Marylanders Shine in First Day of Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom

Reporting somewhat live from Charlotte, North Carolina is Suzanne- one of the leads on the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship.

Thursday, April 12th

Lots of excitement here in Charlotte, where 75 athletes are competing to achieve their life long dream of representing their country on the biggest stage of all – the Olympics.  The Road to London comes down to this competition paired with the World Cup in Cardiff Wales in early June.

There are four available Olympic slots – women’s kayak (WK-1), men’s kayak (K-1), men’s canoe (C-1), and men’s double canoe (C-2). The current leaders for two of these call Maryland home.  In a kayak, the paddler sits in the boat and uses a 2-bladed paddle and in a canoe, the paddler sits and uses a single blade paddle.  Both are closed deck boats.

Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) continues her airtight competition with Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.). Queen finished with the top overall time in Women’s K1 – a second run time of 124.28, 1.20 seconds faster than Nee’s top time.

Two-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) currently leads the pack by 2.5 seconds in the ultra competitive Men’s K1 class after turning in a second run time of 100.24.

Additionally, Casey Eichfeld (Part-time, McHenry, Md.) is making a strong showing in both C-1 and C-2.

I can’t wait to see what kind of speed we will see today by these amazing athletes who make slicing through the water seem so effortless.

This is my first visit to the whitewater course here in Charlotte. It is a pretty cool facility with lots of activities other than whitewater. The course itself is a traditional manmade course, with high concrete embankments – a sharp contrast to my home course at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) located in Garrett County; where the course not only sits on a mountaintop, but utilized the over 40 million pounds of rock excavated to make the riverbed.

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