Eagle alum debuts on UO tumbling team

Olivia Campbell

Olivia Campbell

Olivia Campbell is taking her athletic talents to new heights. As a member of the defending national champion University of Oregon Acrobatics and Tumbling team, the 2012 Hood River Valley High School graduate has been training hard to prepare for the first competition of the season, set for Thursday evening against Baylor — watch a live stream of the Feb. 13 contest, starting at 7 p.m., at goducks.com.

Although she says college athletics are way beyond what she experienced in high school, Campbell is no stranger to high-level competition. As a standout athlete for HRVHS, Campbell’s highlight reel includes being a two-time state champion pole-vaulter and a two-time All-American cheerleader.

“I tried out for the track team my freshman year, for pole vaulting, but it didn’t really work out,” said Campbell, a Parkdale native. “They invited me to try out my sophomore year but that didn’t really work out either. So I wasn’t doing any sports, which was really weird for me.”

Campbell said she saw an open tryout for the Ducks’ acrobatics and tumbling team, which had won three consecutive national titles. She quickly saw the sport as a unique fit for her strong background in gymnastics and cheerleading and has since settled into the role at the back-spot position.

“It’s similar to cheer stunting in terms of positions,” she explained. “There are four people in a stunt — two sides, a back and a flier. I always wanted to be a college athlete, and although this isn’t what I originally had in mind, I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. It’s an amazing experience.”

The team competes in seven meets this season before a three-day Nationally Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association championship April 25-27 in Azusa, Calif. As three-time defending champions, the Ducks will have a target on their backs as the rest of the nation gets up to speed in the new sport that evolved out of competitive cheerleading.

NCATA meets consist of six events: compulsories, stunts, pyramids, baskets, tumbling and team routine. In compulsories, each team performs exactly the same skill set, with officials comparing each team based on a set standard; the stunt category consist of four athletes performing three, 45-second stunt sequences; the pyramid category gives each team one minute to perform three pyramid structures; basket involves three heats of tossing, each with different requirements; tumbling consists of six heats, each with different stipulations and the final routine event is a 2½-minute routine with up to 24 athletes.

Campbell gave a special thanks to her former coaches for their role in her athletic background.

“I’m so thankful for my high school track and cheer coaches,” she said. “If I didn’t have them in my life I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m very thankful for all of them.”

As a sophomore, Campbell is undecided in her degree of choice.

“I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do, but I’m leaning toward sociology,” she said.

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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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