Paddlesports in 2013

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Another year has come and gone…full of competitions, triumphs, losses and lessons learned. From freestyle to kayak polo, athletes from the U.S. showcased their talents at the year’s biggest events.

FREESTYLE

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. played host to World Championship events in the canoe/kayak realms.

The 2013 Freestyle World Championships were held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in Bryson City, North Carolina. The world’s best freestyle paddlers battled for victory, with Team USA winning 12 medals. Four of those medals were claimed by Rock Island, Tennessee’s Dane Jackson who won Gold in men’s kayak, two Silver medals in OC-1 and Squirt, and a Bronze in canoe. Jordan Poffenberger (Fairfax, Va.) won Gold medals in both men’s canoe and OC-1. Clay Wright claimed Gold in men’s squirt and Tad Dennis(Peachtree City, Ga.) earned Silver in men’s canoe. Women’s kayakers Adriene Levknecht and Rowan Stuart won Bronze in senior K-1 and Gold in junior K-1, respectively. Men’s kayakers Hunter Katich and Alex Voorhees finished first and third in junior K-1.

The 2013 Nationals in Hartford, Tennessee brought the U.S. athletes 4 more medals: Dane Jackson won a pair of National Championship titles in men’s kayak and OC-1. Emily Jackson, a mere month after giving birth finished first in women’s kayak, and two years after injuring his spine, Jason Craig placed second in men’s kayak.

MARATHON

The 2013 Marathon World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark lead to a 12th place victory for Maggie Hogan and Kaitlyn McElroy in women’s kayak doubles. Ian Ross took 13th in men’s Under-23 C-1, and 12th in Senior C-2 with Amniel “Pepe” Naranjo. Naranjo placed 12th in Senior C-1, while Borys Markin placed 27th in men’s kayak. Alexandra McLain finished 23rd in women’s kayak. Jesse Lishchuk finished 36th in men’s junior kayak.

In preparation for the 2014 ICF Marathon World Championships, the Oklahoma City Boathouse District hosted an official test event, where Maggie Hogan won a Silver medal in women’s kayak.

At the Team Trials in Sugar Land, Texas, Borys Markin won the Senior kayak event, Logan Mynar won the Under-23 and Jessie Lishchuk won the men’s Junior event.

WILDWATER

For the second time in two years, the Nantahala Outdoor Center will play host for the World Championship event in 2015 when it hosts the 2015 ICF Wildwater Junior World Championships. To prepare, the U.S. sent a large contingent to the 2013 Junior World Championships in Austria in July.

Team USA was lead by Cully Brown who finished 31st in men’s K-1 Sprint and 33rd in Classic. Canoeist Will Coggan placed 17th in both C-1 Sprint and Classic events before teaming up with Brown to finish 12th in men’s C-2 Sprint. Selena Popp placed 8th in the women’s C-1 event, and Brooke Terkovich placed 24th in women’sK-1 Sprints.

At the 2013 Senior World Championships in Slovenia in June, Marin Millar placed 29th in the women’s K-1 hear, and Emmanual Beauchard finished 30th in the men’s K-1 heat.

At the 2013 National Championships, Beauchard and Millar won their respective events while John Pinyerd finished first in men’s C-1.

KAYAK POLO

The U.S. Women’s Polo Team qualified for the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia, by finishing tops among teams in the Americas at the 2012 World Championships.

In Colombia, they finished 0-6 against the best teams in the world. Giselle Nguyen, Katherine Homann and Molly Cummings tied for first in scoring for Team USA with one goal apiece.

Team member Marijo Bosiljevac: “The experience of the World Games was truly amazing. Losing is never fun, but I have great pride that we earned the right to compete by our play at the 2012 World Championships and that I was able to represent the USA at such a unique event.”

The U.S. Men’s Polo Team secured the Bronze medal at the 2013 Pan American Championships in Londrina, Brazil.

U.S. Women’s Polo Team member April Romeo was elected to a four-year term as World Sport Director on the USA Canoe/Kayak board of directors. Romeo, also a lawyer, captained the 2012 U.S. National Team that qualified for the 2013 World Games.

For more information on the USA Canoe/Kayak, visit www.teamusa.org/USA-Canoe-Kayak.