Sunday, June 14, 2009

US Freestyle Team Trials at Glenwood Springs, CO

Hannah and Althea excited to hit the wave

We left Missoula, MT on the afternoon of May 25th eager to get to Glenwood for the highly anticipated wave and Team Trials event. After spending a night in Salt Lake City at Hannah Kertesz’s house, we finally arrived at the wave with the full team of: Scott Doherty (MT), Ben Kinsella (MT), Quinton Barnett (MT), Brian Jamieson (WA), Hannah (UT), Althea Sullivan (OR), and Quinn Connell (OR). Following our first practice session on the terrific breaking wave we then headed to the Palmer’s house. The Palmer family graciously put us up with excellent accommodations at their warm home, along with numerous other members of the paddling community. On behalf of everyone you housed and fed, Thanks!

First class accommodations at the Palmer's home

The next three days were spent visiting the wave twice a day, resting in between sessions to review video, work on homework, or to socialize with the other paddlers in town for the event. As the days progressed we all became more confident with the wave and each of our individual approaches to having our best performances over the weekend. One afternoon was also spent at the Glenwood Community Center assisting with the local boat swap, which turned out to be a fun activity and a great opportunity for our group to get to know many of the other junior paddlers.

Hannah Kertesz looking smooth and solid in the wave's chaos

Big tricks on big waves

When the weekend arrived we were all excited to compete and to watch the other competitors performances. During the event, we also had a tent set up for a nice place to hang out in the shade while we weren’t competing or assisting the event organizers with time keeping. All in all, World Class had a proud showing with four of our present and past students making the U.S. Freestyle Team selected to represent the U.S. at the world championships in Thun, Switzerland later this summer. Of notable mention were also Hannah Kertesz and Quinn Connell, the first ones out for the junior women’s and junior men’s teams, respectively.

Quinn, mid-McNasty

World Class Kayak Academy representation on the 2009 U.S. Freestyle Team

Michael Palmer (10’) – Jr. Men’s – 3rd

Johnny Meyers (04’) – Men’s – 3rd

Rush Sturges (03’) – Men’s – 5th

Adriene Levknecht (05’) – Women’s – 2nd

Quinn getting his moves perfected

A great, fun and well-organized event!

Nice work, everyone, on your efforts at the event. You worked hard to get there and competed with grace and determination – we are proud of you. Thanks, as well to the entire community of Glenwood Springs, you have an amazing playspot and a supportive atmosphere for kayakers. We look forward to coming back soon!

Scott Doherty

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