HRV swimmers hope to deliver more surprises to IMC schools

Season preview

The two most recognizable faces may be gone, but as the 2002-03 swimming season approaches, the semi-anonymous members of the HRV swim team are hoping for a few strokes of genius as they begin Intermountain Conference competition.

Four-year star Oliver Burton and 100 backstroke state champion Caitlyn Shortt are no longer here, but that doesn’t mean the remaining members of the team plan to let any perceived disadvantages slow them down.

“Every meet, you go out to win all your events,” said senior freestyler Erik Hidle. “State is the ultimate goal, and to get there, you have to be focused on that goal at every meet.”

Hidle is one of three returning state qualifiers for the boys team, which brings back every major contributor besides Burton. Hidle joins seniors Sean Jennings and Cody MacMillan, and junior Henry Burton on a determined 200 medley relay team that will do whatever it can to improve on last year’s 11th place state finish.

“Once you’ve been to state, you want to go back,” Hidle said. “It’s something we all look forward to, and all the seniors know it’s their last chance.”

Hidle said that the individual strokes on the relay team haven’t yet been determined, but the most likely configuration would be MacMillan doing backstroke, Burton fly, Jennings breast, and Hidle free.

“By focusing on our individual strokes in every meet, it makes the relay team stronger,” he explained. “Once we figure out who is the strongest at each stroke, we can start to fine-tune things a bit.”

First-year head coach Jane Nichols is excited about the possibility of helping the team reach its state goals.

“Those four have been our big guns so far,” said Nichols, who coached high-school swimming in California from 1984-86. “It will be interesting to see what they can do together once we get into some competitions.”

Five more swimmers on the boys roster are hoping to make their mark during the Eagles’ first year in the IMC. Senior Daniel Chance and sophomores Adam Brown, Chris Jennings, Jess Jennings and Louis DeSitter will all be factors for the Eagles if they hope to compete in the new conference.

“The challenge for me as a coach will be to keep them improving on their times,” Nichols said. “I’m still trying to get the kids to the point where they’re ready for the first meet.”

Nichols and her assistant, Dr. Mike Pendleton, hope to evaluate how far the team has to go when it competes in the first meet of the season — a non-conference tilt at Reynolds High School in Portland.

“I’ve been elated so far with the effort and the attitude of each one of these kids,” Nichols said. “They pay attention well and really want to learn. As a first-year coach, that is very much appreciated.”

Nichols and Pendleton may have some growing pains ahead of them this year with the girls team, which returns just three swimmers: sophomore Kelsey Hale, junior Elsie Denton, and senior Joyce Yang.

But, despite the graduations of three swimmers (Rachel Culpepper, Emily Baldwin and Kelsey Shortt) and the defections of two more (Caitlyn Shortt and Ladora Mitchell), the team has benefitted from a youth revival movement.

Local youth swim team members Nicole Shames, Kendra Mohar and Aerial MacMillan lead a strong freshman class that also includes Barbara Holmes and Danielle Miller.

HRV’s first home meet is The Dalles Invitational on Jan. 25. They also host Pendleton on Feb. 4.

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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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