It was a fun three days of racing. The quality of racing done by the USA and Canadian Athletes there was very fun to watch! I had not been reporting on the Canadian Team Trials, mostly because I haven’t had time to write about that as well. However, I am a citizen of the world, not just the USA and watching the Candians duke it out for one spot on the team was quite impressive and worth reporting on!
Some of the athletes I want to mention had runs at least on one of the days that were super impressive…
Butter, Scott Mann, Scott Parsons, Jim Wade, Brett Hyle all had unreal runs. Scott Parsons, Jim Wade, and Bret Hyle made the USA Team. Scott Parsons is in the pole position for getting the single Olympic Spot, but it isn’t guaranteed.
Ashley Nee and Caroline Queen were the favorites and had the most impressive runs for the ladies. Michele Kvanli also had a couple of awesome runs, but just didn’t put three good days of racing together. Emily Jackson laid down both consistent runs and some really fast sections, but never had a top to bottom run without time mistakes. More experience will really pay off for Emily as she is both super strong, fit, and skilled as a competitor, but has only a couple of weeks of experience in the slalom boat and racing like this. Ashley Nee, Caroline Queen, and Emily Jackson made the USA team with Caroline Queen still in pole position but any of the three girls can win the spot by finishing top 20 in the World Cup event and beating out the others.
In the C1 Class- the big competition seemed to be between Ben Fraker and Casey Eichfeld, each of them winning two runs in the first two days. Zach Locken had some great racing as well coming in third overall and making the USA Team. The olympic Spot can still be earned by all three of the paddlers.
In the C2 class the team of Butter and Larimer showed some impressive paddling and took the honors after a few days of hard racing. McEwan/Eichfeld came in second with some awesome runs and the team of Mcluskey/Hepp took third after having a hard time putting consecutive good runs together. Again, the Olympic spot is not yet set.
I am curious to see how Emily treats this position she has earned and where she takes it. I would not be at all opposed to doing some more training myself and I know Dane also really enjoyed doing the races and was a natural and could be an epic slalom racer. Emily is in the spotlight, however, as a member of the USA Team now and a shot at the olympic spot. So we will be watching her progress and decisions.
Emily is used to being a free spirit and thrives doing things her way. I hope that the USOC can seek to learn from her successes and her processes verses trying to force a restrictive regimen on her, which would only drive her away and cause the sport to lose a new, fresh approach, and a seasoned athlete that has dominated like no other woman in the history of freestyle kayaking. this is slalom, but if Emily does it, she create a new version of the sport for sure, related to training and racing!
Here is a promo video of the Emily most people know about that is for 2012… I wonder if we’ll see some awesome slalom footage for the 2013 promo video (olympics maybe?)
Meanwhile- We are off to the NOC Shootout- to do some freestyle !
I am still trying to find out what place I got at Trials. I am not sure where to find full results. I think I was 10th- right where I guessed I should be, but not where I was shooting for!