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News from the week of January 5, 2005

Orlando bowl adventure was worth cheering about

Four Tracy Area High School cheerleaders had some good news and bad news to talk about in the aftermath of the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida on New Year’s Day.

The good news?

The Panther cheerleaders had plenty of time to find the post-game bus going back to their hotel.

The bad news?

The teens missed seeing Iowa quarterback Drew Tate throw a 56-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play, giving the Hawkeyes a thrilling 30-25 victory over LSU.

“We were really mad about that,” admitted Megan Meyer, one of two seniors on the trip. The Panther cheerleaders, she said, left the game early in order to avoid the post-game crowds.

But other than the premature exit, the Panther cheerleaders reported that they had a wonderful time during their four-day trip to Orlando.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Krista Swanson, a TAHS junior. The other cheerleaders on the trip were senior Emily Baumann and junior Victoria (Tory) Ruppert.

The four girls participated in a halftime extravaganza that included about 1,500 high school and college cheerleaders, dancers and baton twirlers. The “Bus Boys” were the show’s featured performers.

Dressed in black sequined outfits accented with pink, green, and orange polka dots, the Tracy delegation performed a routine they had learned over two days of practices in Orlando.

Portions of the halftime show were nationally broadcast over ABC television. To the best of their knowledge, none was included in any TV footage, although Swanson said that a girl in her formation, two rows up, was featured in a TV close-up.

The Orlando trip began with a Tuesday afternoon flight from the Twin Cities to Orlando. Wednesday, the Panther cheerleaders took in the sights at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, where they went on rides and watched a holiday parade. Most of Thursday was spent at large-group practice sessions learning their routine. That night, the girls attended an “island style” pool party, where they enjoyed swimming, dancing and Jamaican drum music. Another practice session was held Friday. Friday night, the cheerleaders enjoyed the Universal Studios theme park.

“It was really exciting,” Meyer said.

Their performance at the Capital One Bowl was on Saturday, New Year’s Day. The girls and other performers were allowed to watch the game’s first quarter before assembling for the half-time show. The show, staged in front of more than 70,000 people, was a big thrill the girls agreed, but was also a bit nerve-wracking.

“I was afraid I’d screw up my routine right when the camera was on me,” laughed Swanson.

After the game, the cheerleaders gathered at their hotel for a party given for the halftime performers, where they watched video of the performance and collected autographs from The Bus Boys.

• • •

Meyer, Swanson, and Ruppert were Panther football cheerleaders this fall. Baumann and Ruppert are both basketball cheerleaders. They qualified for the trip at a cheerleading camp in Iowa last summer. The students earned money for the trip through a variety of fund-raisers. Megan’s mother, Carrie, was the girls’ chaperone. The trip and halftime show were sponsored by ESP Productions.

'Celebration in Song' to ring in New Year

Melody, harmony, and rhythm will help usher in the New Year at St. Mary’s Church Sunday afternoon.

A “Celebration in Song,” sponsored by the Fine Arts Council of Tracy, begins at 2:30 p.m. Community musicians will present 16 different selections.

Admission of $5 will benefit community fine arts activities. The public is invited. The Sunday program includes:

Ann Przybilla—”Four Movements from Suite Gothique for Organ.”

Christ is Alive singers—”The River is Here.”

Joyful Noise Choir—”I Just Want to be a Sheep.”

First United Methodist Choir—”Amazing Grace.”

Lo Ann Hansen, Kris Hansen, Lynn Paden—”The Rose.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary Choir—”Wood of the Cradle.”

Tracy Area High School Chamber Choir—”You Raise Me Up.”

Christ is Alive singers—”My Life is in You Lord.”

St. Mary’s Choir—”The Hush of Midnight.” “Jesus is Sleeping Tonight.”

Ann Przybilla—”Praeludaium Fuge Ciacona.”

Celia Brockway, Kyle Peltola—”The Prayer.”

Shirlee Gilmore—”The Corner Stone.”

Jacob Gilmore—”O Holy Night.”

Tracy Lutheran Choir—I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me.”

Pa Ia Moua and Mai Vue Moua—”Silent Night.”

“Sister Act Medley” directed by Ade Miller and accompanied by The Roadhouse Gang.

Dance Fever? Yesss!
Waltzes not expected at Twister Invitational

Don’t expect a leisurely fox trot.

Ditto for accordions, tubas and calf-length ruffled skirts.

And most of all, don’t expect any soft, quiet elevator music.

Saturday— when eight schools compete in the annual Twister dance line festival in Tracy—the music will be loud and pounding, the dance moves fast and edgy, and the costumes bright and glitzy.

The competition begins at noon in the Tracy Area High School gym. The public is invited.

Coach Vicki Vandendriessche says that the Twisters have been working hard preparing for the meet.

Participating teams, in addition to the Twisters, are Canby, Jackson County Central, Lakeview, Montevideo, Russell/Tyler/Ruthton, Watertown-Mayer, and Worthington. Two classes of varsity competition are planned; jazz funk, and precision high kick. The varsity jazz funk is scheduled to begin at 12:05, with the high-kick slated for 1:45 p.m. Judging is based upon the difficulty and precision of the dance moves, as well as the presentation and choreography of the routines. Routines must meet standard criteria in order to score a maximum number of points.

A competitive cheer team exhibition by Panther cheerleaders, and performances by the Tracy junior varsity dance team, are other attractions at the Saturday event.

The Twisters have been preparing their competition dance routines since November.

Varsity Twisters include: Diana Benavente, Ann Marie Byrne, Chantelle Cooreman, Kristina Gervais, Katie Gervais, Paige Hansen, Megan Meyer, Casie Miller, Lyndsie Murphy, Christina Peterson, Allison Rasmussen, Elizabeth Rayman, Maria Schmidt, Valeria Sotte, Jackie Vroman, Cheri Willard.

Junior varsity dance line members are: Kayla Lanoue, Samantha Meyer, Kylie Meyer, Dayna Vosberg, Kayla Lanners, Ashley Knott, Megan Gilmore, Katie Baskerville, Alexis Horner, Mackenzie Radel, Alixandra Lima.

The Saturday event is the first of four successive Saturday competitions for the Twisters. On Jan 15 the dance team travels to New Londen-Spicer. Trips to Wayzata (Jan. 22), and Irondale (Jan. 29) follow. Section 3A competition is slated Saturday, Feb. 12, in Montevideo.

Lots of rain, scant snow

With 2004 now only a memory, it’s time for a quiz about last year’s weather.

Which of the following conditions occurred over Southwest Minnesota during 2004?

A) Temperature swings of more than 60 degrees in January.

B) Paltry April showers.

C) Farmers stirring up dust while planting corn.

D) A torrential downpour Memorial Day weekend.

E) Only one June day with temperatures above 90 degrees.

F) Timely summer rains.

G) Stubbornly persistent cool August temperatures, including a night of scattered frost.

H) A September warmer than August, turning immature crops into a bountiful harvest.

I) An extraordinarily mild November

J) The most meager November and December snowfall (virtually none) in more than 100 years, but above average precipitation for the entire year?

K) All of the above.


Warm wet year overall

Go to the head of the class if you picked “all of the above,” because Mother Nature produced a confounding mix of weather in 2004.

Farmers entered the 2004 growing season worried about drought and dry soil condition. But 2004 precipitation totals recorded at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) at Lamberton and the Tracy Technology Center in Tracy were both above historic averages. Precipitation at Lamberton, through Dec. 20, totaled 29.63”, more than three inches greater than the historic average of 26.15” since 1961. The Tracy Technology Center recorded 25.89” of precipitation in 2004, 1.09” above the historic mean.

About two-thirds of 2004 precipitation fell in three months: May, June, and September. After just 1.19” of moisture in April, the Tracy Technology Center recorded 6.46” in May, 4.57” in June, and 6.56” in September. Precipitation during the May 1 to Sept. 30 growing season was well above average. Moisture totals at Lamberton during those four months were 24.96,” roughly a third higher than the historic average of 16.74.” In Tracy, May through September precipitation was 21.83.”

2004 temperatures were higher than normal. The Tracy Technology Center recorded an average daily temperature of 46 degrees, or 2.1 degrees above normal. Eight of the 12 months were warmer than average.

The highest 2004 temperature recorded at the Tracy Technology Center was 94.5 degrees on June 7; the coldest a minus 19.9 degrees on Jan. 30.

However, during the May 1 to Sept. 30 growing season, temperatures were below historic averages. SROC calculated 2,268 growing degree-days at Lamberton May through September, well below the historic average of 2529.

Almost no snow

The dearth of snow so far this winter has had meteorologists dusting off the record books. University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley has reported that the November-December snowfall at the Twin Cities International Airport is the least that has been recorded at the site since 1894.

The first measurable snow in Tracy this winter, was a light dusting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After that snow melted, the local landscape remained brown until Christmas weekend when another dusting was received. The Tracy Technology Center recorded just .03” of precipitation in December, .67 inches below normal. A New Year’s Day sleet storm brought .5” of snow and ice.

Fewer days of severe weather

Renville County weather observers Mark Luterra and Ed Stone feel that 2004 was a relatively free of extreme weather. They rate 2004 weather as the best in six years on their “Extreme Index,” which they calculate from significant variations from normal in temperatures, rainfall, barometric pressure, and wind. During 2004, Luterra and Stone figure that the region had 100 days of weather that produced “beautiful, enjoyable days that were as close to paradise on earth as we get.”

They calculated that 2004 had 20 days and five nights with “challenging interruptive weather,” such as extreme heat or cold, severe storms, heavy rains, snow, wind or fog. In comparison, Luterra and Stone estimate that 2003 had 43 rough weather days.

“2004 was a relatively mild-manner year with few record-breaking weather events,” Stone and Luterra report.

Drawings on display at bank

Drawings by Nicole Fuhrmann-DeRuyck are on display in the lobby of Minnwest Bank South, Tracy.

The art exhibit, sponsored by the Fine Arts Council of Tracy, continues through January.

A native of Marshall, Fuhrmann-DeRuyck illustrated the book “Going Out on a Limerick For Dogs and Cats” written by Daryl Olson.

The book’s cover describes the artist this way:

“Surrounded by dogs, cats, cattle, horses, and rabbits, Nicole’s love for animals developed and expanded when her parents gave her a Golden Retriever puppy named Lady. Nicole gave early warnings of her artistic ability and intentions when she totally eschewed playing with dolls and pasted her own drawings over illustrations in books, a practice that didn’t necessarily please her mother.”

The Marshall High School graduate majored in visual arts at the University of North Dakota. Other art interests include metal and clay.

Nicole is the daughter of Allen and Deb Fuhrmann of Marshall, and is married to Jason DeRuyck, son of Dennis and Mary DeRuyck of rural Milroy. Nicole and Jason live in the Twin Cities area.