Team Colorado Youths to Face Class V Whitewater in Pursuit of National Team Spots
Four high-schoolers from Lyons and Boulder will compete for spots on the USA Canoe and Kayak Slalom Junior Team this weekend at the 2022 USA Canoe and Kayak Slalom Junior Team Trials in Charlotte, NC.
Andrew Delker (15 – Longmont High School), Luca Bohn (15 – Fairview High School), Jack Juntunen (16 – Alexander Dawson School) and Nikhil Nijhawan (14 – Alexander Dawson School) will face stiff competition and the class V whitewater of the U.S. National Whitewater Center on April 16 and 17 in hopes of securing places on Team USA.
Delker and Bohn have both received recognition for their efforts in the past year. Bohn secured the 3rd place position on the team at last year’s Trials in the solo canoe (C1) category and last August Delker snatched 1st place in the U-14 age bracket at the American Canoe Association Age-Group Nationals in Oklahoma City. This year’s Trials will be Juntunen’s and Nihjawan’s first.
The athletes are members of Team Colorado Whitewater Racing (TCWR), a non-profit youth racing team that trains year-round in Lyons, CO. Without year-round whitewater to utilize on the Front Range, the racers spent the past winter engaged in grueling conditioning workouts on flat water, often after dark and in sub-freezing temperatures. TCWR head coach Liam Malakoff says the challenging conditions breed determination and resilience in team-members, who will spend the summer training on St. Vrain Creek and racing throughout the state.
“Paddlers from Virginia or Maryland get blessed with year-round whitewater and nice weather,” explained assistant coach Spencer Huff, a Lyons native and former Junior and U-23 National Team member. “But whitewater kayaking requires dealing with less-than-ideal conditions and situations, and we get lots of practice on that front.”