Three Eagles qualify for state

November 2, 2005

Under the bright blue high-desert skies of Prineville and with the weather in full cooperation for the afternoon, the Intermountain Conference district cross country meet brought together hundreds of varsity and junior varsity runners at the campus of Prineville High School for 3.1 miles of all-out exhaustion.

Hood River runners Leo Castillo, Erin Jones and Melissa Kauffman prolonged the bittersweet pain of training and competition for another week by qualifying for Saturday’s state meet in Eugene. For the rest of the Eagles, the burning in their legs and lungs ended for the season at the crowded finish line.

In cross country, the top two boys and girls teams to finish at districts, as well as the top seven individuals, advance to the state meet. Hood River’s varsity girls finished fourth and the varsity boys fifth, marking a decent end to both teams’ seasons.

Sophomore Leo Castillo ran a personal record time of 16:07, to finish third overall out of 63 varsity runners. For the girls, Erin Jones finished fourth in 18:34, followed by Melissa Kauffman in sixth at 19:18. Ashley Braniff missed the cut by three places, finishing 10th overall out of 63 varsity girls.

Although only three runners qualified for state, coaches Rich Hedges and Kristen Uhler were excited about the entire team’s performance.

“I am very proud of the team,” Hedges said. “The varsity boys placed fifth, which is an improvement from last year’s seventh place finish. Everyone ran PR’s (personal records), which is great because everyone finished the season with their best times and efforts. I’m also proud of the junior varsity boys, who finished in fourth place and all ran lifetime bests.”

“I feel all the girls were focused, tapered and ready to compete physiologically and mentally,” Uhler commented. “Race day is 90 percent mental and we’ve done the work.”

The varsity girls had three girls place in the top ten, which is a feat in itself considering the IMC is perhaps the most competitive league in the state this year.

In a cordial show of sportsmanship, the Crook County team presented Hood River with farewell balloons and a card, wishing the Eagles luck in their new conference next year.

The move will mean big potential next season for the boys’ and girls’ teams, which are stacked with tough young runners.

“We had a good year,” Hedges said about the boys. “We improved every week but homecoming week. We have a freshmen- and sophomore-laden team, which bodes well for the next few years. We are moving toward being an elite team. Hopefully we will be motivated to work hard in the next nine months to put us in a position to be a championship team in the future.”

The girls’ team beat Barlow High School at more than one meet this year. Barlow went on to win the Mt. Hood Conference title at their recent district meet. With several young runners on the team, and this year’s top runners possibly returning next season, the future of the girls program is wide open.

“Our goal is to race in the elite division all next year,” said Uhler. “Our top five are all returning next year. But we have no room for complacency. To race elite we need all seven girls running under 20 minutes…It’s been a great season. The team gained self-confidence through hard work. And that’s the most important life lesson.”

Race results

Varsity boys:

Leo Castillo 3rd 16:07

Juan Zuniga 25th 17:24

Kevin Dye 30th 17:32

Carlos Quintana 32nd 17:37

Alex Vanslyke 36th 17:45

Gary Thompson 39th 17:49

Anthony Walden 46th 18:10

Varsity girls:

Erin Jones 4th 18:34

Melissa Kauffman 6th 19:18

Ashley Braniff 10th 19:48

Hillary Hilden 29th 20:57

Brisa Jessup 31st 21:07

Melissa Princehouse 34th 21:21

Kelsey Griffith 56th 22:48

JV boys:

Dylan Tiss 12th 18:22

Eli Camero 16th 18:33

Logan Davis 25th 18:52

Frank Zartler 37th 19:38

Joel Miller 41st 19:47

Don Valentine 44th 20:15

Ted Ostrye 48th 20:31

Davis Grossrode 50th 20:46

J. Phillips 53rd 20:58

Jeromy Davis 54th 21:03

JV girls:

Kylee Staughton 12th 22:31

Jenna Fisher 25th 23:32

Elise Byers 34th 24:21

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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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