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Winners named in 2012 High School Outdoor Writing Contest

A story by Kyle Hansen, a junior at West Valley High School, has been judged the best of 214 entries to win The Spokesman-Review’s 2012 Outdoor Writing Contest for high school students.

Hansen, who also won the competition last year, is the second two-time winner in the contest’s 27-year history. The first was David Smith, also of West Valley, in 1987 and 1988.

In Superfund time on the Duwamish, Hansen finds the positive side of salmon fishing in a toxic waste site. Runners-up in the annual contest include:

Memory slope, by Moscow High School sophomore Darby Martin, poetically details an indelible outdoor memory of her late father in action with her family.

The detail’s in the Devils, by Mead High School junior Tanner Hardy, reflects on the high point of a backpacking trek around Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains.

Hansen 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 National Scholastic Writing Contest, which is open to any outdoor writing published in 2012 by junior high or high school students.

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

Hansen’s 2011 winning entry in the S-R contest advanced to win a second-place prize in the national contest.

In 26 years, 41 finalists from The Spokesman-Review contest have gone on to win national awards.

This year’s entries were judged by newspaper Outdoors editor Rich Landers, who says the task is always an enlightening, often humorous and sometimes even a moving experience.

The winning contest entry once again has been illustrated by Spokane Valley artist Dale Hamilton, a Central Valley High School graduate.

The contest is limited to entrants from the newspaper’s circulation area. Details of the 2013 contest will be announced in September.

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