Varsity boys open with two wins this week; new girls team learns the ropes
After a successful first season competing at the varsity level last year, the Hood River Valley High School water polo team is bigger and better as it returns to the pool for the fall season. In its third year since being formed, the team has grown considerably over the off-season and, in addition to having full varsity and JV squads for the first time, now has enough members to field a separate female team.
The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association closed out the 2014 season with its annual end of season party and Gorge Windsurfing Awards last week at Springhouse Cellar in downtown Hood River. Nominees for five awards were selected, then winners were chosen by the windsurfing community via an online vote.
In an energetic battle between the state’s top two ranked teams, senior forward Jaime Frias made a speedy run up the center of the field, took a perfect through-ball from midfielder Diego Rueda, outran two defenders in chase and made a quick dribble around a charging Summit goalie for an open shot at the net.
HRV boys pick up two more wins
Although too early in the season to put much stock in the rankings, Hood River Valley High School varsity boys soccer lived up to its 5A No. 1 status Tuesday afternoon in a commanding 5-2 win over 6A No. 2 ranked Franklin.
Lauren Robinson and Justin Crosswhite are pictured in stride Thursday afternoon during Hood River Valley High School cross country’s annual Skip Sparks Invitational.
Eagles aiming for playoff berth in rebuilding season
After a tenuous 2013 season that ended with just four wins in 19 games, this year’s Hood River Valley High School varsity volleyball team is digging into its fall schedule with the optimism of a fresh start, and the ease of knowing that there’s nowhere to go but up.
Hood River’s Joleen Wampler-Kendall came down out of the woods last week to shower and resupply before heading back into the Mt. Hood National Forest to continue this month’s elk bow hunting season.
As predicted, this year’s run of Fall Chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River is setting all-time historic records.
With five seniors, eight juniors and six returning All Conference players on his roster, fifth-year head coach Kevin Haspela is looking at the next few months with great optimism. This year’s Hood River Valley High School varsity girls soccer team, he says, has the highest potential he has seen in his tenure with the Eagles.
In one word: Stacked.
Cyclocross racing returns to in a couple weeks for two days of lung-burning action around the campus of Hood River Valley High School. The annual bike race, called Double Cross, runs Sept. 13-14 and has historically attracted hundreds of riders from around the region who are just gearing up for the Northwest’s fall and winter cyclocross racing scene.
Although too modest to admit, Kristen Uhler is truly irreplaceable. As a lifelong athlete and 27-year coach and educator at Hood River Valley High School, her friendly but fiercely-focused approach has inspired thousands of student athletes who passed through her grasp in a way that only someone who genuinely practiced what she preached could.
Joyful, exceptional, irreplaceable, inspirational, unforgettable … and absolutely one-of-a-kind, Ellen Dittebrandt leaves behind a vast and saddened network of confidantes who will remember her spirit, determination and moxy for the rest of their lives.
Brandon Bertram will replace long-time coach Kristen Uhler
Hood River newcomer Brandon Bertram has truly nailed the concept of hitting the ground running. The 30-year-old Fargo, N.D. native moved to town a few weeks ago and is already over his head, literally, with his new job.
Kids, don’t miss ‘Positively Kai’, free SUP opportunity
The Columbia River has again been a hotbed of activity this summer, and in case the frenzy of wind and wave junkies along the Hood River Waterfront wasn’t hot enough, next weekend’s Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge is going to kick it up to a whole new level.
Bridge of the Gods Run draws 1,000 people Sunday
In surely the most colorful crossing in Bridge of the Gods history, nearly a thousand people gathered Sunday morning on the Washington side of the Columbia, awaited the countdown by Chad Sperry of Breakaway Promotions and, once released, spread out across the entire length of the bridge in bright running outfits as they began the inaugural Bridge of the Gods half marathon and 10k run.
Mountain bike group focusing on future, looking for fresh energy
While much of Hood River’s flourishing summer recreation and tourism industry is focused on the Columbia River, the waterfront and the Gorge’s renowned wind and waves, another movement continues to build momentum in the forests just outside of town, and although not nearly as bad as the city center congestion, traffic on the local mountain biking trails is markedly busier this time of year than any other.
If crawling uphill through the mud under cover of barbed wire, leaping over flames, throwing spears, climbing ropes and walls, carrying buckets of gravel and being hurled out of control into a giant mud pit – all with physical penalties for non-completion – sounds appealing, you should consider signing up for next year’s Pac West Spartan Race in Washougal.
When it comes to fishing the Pacific Northwest, Buzz Ramsey is something of a virtuoso, and even though his most recent edition of Outdoor News offers tips to maximizing fall-run salmon fishing success quite a ways downstream of Hood River, at the mouth of the Columbia, his column is relevant and extremely encouraging for the many Gorge-area fishermen and women who excitedly await the arrival of these great fish.
News photographer Adam Lappierre captured video of helicopters performing bucket drops on the Rowena Fire, as well as capturing the size and scope of the fire.
Athletes represent CrossFit Hood River on global stage
Christine Wells and Regan Huckaby can grant themselves a much-deserved break from training for the rest of summer, although neither is likely to do so.
Changes include new league, player tracking
Hut, hut, hot.
The Columbia Gorge Racing Association is gearing up for a busy next few weeks of sailing in Cascade Locks.
With the addition of “Kleeway” – a proposed new trail named after the late Matt Klee – congestion issues on the popular Seven Streams Trail should be greatly alleviated.
At Gorge Paddle Challenge, one competitor will be two
Matt and Hunter make a great pair.
Young baseball players in the Gorge have two different opportunities to continue the spring and summer seasons into the fall, and although the philosophies behind the programs differ, the objective remains the same: keep kids playing baseball as far into the year as possible.
Downwind Blowout race rescheduled for this weekend
Fueled by steady thermal winds and sizzling summer temps, the 14th annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest brought hundreds of kiteboarders and spectators to the Stevenson waterfront over the weekend for two days of friendly but fierce freestyle competition.
One of the great things about the Fair is meeting up with friends you haven’t seen for a while.
Wrestlers return from Nationals, Redneck camp
Hood River Valley High School wrestlers Andrew DeHart, Christian Marquez, Max Lane, Steven Swafford and Jessica DeHart made the long journey east to Fargo, N.D., this month to represent Hood River and the Oregon National Team at the 2014 USA Wrestling Freestyle and Greco Roman national wrestling tournaments.
The Columbia River in front of the Hood River Event Site was swarming with activity last weekend, as sunny weather and solid wind brought out the masses to play on the water and enjoy the classic summer conditions the Gorge is famous for.
The cheers and chatter of hundreds of rousted rodeo-goers mingled with the chorus of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” echoing across the brightly-lit Milt Tomilson Arena Saturday night in The Dalles.
HRV alumni Jon Munk still rockin’ in the lacrosse world
In the words of his players, Jon Munk got “mad props” last week for his performance in the World Lacrosse Championships.
Although the trip was focused on fostering cultural understanding and appreciation between high school students of Oregon/Washington and Japan, the goodwill mission didn’t stop Hood River Valley wrestlers Andrew Dehart and Max Lane from knocking a few heads while they were abroad.
Team holds its own against all-star squads from California, Michigan and New Jersey
The BSC Strikers U14 boys soccer team was in North Carolina last weekend, where they represented Hood River at the 2014 National Premier League Tournament.
The 2014 Bridge of the Gods Kitefest in Stevenson is set for next weekend, with the pro contest July 25, the amateur event July 26 and the Blow-out July 27. In its 14th year, the event is touted as the longest-running amateur kiteboarding competition in the country, and has successfully served as a platform for many young men and women aspiring to climb the ranks of the sport from amateur to professional.
Managers say biking, disc golf probably not a good fit for the resort
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort announced with enthusiasm last week that it has been granted a summer operations permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Starting with two one-day events this August, Meadows will be allowed to run limited summer operations for the first time in the ski area’s 46- year history.
Heart, Strength, Tenacity: Seventh Kiteboarding-4-Cancer unifies with wind and water
The wind gods smiled on the Hood River Event Site Saturday afternoon. Despite a less-than-favorable forecast, the wind kicked in at about noon, increased throughout the day and blew strong and steady for several hours, giving the 154 participants of the 7th annual Kiteboarding- 4-Cancer fundraiser a full afternoon of sunny skies and steady wind to make this year’s sixhour endurance race one of the best and most competitive in event history.
Wy’east defeated White Salmon 5-1 Thursday evening to claim the first-ever boys’ Gorge Area Middle School Soccer League championship. The two teams had met twice earlier in the league’s inaugural season, with Wy’east winning both by a narrow one-goal margin.
2014 class: two teams and five individuals
The Hood River Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee recently announced its list of inductees for the 2014 class. Among the athletes being honored for their past accomplishments are five individuals and two teams from HRVHS and one individual from Cascade Locks High School.
Team enters state tourney as Tri-County’s top seed
With temps reaching onto the mid 90s Tuesday, the stifling evening heat at Collins Field matched the intensity of a U13 Junior Baseball of Oregon match-up between Hood River and Reedville.
Big-air kiteboarding contest utilizes Xensr motion capture device
The second annual Hood River Huckfest was held last Thursday under sunny skies and moderate wind conditions, and at the end of several high-flying rounds, the big-air kiteboarding event had its champions.
Longtime local archery club sees significant uptick in interest during last couple of years
The Hood River-based Appleknocker Bowmen archery club hosted its annual Little John 3D shoot late last month, and the record turnout of nearly 350 people is evidence that the sport is seeing a measurable resurgence, particularly in younger age groups.
New this year, return shuttle service offered
Organizers of the annual Kollas-Cranmer Memorial Run are gearing up for what has become a wildly popular Independence Day tradition for several hundred people every year. This year marks the 39th-annual 4th of July run, named after the late Joe Kollas and Jerry Cranmer, both of whom were active runners and community members.
“Definitely not luck,” is how Gorge FC manager Roger Sherrell describes his team’s first league win of the season last weekend over Seattle Sporting FC. After going through structure and coaching changes midway through the spring, the Hood River-based semi-pro soccer team has found its rhythm as it concludes its first season in the Northwest Conference of the National Premier Soccer League.
Young golfers ages 8-13 invited to join new program
In an effort to get more kids involved in the sport, Hood River’s Indian Creek Golf Course has formed a youth team to participate in the nation-wide PGA Jr. League Golf program. The program is open to players ages 8-13 and is run similar to Little League baseball and softball, with contests held between teams based from neighboring courses. Mark Gradin, Indian Creek’s director of Instruction and Player Development, says the Hood River team currently has a full team of 16 players, but if he can recruit more kids he’ll gladly form a second team.
CFHR hosts fundraiser auction July 11 for duo
CrossFit Hood River Athletes Regan Huckaby and Christine Wells are headed to the world championship of CrossFit competition, the CrossFit Games, at the end of July in Carson, Calif. The two are the first athletes from Hood River to qualify for the Games, which they did by advancing through highly competitive local and regional contests earlier this year.
Hood River artist and metal sculptor C.J. Rench and his team unveiled the final product of several months of hard work and collaboration over the weekend in Seattle, Wash., where a 22-foot high, 11,000-pound structure was pieced together in the city’s Jefferson Park. The project, called Red Bull Skate Space, is a joint effort between Rench, Red Bull and professional skateboarder Torey Pudwil. In addition to its appeal as a bright and cheerful piece of public art, the work is and is designed to be interactive and, in particular, to be skateable.
Three events scheduled over the next month
Huckfest: June 25-29
Matt Klee’s philosophy in life was simple: Find things that make you happy, and do them as often as possible.
Kenji Nakano has dedicated almost half of his life to his community and townspeople, and after serving 40 years as the Mayor of Tsuruta, Japan, the 84-year-old is finally retiring.