Event: Canoe Sprint, K1W
Hometown: Gig Harbor, Washington
Club: Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team
High School: Gig Harbor High School
2014 U.S. Under-23 World Championships Team Member
- 2013 National Championships: 1st in Jr. K1 200m
- 2013 Lake Placid International: 1st in Jr. K2 500m with Alyson Morse
- 2013 U.S. National Team Trials in Oklahoma City, Okla.: 1st in Junior K1 200m, 1st in Junior K2 500m with Alyson Morse, 3rd in Junior K1 500m
At what age did you start paddling and how did you become involved in the sport?
I started paddling when I was 10 or 11. I became involved in the sport after my horse had died, and a family friend of mine involved with kayaking felt for me so she got me involved with the sport. Her name is Katarina Batina.
Where and when was your first competition, and how did you do?
My first competition was when I was 11, in Seattle, WA for Nationals. My coach placed me in a bantam race, and we ended up winning the 500m K4.
What has inspired you to train and compete at an International level?
My family has had a huge influence on me, “we are never quitters.” I wanted to fulfill the family tradition, push my body to its fullest to reach my full ability of becoming the athlete I am capable of being. I love being involved with my hometown club. They have made me the athlete I am today. I have been told that I have a lot of potential. I believed if I was determined enough I would seek out new competition to make me better, faster, and stronger!
What is your preference - individual or team boats, and why?
Hands down TEAMBOATS! I would choose going in a team boat any day over my K1. I love the “team” aspect. I am able to push myself to be a better athlete mentally and physically. In a team boat I am able to push myself more because I feel guilt kick in if I don’t feel like I am working hard enough, it would be my fault if the boat was going slow, or rocking. I never blame my partners. I want to be able to push my partner(s) to reach their full potential as well and by making the boat run smoothly that can be achieved. Also, I love the aspect of there always being room for improvement, you can communicate with one another to work on things to make the boat better and faster as a whole. Communication is key and I love being able to figure out how to get into the same mindset as your partner(s) and always having the same “thinking process” to make the boat faster.
What race distance do you prefer, and why?
I prefer the 500m race the most. I am able to have a race plan and perfect it with a positive outcome.
What has been your biggest accomplishment(s) in the sport?
My biggest accomplishment was being able to be a part of helping my team win the national championship.
What is the best advice you have been given and who offered it to you?
The best advice ever given to me was from my brother Nick. “Go out and enjoy yourself in your races, never give up, Griffin’s (my last name) aren’t quitters, show me that you are capable of winning every race.”
Tell us about your current training schedule? Describe an average day for you?
Currently I am training off and on the water everyday six days a week. Going to cross fit for 2 hours in the morning, and paddling in the afternoons for 2 hours.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
Hang out with my family, and friends. They put me in a good mindset and I am able to be at ease with them, while enjoying myself. When I want to relax I love to curl up on my couch and watch movies with my puppy.
What would you like to do after your Canoe/Kayak career is over?
I would like to become a Sports Broadcaster for ESPN or Fox Sports. I love all sports and I would love to be able to share my love for sports being an athlete myself.
What is your favorite thing about the sport of Canoe/Kayak? Do you have any special memory that you would like to share?
My favorite thing about canoe/kayak is being able to push my body to its full potential. Also being apart of the U.S. Junior National team. To be able to push myself to reach my full potential as an athlete and every year try out to be on the U.S. Junior national team. I love being able to go to the U.S. Olympic training centers and being surrounded by athletes of all sports who have a passion for their sport and want to do well in there sport just as I do. The atmosphere at the training centers excites me and makes me want to work harder so some day I can come back, and train there year round.
What is your goal for the 2013 season?
My dream goal for the 2013 season is to push myself. Reach my full potential as an athlete, to get to Junior Worlds.
What is your dream goal?
My dream goal is to go to the 2016, and/or 2020 summer Olympics to compete in a k4 or k2 500m race and make podium.
USA Canoe/Kayak Announces Sr. and Jr. National Sprint Teams
April 24, 2014
USA Canoe/Kayak would like to congratulate the athletes who have met the selection criteria and will be representing Team USA this summer.
Year in Review: Flatwater Sprint
Dec. 04, 2013
In the first season since the retirement of three-time Olympian Carrie Johnson, the battle for women’s kayak supremacy was wide open. Among a host of Oklahoma City-based paddlers, Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) emerged as a potent threat in both kayak singles and doubles.
RECAP: 2013 U.S. Sprint National Championships
Aug. 08, 2013
Based in Gig Harbor, Wash., GHCKRT won its second consecutive Sprint National Championship team title under Head Coach Alan Anderson. The club takes home the Yonkers Trophy with 28 athletes accumulating 473.5 points.
RECAP: 2013 Junior/Under-23 Sprint World Championships
July 30, 2013
Six US boats record Top 20 finishes Sunday, making nine total boats on the weekend. Ryan Dolan’s 11th place finish in men’s Under-23 K1 200m punctuated Sunday’s performances.
RECAP: 2013 Lake Placid International
July 12, 2013
The 2013 Lake Placid International also served as the U.S. ParaCanoe Team Trials. Team USA will compete at the 2013 U.S. ParaCanoe World Championships Team, to be held as part of the 2013 Sprint World Championships in Duisburg Germany, Aug. 28-Sept. 1.
2013 Senior, Junior, U23 and OHR Teams Announced
April 28, 2013
Congratulations to the athletes selected to represent Team USA!
McElroy, Hornsby Shine at 2013 U.S. Sprint National Team Trials
April 24, 2013
The 2013 Team Trials marks the beginning of a new Olympic quadrennial, in which there will be some big shoes to fill. In senior women’s kayak, Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) will get the first shot at replacing replace three-time Olympian Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.), who retired after London to enter veterinary school. McElroy finished first in both the 200m and 500m finals before teaming up with her Oklahoma City Boathouse District training partner Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) to win the K2 500m distance.