Canoe/Kayak Preview
Four years ago, in Toronto, Team USA earned five medals – three golds, one silver and one bronze – at the 2015 Pan American Games. With several returning athletes alongside a number of young standouts, Team USA is looking to make an even bigger splash in slalom and sprint events at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“We’re looking to continue our success from the last Pan American Games,” said Rafal Smolen, slalom national team coach. “I’m confident this mix of experience and new talent is beneficial to the team as a whole, and we can definitely look forward to some great performances in Lima.”

Four athletes, each making their Pan American Games debut, will compete in slalom events for Team USA. This is the second time that slalom events have been featured on the Pan American Games program, as they were first included in Toronto in 2015.

Zachary Lokken, an accomplished world championship competitor known as “Bug,” will be competing in men’s canoe. Michaela Corcoran is set to compete in women’s canoe, an event making its Pan American Games debut in Lima, as well as its debut on the Olympic program at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Two-time junior world championships competitor Joshua Joseph will race in the highly contested men’s kayak event. Evy Leibfarth is the youngest member of Team USA at age 15 and will be competing in women’s kayak.

Thirteen athletes will compete in sprint events for Team USA, two of whom have Pan American Games experience.

Stanton Collins is making his second Pan American Games appearance after placing seventh in 1,000-meter K2 at the 2015 Games. Two-time Pan American Games athlete and 2011 500m K2 bronze medalist Kaitlyn McElroy is also returning to Pan American competition in Lima.

Five more athletes will represent Team USA in men’s kayak sprint events. Nathaniel Errez, Owen Farley-Klacik, Alex Lee and Jesse Lishchuk each possess junior world championships experience. Thom Crockett, who began kayak racing in 2017, will make his debut on the international stage.

Four additional athletes will also race in women’s kayak sprint events. Longtime member of the Romanian national kayak team Alina Urs will make her American debut. She is joined by 2018 Olympic Hopes Regatta team member Elena Wolgamot, Pan American Championships competitor Renae Jackson and 2018 junior world championships participant Samantha Barlow. 

Five-time world championship competitor Ian Ross will race in men’s canoe for Team USA. He is joined by four-time Olympic Hopes Regatta champion Nevin Harrison, who will be competing in women’s canoe.

Although there are no Olympic quotas up for grabs in Lima, Team USA athletes are still excited to race at the 2019 Pan American Games.