Today's lake level: 1067.29
Your complete online news, information, and recreation guide to Lake Lanier
Dec. 14, 2019
10:26 am


LCKC hopes to win national championship on home waters

By Jane Harrison
The Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club aims to emerge at the top again after years of heartbreaking finishes at the American Canoe Association National Sprint Championships and Masters Championships. Local paddlers will have an advantage competing on their home waters at Lake Lanier Olympic Park Aug. 7-10.
LCKC Head Coach Zsolt Szadovszki expressed confidence in the team’s ability to win back the points trophy. Chances of coming out on top are “humongous,” he said, “because our club and training is growing and our club has a system starting at a young age up to senior level and these are the results of those efforts.”
Szadovszki, who moved to Lake Lanier from Hawaii to begin coaching duties in January, doubles as National Team Coach and divides his time between the local and national squads. He said he gives each equal attention “The good news is there are many athletes at LCKC up to the US National Team Level. The ones that are not are motivated to get there seeing us all on the water,” he said.
He declined to predict which particular athletes might excel. “It’s tough to single one out because I feel they will all do well.” Seven LCKC members paddling on the national team have experience with the competitors from other teams. Stanton Collins, Owen Farley-Klacik, Alex Lee, Nate Humbertson, Andrew Surles, Edward Surles, and Shaye Hatchette will dip their paddles to tally points for their home team.
Szadovszki expects fierce competition from Gig Harbor, San Diego and Oklahoma. Reigning champion Gig Harbor, a scrappy team from Seattle, Wash., beat out LCKC the last time the championship was on Lanier in 2014. With just 42 athletes making the trip across the country, Gig Harbor bested an 80-athlete Lanier crew by 30 points. LCKC, which has won the national championship 11 times, will undoubtedly aim to avenge that loss.
The ACA, formerly USA Canoe/Kayak, is the national governing body for the Olympic paddle sports of canoe slalom, canoe sprint and paracanoe.
Regardless of what takes place on the Olympic course, Lake Lanier Olympic Park continues to be a favorite for the national event. This will be the ninth time LCKC teams from across the U.S. will race in the championship on Lanier, according to LCKC President Blair Hickerson. About 500 paddlers and coaches representing about 15 teams will stroke toward winning the Yonkers Trophy, awarded to the team scoring the most points.
“We look forward to welcoming athletes from across the country to the beautiful waters of Lake Lanier and the warm hospitality of Gainesville. I personally want to thank all of generous sponsors and volunteers who make this type of event possible,” she said.
“Our club is in charge of organizing the entire event: finding officials, volunteers, medal presentations, hosting the banquet,” she added. A “welcome social” for  athletes, coaches, family and friends is set for 4-6 p.m. Aug. 6 on the Olympic plaza.
Results will be announced at the awards banquet, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Aug. 10, at the Ramsey Conference Center at Lanier Technical College. The ceremony will include DJ music and a buffet dinner. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased at Volunteers desiring to help out can also find information at the club’s website.

Posted online 7/26/19
Copyright © 2011 Lakeside News. Internet Marketing Company: Full Media (CS)