2017 Marathon Team Trials

June 16, 2017, 2:18 p.m. (ET)

MARATHON:   Team USA announcement & recap of the 2017 USACK Team Trials and Masters National Championship  

April 29, 2017

Sugar Land, Texas – Brooks Lake 

Weather:   Temp 82/91 (heat index); Wind Southeast 22 mph / 35 mph gusts





The 2017 USA Canoe & Kayak Marathon Team Trials, the race that determines which athletes qualify for the U.S. National Team, was held April 29th on Brooks Lake in Sugar Land, Texas.  This race will be remembered for the challenging conditions, with sustained winds of 22 mph and gusts of 35 mph, and a heat index of 91 degrees.    

In the Men’s race (18-miles over 8 laps with 7 portages), the Seniors (23-35) and Masters (35+) combined for a clean start.  However, the race suffered its first casualty just over a mile in when Brad Pennington was capsized when hit from behind by another paddler, costing him just under2-minutes and contact with the leaders.   

At the end of the first lap, a lead pack of 6-K1’s had emerged.   The first portage, early in the 2nd lap, was memorialized by an incredible photograph taken by Sandy Yonley, showing the lead group of Robert Clegg (6-time Marathon Trials Champion), Chris Issendorff (Marathon Trials rookie), Mike Dostal, Logan Mynar, Kyle Mynar, and Tommy Yonley dismounting side by side.   As usual in marathon, the portages tend to separate the peloton, and by the end of the 2nd lap, Mike Dostal (last year’s runner-up) and Logan Mynar (2013 U-23 Champion), emerged as the race leaders, about 40 seconds ahead of the other four.   

As the race reached its halfway point at the conclusion of Lap #4, Dostal was alone in front.  Logan Mynar was holding 2nd just over a minute behind, but he was feeling the pressure of the chase group consisting of Kyle Mynar, Tommy Yonley and Chris Issendorf.  They in turn, were being reeled in by Brad Pennington, who had climbed back into the race, now only 10 seconds behind the chase group.   

As mentioned previously, the conditions were the most difficult in MTT memory.  The high winds forced a last minute alteration to the course, but they still managed to blow the turn buoys out of position.  The wind gusts were strong enough to capsize less experienced paddlers, and the cross winds in the middle of each lap were strong enough to rip the paddles out of the athlete’s hands.    

Logan Mynar abandoned the race during the 6th lap, leaving Dostal comfortably in front with a 4-minute lead, leaving the battle for 2nd place the race to watch.   

The 6th lap is also significant because its conclusion signifies the end of the Masters National Championship.   The Seniors and Masters start together, but the Masters race is only 6-laps, beyond which each Masters athlete elects whether to continue the final two laps against the Seniors for a spot on the National Team.   Brad Pennington defended his title, with Robert Clegg taking 2nd and Andrew Korompay taking 3rd.  Korompay was content with his bronze medal, while the other two continued the final two laps with the Seniors.         

As race director Grady Hicks timed the splits at the end of the 7th and penultimate lap, Mike Dostal had the race well in hand.   Pennington had climbed to a tenuous 2nd place at the final split, with Tommy Yonley and Kyle Mynar riding his wash.   

The final lap saw Mike Dostal win with a time of 2:26:01.    In the race for 2nd, Pennington fell off pace just after the final turn, leaving the battle for 2nd to a sprint won by Kyle Mynar over Tommy Yonley by just two seconds.    Rob Clegg finished 5th, with Jonathon Yonley and Chris Issenforf behind him.         

In the Junior Men K1 race, Andrew Surles (LCKC) won with Collin McMullen (OKC) finishing 2nd.   Conrad Pellerin (OKC) taking the bronze, followed by his two brothers, Carson (OKC) and Peyton (OKC).    

In the women’s race, Heather Davis finished first, followed by Kaitlin Jiral.    

Based on these results, USACK’s Marathon Selection Committee, headed by Robert Clegg (6-time Marathon Trials Champion), the following athletes have been named to Team USA:   

Mike Dostal  (Men’s Senior K1) - qualified for 2017 Marathon World Championships 

Kyle Mynar (Men’s Senior K1) – qualified for Marathon World Cup 

Tommy Yonley (Men’s Senior K1) – qualified for Marathon World Cup 

Brad Pennington (Men’s Senior K1) – qualified for Marathon World Cup 

Andrew Surles (Men’s Junior K1)  - qualified for Marathon World Championships 

Collin McMullen (Men’s Junior K1) – qualified for Marathon World Championships 

Also qualified for the 2017 Marathon World Championships are Maggie Hogan & Michele Eray, who time-trialed for the top spot in the Senior Women’s K2.   

The Marathon Selection Committee is considering time-trials to fill the vacant team slots.