Dominguez is All-American after Reno

The Reno Tournament of Champions is dubbed the “Toughest Tournament in the Nation” for good reason. As a destination contest for 118 schools from across the country, RTOC consists of 64-person brackets in each weight class and runs for three days on 13 mats until the field is narrowed down to the best of the nation’s best.

Hood River Valley High School wrestlers made the trip to the tournament last weekend for the first time with coach Trent Kroll and the second in school history. And, like its name promises, the tournament proved to be a true test of grit for the Eagle program.

“At the beginning of the tournament the kids walk into the arena with big wide eyes,” Kroll said. “That’s the reaction we want to eliminate by the time we get to state. We want to get the overwhelming factor out of the way so state feels like just another tournament.”

By the final day of wrestling, senior heavyweight Brandon Dominguez was the only HRV wrestler left in the tournament. Dominguez, cleared for competition after a head injury a few weeks ago, battled through five rounds of his bracket to make it to the finals against third-seed Zach Dawe of Pleasant Grove, Calif. Dominguez had a bye in the first round, then picked up four straight pins before getting pinned in the finals to finish second overall.

The finish gives Dominguez All-American status; an honor the top three in each weight class earn.

“Brandon is going to be a force in the conference and the state this season,” Kroll said. “Nick Morgan also had a great tournament. He was one match away from placing.”

Wrestling at 195 pounds, Morgan had a bye in the first round, won the second round match with a first-round pin and won the third with a 5-3 decision before losing by technical fall against first-seed and eventual tournament winner Jeramy Sweany of Vacaville, Calif.. The loss bumped Morgan into the consolation bracket, where he was eliminated in a tough 9-5 decision.

“With such big brackets, once you lose a match it’s a long climb back up to the podium,” Kroll said. “It’s what we call a meat grinder.”

n Up next: HRV wrestling travels to Lebanon this weekend and Westview next weekend for tournaments. The team’s league schedule starts Jan. 11 with a dual at Pendleton. The team returns home Jan. 16 to host Hermiston (time TBA).

n In the college division of RTOC, HRVHS alumni Lucas Mondragon went 2-2 for the Oregon State Beavers. Mondragon, a 197-pound junior, graduated from Hood River in 2010 and is majoring in business management with a minor in philosophy.

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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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