Breakout performances

When all that matters is district, Last Chance Meet gives Eagles one more time to get everything right

Columbia River Conference track and field athletes gathered Friday for the annual Last Chance Meet at Hood River Valley High School. Appropriately named, the event is the final competition of the regular season, giving athletes one final opportunity to fine-tune their events before the district championships; to be held this year May 19-20 in Pendleton.

“While it may look like our season is wrapping up, we actually consider this week just the beginning for our varsity kids,” Coach Donnie Herneisen said.

Each school can have up to three entries per event at the district championship so, for many non-varsity athletes outside that threshold, Friday’s meet really was their last chance for the season.

“I’m excited at about the talent we have coming back next year,” Herneisen said. “Our JV kids have worked hard, through snow, sleet, hail and high winds; and put up some great performances. “

For those who do compete in district, the meet is an all-or-nothing event to determine league champions and who will move on to state.

“Every meet the varsity kids have competed in to date really means nothing,” Herneisen explained. “The district championship meet is the only competition that really matters. For that reason, it’s very exciting, and very nerve wracking. One slip up, one dropped baton, one false start and your season is over.”

First and second place finishers in each event qualify for the 2012 OSAA State Track and Field Championships the following weekend in Eugene. Based on highlights from Friday’s meet, if HRVHS athletes perform on par with the rest of the season, the team will have several representatives vying for state honors.

“We aren’t necessarily looking to win the league title on either the boy’s or girl’s side; we’re just trying to win as many events as possible and get as many kids to Eugene as we can,” said Herneisen, “Last year we qualified about 20 kids for state, and we’re in the running to do the same this year.”

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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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