HRV XC runners blend teamwork, friendships

November 5, 2011

Girls who are close friends, not just a team, make the journey this weekend to the OSAA Class 5A state cross country at Lane Community College in Eugene.

"We're a team, on and off the race course," said junior Lydia Gildehaus, who carries a particular passion to place well this year: She barely missed the cut in 2010, and cheered teammate Grace Viukhola, a 2010 graduate, to finish in fifth place.

"I'm just so proud to be part of the team. I love this team," said sophomore Althea Dillon, who ran the first two races on JV and then cracked varsity for the rest of the season.

"I think these girls are really good friends," said coach Kristen Uhler, in her 26th year coaching. "This is one of the best teams I've ever coached, and it's super-fun."

"We're one big happy family," said Fiona Wylde, the freshman who emerged as the team's premier runner in 2010.

Gildehaus said, "This year the girls finally get the light we thought we should have had last year. I'm happy to go and actually race."

Uhler said freshmen Wylde and Jessica DeHart have taken the lead all year, and the young runners provide the enthusiasm, with seniors Danae Burck (captain) and Makenzie Bassham providing "calm, mature leadership."

"It's a perfect combination for a winning team," Uhler said.

"We're such good friends, but without our seniors next year it'll be a different adventure," DeHart said.

"I just bring up the rear," joked Bassham, a first-year cross country runner who did soccer and music in her first three years. "I finally saw the light," she said.

Wylde said friendship and teamwork blend well on the course.

"With our team and with our pack, it can change at any moment; if someone is having a bad race or having a great race, someone can just move to first, and that's how it works. Being a part of a team can be competitive, and you want a teammate who has a chance of switching around so it's not set in stone."

The team went to Eugene on Friday with a high degree of confidence.

"I feel like I'm just peaking," Dillon said. "I don't feel like I've come down off the peak yet. Last year we missed state but this year we're champions."

Gildehaus said that to prepare, "I am doing what I wish I did last year. Let's just 'pow' it out for state."

No matter the outcome today, the team is already thinking 2012. Said Wylde, "We're going to have some fun next year and train real hard all summer."

"Going to state this year will make us hungry for blood next year," said sophomore Rhue Buddendeck. "I look forward to the competition next year. I think we're going to be awesome."

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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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