Team USA

Team USA
Sloan's Lake

08 August 2014

U.S Canoe/ Kayak Sprint Nationals

Since I did not make it to World Championships this year I decided to attend U.S Canoe/Kayak Sprint Nationals. It was an opportunity to represent Paracanoe on the national level and possibly improve my times.

I had about 3 weeks to train and work on my boat set up after Lake Placid. With the help of some great friends I had some good quality training and finally figured out a boat set up that worked. I didn't know if I was ready for the races in Georgia but Burton and I loaded up and headed south. Our travels were uneventful and we arrived to fairly calm and warm waters on Lake Lanier. I had a couple days until my first race so I took advantage and paddled, rested and worked out.

I raced my first 500m race on the 1st of August. We didn't have many Paracanoe paddlers so we were mostly racing together. I didn't break any records but I paddled really well winning the women’s race and didn't finish far behind the guys. I was the 500m Paracanoe K1 National Champion!! I was really pleased with my paddling and I wanted to use the momentum for the next day for the 200m races.

The following day the weather was in our favor again, with warm temperatures and only a slight wind, that was mostly a tail wind shifting occasionally to the side.

Being classified as a TA I can race both the TA and LTA divisions of Paracanoe. The first race was the K1 200m LTA race. I came off the start okay and paddled strong to the end. There is plenty I know that could be improved but I gave it everything I had and I was 3rd of 5 racers! I won the women’s race and even beat one of the guys. Best part was that made me the 200m Women’s LTA National Champion! I was very pleased and my time was much improved from the Lake Placid race. I still had another race to run; I had 2 hours to come up with a way to improve my time even further.

Paddlers ready…set… HORN (go). I got a decent start but the wind direction had changed. I really needed to push. 
I sat up straighter, dug my paddle in as much as I could and really tried to move the boat forward. 
With 50m to go I was right with the guys and knew the opportunity for an improved time was at my fingertips, literally. 
I dug just a little too deep on one paddle stroke and nearly dumped myself... BUMMER! 
I didn't stop but I had to regain my balance in order to finish my race as strong as possible. 
I crossed the line well behind the men but knew I did my best. I didn't better my time but I was happy, and best of all... the 200m Women’s TA National Champion! Not a bad week of racing and the results were good! :)

I was really glad I went to Georgia! I had an amazing week with wonderful people and paddled well. Now it’s time to train harder and improve more… always striving to be the best!

Group shot

Paracanoe Women 500m K1 TA National Champion!

Paracanoe Women 200m K1 LTA National Champion!