Girls X-C looks to young core to set pace

Season preview

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Sophomore Janne Lucas is one of four sophomores competing for a varsity spot on the HRV cross-country team.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the HRV cross-country program this summer, head coach Kristen Uhler knows she is lucky to have such a solid number of runners (14) out for the team.

Talks of major budget cuts at the end of last school year put most local runners in a holding pattern. But that didn’t seem to faze Uhler or her team.

Even when she discovered that last year’s No. 2 runner, Brisa Jessup, would not return, Uhler didn’t panic.

Instead, she calmly spread the word to her other runners, and kept them cruising along as though nothing was different.

“All we can do is move ahead as though there is going to be a season,” she would say. “We don’t want to lose everyone if something changes.”

Which is exactly what happened midway through the summer, when the Hood River County School Board announced that none of the sports on the chopping block would be cut.

“We would have been so disappointed if there wasn’t a team this year,” said senior Chelsea Nance, who is one of the team’s most experienced runners. “I probably should have kept up my training throughout the summer, but I’m slowly getting back in shape.”

With the first meet only a few days away (Saturday in Madras), the other girls on the team are also trying to find their early-season stride.

After all, they have a lot of work to do to make up for the losses of graduated seniors Christy Paul and Allison Byers, and Jessup, a sophomore who is living with her dad in Mexico this semester.

The Eagles return three varsity runners from one year ago (sophomores Jenna Fisher, Janne Lucas and Jennifer Jeffries), and will look to seniors Caitlin Becker, Nancy Meza and Nance to help round out the varsity team.

Other runners in the mix for a varsity spot will be sophomore Christa Chandler and freshman Melissa Kauffman.

“There is a lot more internal competition on the team this year,” Nance said. “There isn’t a clear-cut No. 1, which should make it more fun for everyone.”

Rounding out the early-season roster are sophomores Jolie Hobbs, Stephanie Judd, Melissa Princehouse and Susi Valle; juniors Jillian Jones and Komisa Schwartzel; and senior Patti Murillo.

Uhler said Jeffries is still returning from an injury, but could be ready for Saturday’s race. She also hopes to get a few more kids out now that school has started.

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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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