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June 18, 2006

By Stephen Wright. Learn more about Stephen.

US Nationals are over. The rides are done. The crowd has cheered. And
it was AWESOME! Both the women and the men stepped-it-up majorly this year,
making for awesome competition and an incredible display for Salida. Finals
started at 7:00 PM and didn’t finish until after 10:00–under the lights of
the festival. Maybe a thousand people lined the shores into the evening to
watch the show. The women were throwing loops, air wheels, clean wheels,
and occasional mcnastys while the men were throwing every trick in the book.
Team JK paddled well with 5 paddlers in the top 10 men and women. I managed
to stay in first every round, but as the light faded, so did my ability to
hit my combos. Following the Hooligan race, the kayakers rocked this hole
for national rank and finished as follows:

1 Tanya Shuman (National Champion 2006)
2 Tanya Faux
3 Hanna Farrar
4 Katie Selby
5 Ruth Gordon
8 Devon Barker

1 Stephen Wright (National Champion 2006)
2 Bryan Kirk
3 Jimmy Blakeney
4 Jon Meyers
5 Clay Wright (yeah!)
8 Greg Parker

All in all this has been a great trip to the Left Coast for me, and I’m
already looking forward to next year. Now it’s another 30 hour drive back
east to the Ottawa where I’ll spend the summer coaching high school students
with the Keener Program.

Live from Salida,
Stephen Wright


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Clay preparing to Rock

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Cloudy Day at Prelims

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Devon Competing

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Head Judge Matt Solomon

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Jason about to Compete

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Ruth Looping