Saturday, July 12, 2008

Junior Olympics Wrap-up

Well, a great time was had by Courtney, Levi, and Jesse here in Wausau, Wisconsin at the 2008 Junior Olympics. Jesse and Courtney both took second overall in the combined Wildwater Sprint / Wildwater Classic events and Courtney also came 3rd overall in today's Slalom. Jesse also joined forces with Gryff Griffin from Durango, Colorado, and me, to destroy the competition in the team race! We kept our form and were able to hold a tight weave all the way down the course, so I was pretty impressed with the boys.

Besides the competitions, I was most impressed with the paddlers' progression here on this big course. Wausau is bigger and faster whitewater then almost all the slalom sites in Canada and definitely more technical, so it was a big step up for these guys. Levi and Courtney, at first tentative, were surfing across holes and taking gnarly lines down the drop by the end of the week. While Courtney and Levi both swam, they also did a lot of rolls and are very close to having solid river rolls. Jesse toned down his frantic style and was really make the boat move smoothly and efficiently. All three paddlers were also getting very good at keeping their boats running to the exit in the upstreams, and being more precise through the offsets in the fast current. Their overall confidence constantly increased over the week. Overall, I was very impressed with these guys and very proud of thier progress! On top of that they were a real pleasure to work with all week, on and off the water.

And a note for WSAA-- let's host the Junior Olympics next year at the Kan!! All the kids here who got to go 2 years ago couldn't stop raving about it and really, really want to come back! How about the weekend before the Pan-Ams?

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