Wrestlers earn national team bids

It's hard to keep a good man down.

And in the case of three Hood River wrestlers, it would be a challenge to take them down at all.

That's because Jason DeHart, Josh Van Ek and John Harvey of the Airtime Wrestling Club are some of the best grapplers in the state of Oregon, if not the United States.

DeHart and Van Ek each earned a bid on the U-16 Cadet National Team after gritty performances at the National Chamÿpionships in Fargo, N.D. in late July. Harvey also made the team, but did not participate at Nationals due to other obligations.

"The Nationals in Fargo is the biggest event in high school wresÿtling, where only the best and most committed earn the right to compete," coach Bill Van Ek said.

"To lose a match means nothing more than gaining experience. To win is just a bonus."

Josh, a second-year Cadet who wrestled his way to first place in freestyle and second place in Greco-Roman at the Oregon State Championships, performed well enough to guarantee himself a spot on both the national team and the Cadet Dual Meet team, which compete separately.

"It was a fun trip and I made some good friends," Josh said. "I did the best I could and don't have any complaints."

DeHart, a first-year Cadet, had similar success at Fargo, finishing in the top 20 out of 80 wrestlers in the freestyle competition, and grinding out a tough victory in the Greco competition before being eliminated.

Harvey took fourth place in Greco at the Oregon state championships earlier this year and was invited to join the national team despite his absence from Nationals.

Airtime Wrestling works with wrestlers as young as five years old, and teaches mostly collegiate wrestling rules, which sanction high school competition.

Most Airtime students are junior high school age, the club often works with high schoolers like DeHart, Van Ek and Harvey to prepare them for big tournaments like Nationals. Hood River Valley wrestling coach Mark Brown also contributes his expertise on a regular basis.

"Mark was very instrumental in the success of these three wrestlers," coach Van Ek said. "We all appreciate his efforts."

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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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