The Oklahoma City Boathouse District will host the 2013 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Team Trials, April 26-27. The two-day competition will include racing events to select the Senior, Junior and Under-23 National Teams, and will feature ParaCanoe racing, which will make its inaugural appearance at the Paralympic Games in Brazil in 2016.
The Team Trials will determine who will represent Team USA internationally for the upcoming 2013 competition season including the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Sprint World Cups and Sprint World Championships. USA Canoe/Kayak previously held sprint national championships in Oklahoma City in 2008 and 2012, and held U.S. Olympic Trials for Flatwater Sprint in the city in 2008 and 2012.
The 2013 Team Trials renews some old rivalries but also opens a new chapter in a new Olympic quadrennial. Tim Hornsby (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) will face off after battling for the lone men's sprint kayak slot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Hornsby, 27 earned the spot in London, but the younger Dolan, 23, is eager to return to the water.
Ryan Dolan, Men's Kayak: "I'm really looking forward to first serious race back in the sprint kayak since last year's Olympic trials and World Cup season. OKC always puts on a top-notch regatta every time I have been in town and I don't expect any less this weekend especially with the start gates and finish tower. For me personally, I am just looking forward to kicking off the quad[rennial] and get my season started, see friends and hopefully have a good regatta."
In women's kayak, two athletes lead the charge to replace three-time Olympian Carrie Johnson, who retired after London to enter veterinary school. Those athletes - Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) and Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) - have been training alongside one another for the past year in Oklahoma City.
The event also begins the selection process for the Sprint National Junior Team and the Under-23 National Team. Both categories will be contested at the 2013 ICF Sprint Junior and Under-23 World Championships in Welland, Canada, Aug. 1-4, which marks the first time Under-23 events have been contested at an ICF Sprint World Championships. Local paddler Dylan Puckett (Jones, Okla.) will look to reclaim his spot on the Junior National Team.
Although the ParaCanoe National Team Trials will not take place until July, USA Canoe/Kayak offers ParaCanoe racing at all National Sprint events. Local Paralympic hopeful in wheelchair racing Shad Isaac, 22, will compete in his first ParaCanoe race this weekend.
Racing runs 8am-3pm Friday and 8am-1pm Saturday. Click HERE for results and live streaming video.
Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: "With our High Performance program located in Oklahoma City, this is an ideal location for us to host our Sprint National Trials and select the very best athletes to represent the United States throughout the 2013 race season. The Boathouse District offers everything we need to create a world-class event, from a state-of-the-art timing system to the same start gates used at the Olympic Games."
USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at www.usack.org, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USACanoeKayak.
The OKC Boathouse Foundation promotes the use and development of the Oklahoma River as a world-class urban aquatic venue and provides access to rowing, kayaking and fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities. OKCBF programs pursue the highest goals of sports and embrace the principles of the Olympic spirit which inspire athletes to work toward personal excellence, embrace the power of teamwork, and practice respect for all people and the environment. To learn more or get involved, call (405) 552-4040 or visit okcbf.org, facebook.com/OKCBoathouseDistrict or twitter.com