Reflections of the seven senior track stars


News staff writer

May 14

A handful of Hood River Valley High School seniors will soon compete in their final track meet as Eagles. Whether it is after this weekend's district tournament or next week's state meet, seven Eagles will unlace their spikes one final time, retire their jerseys, and leave behind a legacy for next season's stars to continue.

Summer approaches fast and the anticipation of graduation stirs in the stomachs of these seven athletes. Before departing to Hermiston for the Intermountain District Championship the seven seniors took the time to reflect and answer seven questions for the Hood River News.

HR News: What sports have you participated in at HRVHS over the years?

Alex Jimenez: Track and cross country

Kristen Hedges: Cross country, basketball, track, and soccer

Adam Brown: Football, swimming, and track

Elizabeth Cabarrubias: Soccer, swimming, golf, track

Tyson Olds: Cross country and track

Megan Flink: Volleyball, cheerleading, and track

Andrew Halliday: Soccer, basketball, and track

HR News: What are your achievements in HRV athletics?

Jiminez: Cross country: 2001 most inspirational, 2002 MVP, 2003 MVP, 2004 MVP. First state qualifier in 10 years. Track: 2002 most improved, 2004 MVP.

Hedges: 2005 most inspirational basketball player, 2003 4x400 relay state participant.

Brown: Honorable mention as Intermountain Conference running back, most valuable offensive player of 2004-05 season.

Cabarrubias: Third place at HRV home meet, fourth place golfer at JV districts.

Olds: Voted easiest to get along with in 2004 cross country season.

Flink: Volleyball: Most improved player, Intermountain Conference honorable mention in 2003 and 2004, MVP 2002, 2003, and 2004. Track: Most improved in 2003, fourth place district pole vaulter.

Halliday: Played on the 2004-05 district champion soccer team.

HR News: Describe your most memorable HRV sports moment.

Jiminez: My most memorable moment was when I qualified for state in the last cross-country season. I was the first in 10 years.

Hedges: My most memorable HRV sports moment was going to state for the 4x400 meter relay my sophomore year.

Brown: Swimming the 100 free in 53.16 seconds.

Cabarrubias: Making the varsity golf team my freshman year and coming in first place in a swimming race.

Olds: Running a 31 second personal record.

Flink: We played The Dalles in an intense match. We lost but the heart and desire to play that each of us showed on the court was absolutely incredible. It's not a match we won that I remember, it's the match when we all gave everything we had. It is those kinds of games that I love most about volleyball; it was pure team effort.

Halliday: Sitting the bench watching the 2003-04 soccer team beat Jesuit in the quarterfinals.

HR News: How do you think your participation in HRV athletics has prepared you for the world you're about to face?

Jiminez: Running has taught me a lot about life and commitment. This will help me achieve my future goals and dreams.

Hedges: Participation in athletics has helped me learn dedication, leadership skills, work ethic, working with others, and staying healthy. These are all things to help prepare me for the future.

Brown: I have learned a lot about character building and team work.

Cabarrubias: Sports have helped become a more organized person. They have helped me work harder to reach my goals and to never give up.

Olds: Sports tough me to defeat weakness and strive to be my best.

Flink: It has helped me to learn to deal with adversity and it has helped me become mentally strong.

Halliday: It has taught me to work hard and give my best in all I do.

HR News: What are your plans for the summer and beyond?

Jiminez: I will work and train for the upcoming season at Willamette University. I will get a teaching degree and move to Canada. I will hopefully run pro and represent Mexico in international races.

Hedges: This summer I plan to have lots of fun, make money, then go to the University of Oregon where I will study business administration.

Brown: Work this summer and attend the University of Oregon in the fall.

Cabarrubias: I plan to get a job this summer, hopefully as a windsurfing instructor. I plan on attending Oregon State University then transfer to Portland State where I plan to attend medical school.

Olds: A six week H.C.O.P. program, working, and a vacation.

Flink: I will be attending Linfield college to play volleyball in the fall. I plan to enjoy the summer, spend time with friends, and work.

Halliday: I plan to work and play soccer this summer, then go on to college and play intramural sports while I'm there.

HR News: What will you miss most about HRVHS?

Jiminez: I will miss the 2005 HRV Distance Revolution Team and competing at this level.

Hedges: The people.

Brown: Friends and teachers.

Cabarrubias: I am going to miss all the sports, my friends, the staff, dances, and many of the events.

Olds: My friends and activities.

Flink: What I will miss most about HRVHS is everyone I've grown friendships with along the way: Old friends, new friends, coaches, and teachers.

Halliday: Probably all the events we have to do, the sports, and a lot of my friends I'm leaving behind.

HR News: Finally, who would you like to thank most for your high school experience and why?

Jiminez: I would like to thank all of my coaches. Tom Moline, Rich Hedges, Kristen Uhler, and my parents and friends. I especially thank everyone who didn't believe in me because I proved them wrong. I would also like to thank Robert Wellenstein for getting me into running.

Hedges: I would like to thank my parents for all their love and support.

Brown: All of my coaches, family, and friends. They have made it most memorable for me.

Cabarrubias: My mother because she always told me and pushed me to work hard. Also my coaches and the staff…thank you.

Olds: My mom for giving me the most support.

Flink: I would like to thank my volleyball coach Jennifer Baklenko. She came to coach us my junior year and she reignited my passion for volleyball. It was her love and attitude toward the game that inspired me to always expect more out of myself on and off the court.

Halliday: Bob Kadell for helping me come out of my shell. Doug Beveridge and Joe Kelly for helping me develop not only as a player but as a person. They kept me around all four years for soccer and it really meant a lot to me. I would also like to thank my parents; I would not have made it without them.

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