Pendleton, Shortt qualify for 2004 trials

Former HRV swimming standouts earn 2004 Olympic Trial bids at Nationals

Ever since she can remember, Beth Pendleton’s goal has been to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

The former Hood River Valley High School swimming star and current University of Wisconsin standout has been swimming since she was 5 years- old, and has competed at numerous national meets over the years.

But making the Olympic cut has always been the monkey on her back. Until now.

Pendleton put on her best race face and made the cut in two events at the Aug. 5-9 Conoco-Phillips Long Course National Championships in College Park, Md., becoming one of two Hood River swimmers to reach the doorstep of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“I knew this was my last chance to make it to trials, so I’ve been swimming really hard all summer,” said Pendleton, a 2000 HRVHS graduate who will join Caitlyn Shortt next July as the first Hood River swimmers ever to compete at the trials.

“I’ve felt strong all summer, and the way my training has gone, I expected to do well,” she said.

So well that Pendleton reached the “big finals” in the 200 and 400 individual medleys, taking eighth place in both (2:19.38 in the 200 IM; 4:52.90 in the 400 IM).

“I was more focused on my times than placements,” she said. “And once I made the cuts in prelims, the final places were just icing on the cake.”

Now that she has qualified, Pendleton has nearly one year to prepare for the Olympic Trials, which will be held July 9-17, 2004, in Los Angeles.

However, before she can compete in the meet of her life, Pendleton must complete her senior season at the University of Wisconsin, where she is on a full athletic scholarship.

“My collegiate career will be over in March, but it’s nice to know that I will be able to continue through next summer,” she said.

“I’ll just have to keep up my training and see what happens. But no matter how I do at trials, this whole experience has been pretty cool.”

Another local swimmer who was rightfully enthusiastic about her performance at Nationals was Shortt, who made the Olympic Trials cut in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:35.95, as well as the 200 IM with a time of 2:19.87.

Shortt, a senior at Reynolds High School in Gresham, swam for HRV in 2000 and 2001, winning the 100 backstroke state title as a sophomore.

She and Pendleton saw each other every day at nationals, and provided one another with some much-needed hometown support.

“Caitlyn swam extremely well for only being in high school,” Pendleton said. “She was really happy to make the cut, and she’s only going to get better.”

Shortt, 17, placed 14th in the 200 IM and 18th in the 200 breast, which could give her a jump on the 2008 trials.

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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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