Sept. 10 Weekend Recap

Sept. 10, 2012, 9:49 p.m. (ET)


Bronze medallist Jason Craig, U.S. Freestyle Kayak. Credit: USA Canoe/Kayak

There’s no let up, as American paddlers took to the water this past weekend across the country and globe.

2012 U.S. Slalom National Championships
: Deep Creek, Md. - Adventure Sports Center International
When: Sept. 8-9
Who:It was par for the course for 2012 Olympians Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.), Casey Eichfeld (Drums, Pa.) and the duo of Eric Hurd (Woodstock, Ga.) and Jeff Larimer (Marietta, Ga.), all who maintained their spots atop the national pecking order in Women’s Kayak, Men’s Single Canoes, and Men’s Double Canoe, respectively. Paddling in her home state, Queen finished in 121.25, outlasting fellow National Team member Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.) to become the only 2011 National Champion to defend her title this year. Eichfeld finished in 106.07 to hold off 18-year-old Zach Lokken (Durango, Colo.), who finished +1.22 seconds behind Eichfeld. Eichfeld and Devin McEwan (Salisbury, Conn.) finished second to Hurd and Larimer in C2.

In Men’s Kayak, it was a changing of the guard with Michal Smolen (Gastonia, N.C.) taking the National Championship title just a week after wrapping up the 2012 World Cup circuit with two Top 15 finishes. Three-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) finished 8th, while 2012 U23 World Championship bronze medalist Ricky Powell (Parkesburg, Pa.) took 9th after leading the field after the semifinal round. Colleen Hickey (Okawville, Ill.) won the Women’s Canoe title with a time of 174.75

Deep Creek, Md. will host the 2014 ICF Slalom World Championships.

Men’s K1: 1) Smolen. 2) Hurd. 3) Aaron Mann. 4) Jim Wade. 5) Michael Rudnitsky

Women’s K1: 1) Queen. 2) Nee. 3) Evelyn Van Horn. 4) Marion Davidson. 5) Catie Vuksich

Men’s C1: 1) Eichfeld. 2) Lokken. 3) Larimer. 4) Tyler Smith. 5) McEwan

Women’s C1: 1) Hickey. 2) Sarah Moser. 3) Vuksich

Caroline Queen, Women’s Kayak: “I am happy to have defended my National Champion title, but this course was tricky. This race certainly makes me want to learn the ins and outs of ASCI better as we move toward the 2014 World Championships.”

Casey Eichfeld, Men’s Canoe: “This year’s Nationals were a lot of fun! It was great to get to use the ASCI course and to start our training there for the 2014 World Championships. I had a pretty good weekend of racing. I was happy with my consistent runs and holding the lead in the C-1. C-2 had a little more difficulty, but it was great to be back in the boat with Devin. I am looking forward to more training at ASCI.”

Michal Smolen, Men’s Kayak: "My performance last weekend was not as good as it should have been. Even though I was able to put a fast enough run together at the end, I was unsatisfied with how I raced. Although winning the National Champion title is quite the honor, looking back at how I paddled this weekend tells me that I have things to work on this fall and winter. Now, I'm just very anxious to get started so that I can make some improvements going into next year."

Colleen Hickey, Women’s Canoe: “It’s great to win at ASCI, and I have to attribute a lot of my success to my fellow C-1 women.  The push that we all give to each other has really moved us forward as a whole class."

William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director: "The 2012 USA Canoe/Kayak Nationals capped off the 2012 slalom season and kickoff winter training for the 2013 season. ASCI was once again a great host and we look forward to coming back in 2013 and the Worlds in 2014."

2012 Freestyle World Cup Final
: Bryson City, N.C. - Nantahala River
When: Sept. 7-9

Who: Three weeks, five first place finishes for Dane Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.). Jackson won the Men’s Canoe events at World Cups No. 1 and 2, as well as last weekend’s World Cup Final. He also added two Men’s Squirt wins and finished 2nd to Peter Csonka of Slovakia in Men’s Kayak at each event. American Jason Craig (pictured above) placed third in this weekend’s Men’s Kayak competition less than one year after suffering a major back injury while paddling. Click HERE to learn more about Craig’s accomplishment.

Americans Seth Chappelle and Jordan Poffenberger finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the Men’s OC. Poffenberger was also the runner-up to Dane Jackson in Men’s Canoe. Emily Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.) finished third in Women’s Kayak to Claire O’Hara of Great Britain and Ruth Gordon-Ebens of Canada. O’Hara also won the Women’s Squirt event. Americans Hunter Katich and Lauren Burress finished 2nd in Men’s and Women’s Junior Kayak, respectively.

The Nantahala River will play host to the 2013 ICF Freestyle World Championships.

Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: "Freestyle kayaking really stepped up on many levels this weekend. The sport's top athletes achieved huge scores on a challenging feature; Nantahala 2013 set an outstanding standard for next year's World Championship including the successful launch of the new scoring system; but Jason Craig reminded us all what perseverance in the sport is all about en route to winning a bronze in the Men's Kayak final. Just a year a half ago, Jason broke his back in a paddling accident and today he stood on the podium as one of the top three freestyle kayakers in the world. Just an incredible testament not only to Jason but his family, friends, doctors and paddling community that provided the support to make this day possible."

2012 Kayak Polo World Championships
: Poznan, Poland
When: Sept. 5-9
Links:Results. ICF Recap.

Who: The U.S. Women’s National Kayak Polo Team finished 13th and clinched a spot in the 2013 World Games in Colombia with a 5-3 win over Canada on Sunday. Click HERE to follow the team on Facebook. The U.S. Men’s Team placed 19th including wins over Finland and Singapore. Germany and The Netherlands would win the Women’s and Men’s Senior Team Titles, respectively.

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, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at