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2017 has been an awesome year and my kayaking has definitely improved. This year I competed in several events including Keeners, Noctoberfest, Paddlefest, Paddle South (USA National Championships), The Corner Wave Classic and Junior Olympics at Nantahala Outdoor Center. I was psyched to finish first in USA Nationals in the Cadet category, 3rd at Junior Olympics, 4th at the Corner Wave Classic in the Women’s category,  and 3rd at Paddlefest in the Cadets. 


Overall my paddling skills have greatly improved this year. I feel much more comfortable on the water and have been paddling bigger rapids. I surfed some larger waves this year including Mini Bus (Ottawa River) and Big Kahuna (Coliseum on the Ottawa River). In Colorado, I ran the Numbers run for the first time on the Arkansas River and in West Virginia I did the Lower Gauley for the first time as well. In Quebec I also ran rivers such as the Jacques Cartier. 


Photo Credits: Clay Wright

As for my freestyle skills, I can now: roundhouse consistently (starting to turn them into blunts); still working on my McNasties, Phonics Monkeys, Cartwheels, and Airscrews. Airscrews are my favorite trick to practice because even if you wipe out you have a feeling of being airborne. Most of the time I fall on my face. So far I have been falling on my face a lot but it is just as fun as being able to land it. Hopefully, with enough practice I will be able to land one.  

I also went to Keeners summer camp for the first time in Canada and it was my highlight of the year. The coaches taught me how to do some of the more difficult tricks. I also feel more comfortable in a hole, and my hole boating has improved. I perfected my loops with the help of Clay Wright and I was introduced to other tricks. Even though I was the smallest and the youngest I still challenged myself to run every big line possible. I didn’t let my size or my age stop me. It was also amazing to have 10 girls in my session, the most girls there ever were. It was an amazing experience to live with so many girls that shared the same passion, kayaking. I am super excited to return next summer for more!


Photo Credits to: Anna Bruno

As I look ahead to 2018, I have three main goals: 1. To start doing some more creek boating. 2. Turn my freestyle tricks that I am working on into tricks I can do consistently. 3. Compete in more freestyle competitions. I can’t wait! 

See you on the water!!

// Madz