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Lanhams keep title in the family

BULL BALANCING: Idaho’s Tylee Lanham holds on during a ride on Sunday. Lanham pocketed the first-place paycheck with an 82-point ride. Observer photo/PAUL HARDER
Soon Oregon bull riders might want to invest in a fence along the Idaho border — mainly to block out the Sweet area.

For four of the last five years a member of the Lanham family has walked away with the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show bull riding title.

This year it went to the youngest of the group — Tylee.

Last year Zeb, a two-time EOLS winner, won the title. 

“It’s a cool thing to keep it in the family,” Tylee said. “Now my brothers can’t hold (not winning the EOLS) over me. We’ve all done it.”

Braseth falls short, stays focused on the big picture

UNION — He wound his right hand repeatedly — tighter and tighter with rope. It was almost time for the gate to open, for the steel bars to disappear, for the wild bull underneath him to bolt like an olympic sprinter.

SMACK! That was his left hand, striking his own cheek. SMACK! That was the same hand, hitting that same cheek again.

 And then the bell rung.

Looney adds to Mountie corps

EOU men’s basketball coach Ryan Looney has received commitment from his fourth and fifth recruits this offseason, adding to his hooping arsenal.

Steve Wiseley and Dan Stafford, welcome to La Grande.

And welcome to a rising program coming off its best season in school history.

Youth work on new skills at Outdoor Day

Under the watchful eye of mountain man Darrel Plank of La Grande, Danny Paul of Pendleton hones his hatchet and knife throwing skills. - The Observer/CHRIS BAXTER
People attending Ducks Unlimited’s Youth Outdoor Day learned about dog training and much more at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area Saturday.

Presentations were also given waterfowl identification, basic shotgun shooting, the ecology of Ladd Marsh, bird banding, waterfowl hunting techniques, duck and goose calling, boater safety, basic archery, hunter ethics and outdoor survival skills.

Positive reinforcement breeds enthusiasm

Dick Haines of Baker City, shown with one of his Labradors at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area on Saturday, discusses the art of training hunting dogs without the use of stern discipline. - The Observer/DICK MASON
The best way to train man’s best friend is to be his best friend.

Dick Haines of Baker City is convinced of it, so much so that he is devoted to taking the bite out of training hunting dogs.

Haines explained why and the art of humane dog training Saturday during presentations for Ducks Unlimited’s Youth Outdoor Day program at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.

Haines believes canines can be taught to be excellent hunting companions without using stern discipline. He has trained his dogs this way for years and will continue to for one primary reason: it keeps dogs’ love of going on hunts alive.

Cashell earns Cascade Conference Athletic Director of The Year award

PORTLAND — Rob Cashell has watched over a stellar year for EOU athletics on and off the playing surfaces. On Monday, he was rewarded for that, as he was voted the 2007-08 Cascade Collegiate Conference Athletic Director of the Year.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Cascade Collegiate Conference and my peers,” Cashell said in a news release. “I have a wonderful group of dedicated professionals and outstanding student-athletes at EOU that I am blessed to work with, and I share this with them.”

Saddle up for livestock show

Fans will hear a familiar voice opening the parade, giving info about the contestants and killing time when stubborn livestock fail to let their 15 seconds of fame end.

Steve Kenyon returns for the 101st installment of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Rodeo Friday.

It’s an event that Kenyon feels very thankful for.

Lady Cat barrage

MISSION COMPLETE: Union players celebrate after winning the Class 2A/1A State Softball Championship against Nestucca 10-0 Friday. It’s the first softball title in school history. - Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
CORVALLIS — Chalk it up — another mercy-rule shortened game by Union.

Hold on, though, this one meant a little more than the rest.

The Bobcats softball team bruised the little yellow ball time and time again during a 10-0 victory against Nestucca Friday. Their 15th 10-run win of the year secured the Class 2A/1A state championship.

Three-hour tour leads to ... A Catherine Creek Idyll

IN HIS ELEMENT: One of only a handful of registered, professional bird guides in Oregon, Trent Bray searches the banks of the Grande Ronde for the source of yet another call. - Chris Baxter, The Observer
“Vaux’s Swift!’’

At first light we pushed the canoe into the swollen Catherine Creek under a still dark and beautifully foreboding sky of gathering clouds.

A swirling swarm of swallows overhead already starting their day, our first aviary sightings of our three-hour canoe tour of a beautiful and relatively isolated stretch of Catherine Creek.

Ebel leads La Grande Swim Club

BOISE — The La Grande Swim Club traveled to the Boise Spring Fling May 20.

Michael Ebel grabbed two top-five finishes. He placed fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke (1:17.31) and fifth in the 50-yard backstroke (1:03.17).

Jack Burnell was the only other La Grande swimmer to take two top-five spots, by placing third in the 100-yard fly (2:03.55) and fourth in the 200-yard free (3:03.16).

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