Cross-country teams intensify summer training

June 23

The Hood River Valley High School cross-country program is at a crossroads.

But instead of waiting around and wondering what’s going to happen in the fall, coaches Kristen Uhler and Rich Hedges are moving ahead with their plans.

Despite a lack of formal funding from the school district, the HRV cross-country program is still looking ahead to next year.

And in an effort to keep the runners prepared for the upcoming season, Uhler and Hedges accompanied 10 high-school runners to the June 15-18 Flathead Lake Distance Running Camp near Kalispell, Mont.

“The idea is to get the kids started in June so that they can build up to the start of the season,” Uhler said. “This camp is very intense but also very fun. And I think it helped our team realize how we can take our program to the next level.”

Joining the two coaches on the trip were senior Alex Jimenez, juniors Kevin Dye, Janne Lucas, Jennifer Jefferies, Jenna Fisher and Yolanda Ledezma, and sophomores Gary Paasch, Melissa Kauffman, Melissa Princehouse and Anna Smith.

Because the program is operating on a limited budget, it needed help from the local community. So Hood River Dodge/Jeep stepped in and allowed the team to use two vehicles to get them to Montana.

“We are so grateful to the people at Hood River Dodge,” Uhler said. “They were a big part of making this trip happen.”

The camp is directed by former collegiate runner and junior National Champion Bill Brist. Guest coaches included Pat Tyson of Mead High School in Spokane, Wash., and Dale Kennedy of Montana State University.

The camp is open to all distance runners entering ninth through 12th grades, and takes participants around to a series of eight trails that reach 5,000 feet of elevation.

“I want to take this program to the next level,” Uhler said, “and the only way to do that is to start training now. All the other teams in our league are busy this summer, and we need to keep up.”

Uhler said all the other Intermountain Conference schools are moving ahead with plans for a cross-country season. HRV will have a team, but the coach will be paid by a private donation from the Hood River community.

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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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