Runners test times at state locale

Hood River Valley High School cross country runners were among the masses at Saturday’s Northwest Classic in Eugene. The event, held annually at Lane Community College, brought together several dozen teams from schools across the state to test their mid-season progress against one another and get a feel for the course many will aspire to see again in about six weeks at the Oregon state championships.

Coming off a hot and taxing home meet Sept. 11, Hood River’s varsity squads competed in ideal conditions Saturday in the 5A/6A division, against 28 teams for the boys and 23 for the girls.

As with the team’s first 5K of the season, Ricardo Castillo and Sascha Bockius led the way for their respective teams, with Castillo 33rd out of 189 runners with a time of 16:48 and Bockius 18th out of 157 with a time of 19:37.

“Conditions were perfect, especially after the sweltering heat and hills at our home course last week,” coach Kristen Uhler noted after the meet. “We had many PRs and many season’s bests competing in the 5A/6A division, which was extremely competitive.”

The race is run on a similar but not identical course as the state meet, to be held Nov. 2 for the top qualifying teams and individuals from each conference.

“Our kids ran the exact course after (the meet) for a cooldown, which hopefully the varsity will be racing the first weekend in November,” Uhler said. “This was a big, competitive meet. The kids need this kind of exposure to learn how to handle the pressure and be prepared for Nike Pre Nationals (Sept. 28, Portland Meadows Race Track) and to put our four-team league into perspective.”

Behind Castillo, Justin Crosswhite was the standout of the day for HRV with a PR-shattering time of 17:02, good enough for 50th place. The sophomore beat his time from last week by 90 seconds and his last year’s district conference time by 30 seconds.

“He almost broke 17-flat, which is a big milestone,” Uhler said. “Justin has a fantastic attitude, trained all summer and went to two running camps, so he is improving greatly, as expected.”

Quinn Fetkenhour and Carlos Chairez also set personal records at the meet.

On the girls side, Bockius improved from her Sept. 11 time by nearly 20 seconds to lead what Uhler says is a work in progress.

“We aren’t running a hundred percent yet,” Uhler said about the girls team. “Grace (Grim) didn’t race, Sascha was recovering from a cold and we ran Daisy Dolan in the JV race as she has been nursing some shin splints this past week.”

Uhler said Lauren Robinson and Kailee McGeer stepped-up the intensity to put in their best performances of the season, both finishing right around the 22-minute mark.

The team sends runners to two meets this week: the Bridgette Nelson Memorial Invitational Friday in The Dalles and the Nike Pre-Nationals Saturday.

Meet highlights

HRV varsity girls: 12th out of 23,330 points

Winner: Ella Donaghu (so.), Grant, 17:43

Sascha Bockius, 18th, 19:37

Lauren Robinson, 64th, 21:25

Kailee McGeer, 21:55

Denali Emmons, 22:00

Madison Freeman, 22:51

Kainalu Bailey, 24:00

Varsity boys: 14 out of 27,393 points

Winner: Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski (sr.), Forest Grove, 15:41

Ricardo Castillo, 33rd, 16:48

Justin Crosswhite, 17:02

Quinn Fetkenhour, 17:55

Carlos Chairez, 18:03

Nils Engbersen, 18:06

Jorge Cuevas, 18:24

Nick Salter, 19:05

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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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