Posted: Thursday, August 8th 2013 at 9:35am
LCKC gunning for another national title in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club will battle it out amongst four hundred of the country's best sprint paddlers beginning on Thursday on the Oklahoma River for Sprint Nationals.
The LCKC -- one of the last two clubs to win the team national championships -- are coming off strong results at the 2012 Junior/U-23 World Championships last weekend in Welland, Canada. Along with members of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Race Team -- which also compete this week in Oklahoma -- the LCKC earned seven Top 20 finishes at the Junior Worlds.
"As a club, Lanier has 12 senior athletes, who are all strong competitors," said LCKC head coach Claudiu Ciur, whose club has won 10 national titles but was beaten out for the 2012 title by Gig Harbor.
"We also have 20 younger athletes, mostly bantams. This group is trained by the best development coach in the country, Kalen Lee Scholz. She has been producing quality athletes for a few years now and we expect strong results from all of her kids. Like any Nationals we come expecting to win."
Visit www.oklahomariverevents.org for schedules, results and live streaming video starting each day at 9 a.m.
National champions will be crowned in bantam, juvenile, junior, under-23, senior, masters and paracanoe classes. Exhibition races will occur Friday night to show off the river's new stadium lights.
Among the leading LCKC contenders are top U.S. canoeists Ben Hefner and Rob Finlayson.
A growing number of homegrown and transplant paddlers call the Oklahoma City venue home. Dylan Puckett (Jones, Okla.) will race for his fifth consecutive national championship title. Just last weekend he was placing 13th and 16th in K2 races at the Junior World Championships. U.S. Senior Team Members Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Maggie Hogan (Oklahoma City, Okla.) were most recently seen winning medals individually and together at the Lake Placid International in Lake Placid, N.Y., July 6-7.
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