louis DeSitter.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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