Record breaker

The necessity for pain tolerance in cross country is unrivaled by any other high school sport.

Wrestling is a close second, but a lot more comes into play there. With cross country, runners are in pain basically from start to finish. Some suffer less than others, but that’s usually because they’ve suffered more ahead of time in training.

“There’s a certain point in every race where you pretty much feel like you’re going to die,” said Grace Grim, Hood River Valley High School’s top varsity girls cross country runner. “You have to be willing to go through that pain if you want to win. You have to fight through it; the faster you run the faster you are done.”

As a junior and first-year cross country runner, Grim passed a huge milestone over the weekend at the Adidas Cross Country Classic in Portland. Her 18:09.7 5,000 meter time was fast enough for a ninth place finish in the race’s varsity elite division and is a new school record for that distance.

The record replaces the previous one set in 2007 by Erin Jones (18:17.54).

“I have run my whole life, I was just busy with other things in the fall,” Grim said before practice this week. “I was always curious if I’d be good at racing and this year I decided to go for it.”

Grim said she grew up running in the Post Canyon area, which is why cross country was such a natural fit. With less than two weeks before the district meet (Oct. 27 at HRVHS), she has her sights set on beating Hermiston’s senior standout Maggie Coleman, who is favored as the top conference runner and one of the fastest in the state. Earlier this year, at the Hood River Invitational, Grim finished second with a time of 19:47; 39 seconds behind Coleman. She’s closing that gap, however; at Saturday’s meet Grim was just seven seconds behind Coleman.

“I want to beat her when it counts; at the district and state meets,” Grim said of Coleman.

“Grace has the right make-up to be a champion runner,” said coach Kristen Uhler. “She absolutely hates to lose, has a high pain tolerance, is very intelligent and a fantastic student and possesses tremendous aerobic potential.”

With just one more meet before the Columbia River Conference district championships, HRVHS’s fastest runners are fighting for the boys’ and girls’ top seven varsity positions. The team is training hard with the goal of qualifying both varsity squads for the state meet at Lane Community College on Nov. 3.

To challenge the runners as a lead-up to districts, Uhler entered both boys and girls in the elite divisions of Saturday’s meet.

“There were other divisions we could have entered, but we chose to race in the most competitive to see how we would stack up,” Uhler said. “

The boys placed 27th out of 40 teams and the girls were 11th out of 35.

Boys highlights:

Ricardo Castillo, 16:57, 84th

Jorge Cuevas, 17:34, 142nd

Miguel Cuevas, 17:45 - 153rd

Ben Dane, 17:55, 162nd

Juan Carlos Rios, 17:56, 165th

Justin Crosswhite, 18:18, 184th

Charlie Sutherland, 18:22, 187th

Girls highlights:

Grace Grim, 18:09, 9th*


Sascha Bockius, 19:25, 32nd

Lydia Gildehaus, 20:53, 102nd

Lauren Robinson, 21:09, 115th

Althea Dillon, 21:22, 122nd

Denali Emmons, 21:48, 143rd

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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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