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Outdoor writing contest high school winners announced

A story by Henry Gregson, a sophomore at Moscow High School, has been judged the best of 131 entries to win The Spokesman-Review’s 2013 Outdoor Writing Contest for high school students.

In Rapid Recovery, Gregson launches a boatload of teenage angst into a whitewater river where he experiences a second coming.

Runners-up in the 28th annual contest include:

Bye Best Friend, by Moscow sophomore Vitoria Gray, takes the faithful dog’s perspective on the day every pet owner dreads.

Hot Springs, by Lewis and Clark High School senior Eamonn Neff, assures that Neff-family legendary experiences at Stanley Hot Springs will never be forgotten.

Frozen in Time, by West Valley senior Kyle Hansen (a two-time S-R contest winner), weaves crystal clear images of a freezing morning in a deer-hunting stand.

Other writers whose entries made the final round of judging in a tight competition include Drew Keeve and Tristan Johnson of Central Valley; Bryn Hines of Lewis and Clark; Hannah Huffman, Alex Ewert and Izzy Comito of Mead; Gabryel Conley, Celine Knudsen and Natalie McDaniel of Moscow.

Gregson will receive $50 for first place. Each of the runners-up will get $30. The four finalists will be entered in the Outdoor Writers Association of America Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards contest, which is open to any outdoor writing published in 2013 by junior high or high school students.

National winners, who can earn up to $200, will be announced next spring.

In 27 years, 43 finalists from The Spokesman-Review contest have gone on to win national awards, including two of the 2012 S-R finalists.

This year’s entries were judged by newspaper Outdoors editor Rich Landers and several helpers. The winning contest entry again has been illustrated by Rockford artist Dale Hamilton, a Central Valley High School graduate.

“It was clear to me that the subject (of Gregson’s story) had been drowning for a long time before his kayak turned over,” Hamilton said regarding the latest of the illustrations he’s done for the contest since 1986.

The contest is limited to entrants from the newspaper’s circulation area. Details of the 2014 contest will be announced in September.

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