Spectators at the Whitewater Slalom US Team Trials in Durango, Colo. were
treated to spectacular action Saturday as the nations best paddlers
competed for spots on the US national team.
The Team Trials was staged over three days of racing, with two slalom
“runs” on each day. Two of the three days’ results count towards the
final results of the event, with each individual paddler’s worst result
In the men’s kayak class, Brett Heyl (Bethesda, Md.) had two fast runs and
had the best result for Sunday, but it was not enough to win the event.
With his win on Friday and another fast time on Sunday, Scott Parsons
(Bethesda, Md.) won the overall title in the men’s kayak. Heyl had to
settle for second, and Scott Mann (Bryson City, NC), who won on Saturday,
finished third. The top three kayaks were separated by tenths of a second
after their best two days’ results were combined. Parsons was relieved,
and remarked, “I’m just glad that its all over.”
In the women’s kayak, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Rebecca Giddens was the fastest female on the course for the third day in a row, winning by more
than 25 seconds. Molly Stock (Potomac, Md.) finished second on Sunday,
with Jamie Tidmore (Bryson City, N.C.) in third.
When the two best days’ results were combined, Giddens won first place in
the event, with Tidmore coming in second. Two fourth place daily
finishes, on Friday and Sunday, boosted Paris Robinson (Atlanta, Ga.) into
third place in the event.
In the men’s canoe class, Austin Crane (Marietta, Ga.) resumed his winning
ways, and ran away with Sunday’s race by more than five seconds. Ryan
Bahn (Bethesda, Md.) paddled his way into second, and sixteen year old
Benn Fraker (Peachtree City, Ga.) was third.
With Crane’s victories on Friday and Sunday, he placed first in the event.
Jeff Larimer (Marietta, Ga.), who did not finish well on Sunday, had an
excellent run on Friday and won the race on Saturday, and finished second
in the event. Two second place finishes in the daily results left Bahn in
Sunday saw the former Olympians Scott Shipley (Boulder, Colo.) and Ben
Kvanli (San Marcos, Texas) falter for the first time, as they missed a
gate and wound up in third place. Winning the day were Aaron Sarver (San
Francisco, Calif.) and Briant Grigsby (Mount Hamilton, Calif.) with two
great runs that left both paddlers with huge smiles. Coming in third were
the father-son team of Devin and Jamie McEwan (Lakeville, Conn.).
Shipley and Kvanli’s wins on Friday and Saturday gave them the win at the
event, and Sarver and Grigsby’s win on Sunday and second place finish on
Saturday made them the runner-up. Finishing third in the event were Chris
Wiegand (Lafayette, Colo.) and Nic Borst (Boulder, Colo.).
USA Canoe/Kayak, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is the National
Governing Body for nine canoe and kayak racing sports, and is a member of
the US Olympic Committee and the International Canoe Federation. For more
information, visit our
website USA Canoe and Kayak