Monday, July 16, 2012

Junior & U23 Worlds - Wausau, Wisconsin

It was a hot 2 weeks in Wausau. With only 6 days of training before the World Championships, every opportunity to prepare for the event was taken. Canada had 5 coaches looking after 19 athletes, the largest slalom team Canada has ever fielded to any event. From the outset we looked to have a pretty stacked team with World Championship veterans like Ben Hayward, Cam Smedley, Ally Mcgee, Haley Daniels & Thea Froelich. Some of our other top paddlers, with previous results and hopes of the Nation, were Jazmyn Denhollander and Liam Smedley.

Representing Alberta were Ben & Haley, previous Jr Team member Adrian Cole, and the dynamic K1 duo of Ryley Penner and Levi Severtson.

5 days of racing proved to be a bit of a marathon for the coaches (Day 1, Mike walked over 12km acording to his GPS), but it allowed the athletes to have lots of rest and ensure they were in peak performance for each run.

Ben (U23 K1M), Haley (U23 C1W) and Ryley (Jr K1M) all qualified for the Semi-Final day on Friday. Ben and Haley both made it through to the Finals, Ben with a 3rd place finish in the Semi-Final. Expecations were high leading up to the Finals. While no hardware was collected Ben and Haley finished 6th and 8th respectively!

Other top results included Ally McGee (U23 C1W) in 7th and Jazmyn Denhollander in 8th in K1W Junior. Ryley Penner finished 30th, with two more years on the Junior Team & Levi Severtson finished 44th in his final Junior Worlds (looking to step up to U23 Team next year!)

A huge shout out to TECK for helping support the Alberta Team athletes with travel expenses!

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