Fresh snow challenges Eagles


News staff writer

February 1, 2006

The slopes of Cooper Spur Ski Area were buzzing Saturday with high school racers from the Mt. Hood Ski League. A slalom course stretched down the entire length of the hill, with racers, course officials and spectators lining its edges, battling the cold, windy weather to watch and cheer for racers tearing towards the finish line.

The Hood River Valley High School boys and girls were among the six teams of racers in attendance. After two runs each down the course, the girls finished second as a team and the boys finished fourth.

Due to the recent dumping of snow on the hill, conditions were less than ideal because ruts were easily carved around several of the gates. The girls raced first, giving them an advantage over the boys because they had better course conditions. Sandy High School edged the Hood River girls for first place once again, this time by a margin of 11.38 seconds. Third place finisher, St. Marys Academy, was 29.36 seconds slower than Sandy, and in a distant fourth was The Dalles-Wahtonka with a 1:04.38 margin.

“The race went well,” commented Coach Jessica Gunesch. “The girls are close to being in first and the team is getting more confident every race.”

Highlights from the girls’ team include four Eagles finishing in the top ten, out of 44 total racers. Kaytlin Hughes was fastest for the girls’ team, with a two-run time of 1:08.66 — 4.56 seconds behind first place. Less than two seconds behind Hughes was fifth place finisher Jessica McMorran, followed by Jessica Ostler in seventh and Ashley Kastner in ninth.

“Kaytlin has had a couple surprise first finishes for us,” Gunesch said. “She is doing awesome. Jessica Ostler improved greatly in the last race and I’m expecting Chrisie (Brock) to do a lot better.”

Although racers and helpers tried to smooth out the course between the girls’ and the boys’ races, the course was rutted for the boys. Sam Mears finished best for the team, in 12th place out of 32 racers. The first place boys’ team, Sandy, placed six racers in the top ten and took first, second and third places to finish 23.12 seconds ahead of second place Barlow High School.

Mears, Tyler Sassara and Scott Brous were the only three boys to put together two complete runs. Matt Byrne Taylor Eaton, Nick Maslen and Joe Sager all disqualified on their second runs, meaning the team’s second run total was scored as a DNF (did not finish).

“The boys had a hard time putting two runs together,” Gunesch said. They need to start finishing both runs. And they need to gain confidence to do that. They need confidence in their abilities, which comes from training as much as possible in all different conditions.”

Next up for the team is another Mt. Hood Ski League race on Saturday at Ski Bowl, which is where the state race will be in February.

Race Results:

Girls — second as a team

Kaytlin Hughes 3rd

Jessica McMorran 5th

Jessica Ostler 7th

Ashley Kastner 9th

Chrisie Brock 12th

Claire Snelling 16th

Caley Melton 19th

Heather Van Swaay 20th

Molly McCulloch 25th

Emily Kao 26th

Boys — fourth as a team

Sam Mears 12th

Tyler Sassara 17th

Scott Brous 20th

Matt Byrne N/A

Nick Maslen N/A

Joe Sager N/A

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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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