By Mat Mikesell | BSU at the Games
Fourteen paddlers qualified for the U.S. National Whitewater Slalom Team in April, earning a way to the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2012 London Summer Games.
Of the 14 qualifiers, two-time Olympian Scott Parsons and Carolina Queen from Davidson College won two spots on the team after three days of timed races.
The qualifiers move on to compete at the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff, Wales, June 8-10.
Parsons had the fastest kayak run with a time of 93.96 seconds, which was good enough for first place on a three-man team.
“The level of competition is extremely high,” Parsons said. “If you come out with a win, it’s pretty incredible. I feel really fortunate on how I performed.”
Queen finished second in the women’s kayak trials.
From the men’s side, Benn Fraker, a 2008 Olympian, also topped the men’s single kayak team. Casey Eichfeld and Zach Lokken tied for second.
At the Cardiff races, five athletes will be determined for the U.S. Olympic Team in paddling men’s kayak, men’s single canoe, men’s double canoe and women’s kayak.
“We’re definitely in contention for a medal in men’s kayak and men’s canoe,” William Irving, national teams director said. “If our athletes can stay fast and close, anything can happen.”
Mat Mikesell is a junior journalism major at Ball State University covering badminton, canoe and sailing for BSU at the Games. Follow Mat and the BSU team at @MatMikesell, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.
Information also provided by US Canoe/Kayak Marketing & Communications, www.usack.org.