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Nov. 23, 2017
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LCKC reclaims national crown

By Jane Harrison
 
The Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club came back after a five year slump to reclaim its crown in USA Sprint Canoe & Kayak National Championships in Clermont, Fla. Aug. 2-5. The landslide victory was a long time coming for the local paddling club, which had relinquished the championship to Gig Harbor five straight years.
 
“It’s been a little while,” said Head Coach Kalen Scholz. This was LCKC’s 11th National Championship and its first since 2001. Scholz attributed the win to a robust showing across the board, from bantam to senior athletes. “We have a strong pool of bantam athletes who’ve been able to move up in the categories,” she said. Their evolvement, plus an experienced contingent of junior and senior athletes who committed to compete this year contributed to the medal count.
 
“Winning the National Championship is truly a team effort – a club has to have strong representation in every category to win,” Scholz said. The Championship’s proximity to LCKC’s home also figured in. LCKC was able to take more athletes to the Florida site than to championships in distant states in past years.
 
Led by Scholz and coaches Jim O’dell, Cannie Ash, Dave Haack, and Riley Bruner, the team dominated competition from 26 teams from all over the U.S., scoring 952 team points, beating second place Gig Harbor, with 584 points.
 
Forty-nine LCKC athletes racked up the most points in Bantam (age 13-14), Juvenile (age 15-16), and Senior (age 18-30) categories. The men’s and women’s two- and four-person canoe teams also collected more points than any other team. The Master’s team (ages 30 and older) finished sixth. LCKC brought home 113 medals: 42 gold, 30 silver, 41 bronze.
 
The competition’s not over for Scholz and eight LCKC athletes headed for the Olympic Hopes Regatta this month. Scholz, who has competed abroad as an athlete, will coach the team of 30 U.S. athletes in the Sept. 15-17 regatta in the Czech Republic. “I’m very excited about it. This will be my first time overseas coaching,” she said. “I’m a little nervous about managing 30 teenagers (age 15-17) since I don’t know them all.”
 
LCKC award winners
  • Kevin Rochester, Best Male Bantam Canoer
  • Edward Surles, Best Male Juvenile Canoer
  • Ferran Smith, Best Female Junior Kayaker
  • Owen Farley-Klacik, Best Male Junior Kayaker
  • Stanton Collins, Aaron Mullican, Best Male Senior K2 Team
  • Owen Farley-Klacik, Drew Deppe, Stanton Collins, Aaron Mullican, Best Male Senior 4K Team
  • Olympic Hopes participants: Lisa Swenson, Andrew Surles, Edward Surles, Walker Peck, Caitlin Marsh, Paige Farley-Klacik, Natalie Brunson, Caleb Copper; Coach Kalen Scholz

Posted online 8/30/17
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