Middle School cross country scores pro coach, needs assistants

With his brand of selfless dedication to Hood River’s young athletes, former middle school track program head coach Steve Wrye left big shoes to fill as he departed this summer on an around-the-world sailing trip. Before leaving, however, he managed to convince a world-class athlete and trainer to take over his role as mentor and coach to the incoming field of several dozen young runners from Hood River and Wy’east Middle Schools.

Lara Stone moved to Hood River last summer with her husband, Flurry, who is a school psychologist for the school district. Stone, a Jesuit High graduate, was a member of the school’s first female state cross country championship team before moving on to race for four years with the Air Force Academy’s Division 1 cross country and track teams. She raced at the national and world championship level in both running and triathlons and has since been coaching professionally and started her own coaching company, Lara Stone Coaching, where she specializes in form, biomechanics and strength and conditioning for endurance athletes.

Stone says she met Wrye several months ago and his persistence paid off as he eventually convinced her to take over the lead coaching role this season.

“I’m excited about working with middle school kids; it’s a new age for me,” She said this week. “My main concern right now is getting help with running the team. I’m a stay-at-home mom with two young boys (22 months and five months old) and am running my own coaching company, so my time is really limited. I’m hoping we can enlist some volunteers to help with some of the administrative work that goes with running a team so I can focus on coaching with the limited time I have.”

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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