Burton flies into top 10 at state swim meet

GRESHAM — Competing at the state level can either make or break a young swimmer.

If that swimmer is not immune to the pressure, he or she may end up boiling over with excitement and fail to reach the highest level.

But not Henry Burton.

The HRV junior had been to state once before, and knew exactly what he was getting himself into at the Feb. 21-22 OSAA state swimming championships at the Mt. Hood Aquatic Center.

Burton surpassed even his own expectations by finishing 10th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.77 seconds. His preliminary time of 55.29 was even faster, and helped him achieve his goal of reaching day two at state.

“This is the meet I have been working toward all year,” said Burton, who qualified 14th with a 56.07 time at district. “District was my prelims, and I knew I could swim faster at state.”

Burton said that after being seeded 14th, his goal was to move into the top 12 and compete in the consolation finals. Next year, he hopes to move into the top six so he can compete for the state title — won by senior Patrick O’Neill of Roseburg in a state-record time of 49.41.

“I’ve been swimming against a lot of these guys since I was a little kid,” Burton said. “I know how much they practice, and it can be a little intimidating.

“But I can’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing. I just need to keep improving my times and see where it takes me next year,” he said.

Burton also swam the fly leg on the 200 medley relay, which finished in 15th place after qualifying 17th (see story below).

“I expected to go fast today,” Burton said after Friday’s prelims. “I’ve been gearing up for state for a long time, and I think I can go even faster on Saturday.”

While his Friday time was roughly five-tenths of a second faster than the Saturday consolation finals, he still moved into the top 10, and gained valuable experience for his senior year.

“I’m pretty happy with how I swam,” he said. “I’m already looking forward to next year.”

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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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