Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.) closed out the Slalom World Cup No. 2 with a 28th place finish Sunday in the Women’s Kayak semifinal. Nee finished in 218.13, including penalties for two missed gates. Nee and the rest of Team USA will look to finish the World Cup circuit strong next weekend in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain.
Click HERE for complete results from Pau, France.
Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.) advanced to Sunday’s semifinal for Women’s Kayak with a 30th place ranking after the qualifying heats. Nee improved upon last weekend’s 37th place finish with a penalty-free 1st run time of 106.76, +15.37 seconds behind the heat’s first place finisher. Emily Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.) finished 50th with a 2nd run time of 119.63.
Micki Reeves (Grand Junction, Colo.) reached the Women’s Canoe final, where she finished 10th with a time of 296.71, including two missed gates. Colleen Hickey (Okawville, Ill.) placed 13th in the semifinal.
Michal Smolen (Gastonia, N.C.) is already moving up the ranks, finishing 27th, tops among U.S. Men’s Kayaks this weekend. He finished the semifinal run in 118.78, +17.04 behind the first place finisher. Jim Wade (Boise, Idaho) placed 37th after missing three gates.
Wade turned in a penalty-free first run time of 91.83, +4.14 seconds behind the first place finisher through heats. Two penalty seconds kept Smolen from a Top 10 finish. The 18-year-old finished in 92.43. Ricky Powell (Parkesburg, Pa.) placed 54th with a second run time of 98.75, including four penalty seconds.
In Women’s Canoe, Micki Reeves (Grand Junction, Colo.) and Colleen Hickey (Okawville, Ill.) finished 11th and 15th, respectively, to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. Reeves finished her first run in 142.48. Hickey will look to improve on Day 2 after missing gates on both qualifying runs.
In Men’s Canoe, teenagers Zach Lokken (Durango, Colo.) and Tyler Hinton (Denver, Colo.) will turn their sights to World Cup No. 3 next weekend after just missing out on the Top 30 cutoff for the semifinals. Lokken’s second run time of 104.22 was one touch penalty away from advancing. Hinton placed 36th with a first run time of 104.90.
WHAT: 2012 ICF Slalom World Cup No. 2
WHEN: June 15-17, 2012
WHERE: Pau, France
WHO: Coaches Silvan Poberaj and Rafal Smolen
Following a World Cup in which five paddlers were named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, the group at this weekend’s competition is much younger. Leading the way are two veteran Senior National Team kayakers - Wade, 26, and Nee, 23. The rest of the athletes will look to gain valuable experience heading into the 2012 U23 and Junior World Championships in Wausau, Wis., July 11-15.
Click HERE for a recap of World Cup No. 1.
Wade, who finished 18th at World Cup No. 1, will be joined by kayakers Smolen, 18, and Powell, 21. The Polish-born Smolen placed 2nd behind 2012 Olympic nominee Scott Parsons at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April, but citizenship issues prevented him from being eligible for Olympic selection.
Kayakers Nee and Jackson, 22, hope to improve upon their 37th and 43rd place finishes at World Cup No. 1. Canoeists Reeves, 22, and Lokken, 18, will look to do the same after placing 8th and 28th. Joining Reeves in the women’s event is Hickey, who finished first at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Joining Lokken on the men’s side is the 19-year-old Hinton.
William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director: “The young team that we have in place for the next two World Cups are the future of USA Canoe/Kayak and are a competitive group of paddlers. With the 2012 World Championships for Junior and U-23 in Wausau, Wisconsin in July, these next two World Cups will prepare our athletes for the competitive competition that they will expect to see in Wausau.”
USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at www.usack.org, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USACanoeKayak.