JK Little Shredders 20/06/2017 | Posted in 2016 Rock Star Competition, Event Coverage, Events, JK Little Shredders, Playboating, rivers, Trip Reports, Trips, Whitewater, Wrap Ups, WW Disciplines
This year was my first year competing in the junior women’s class. This also meant I was eligible to compete against some of the best juniors in the country in the 2017 USA team trials.
Before I got to Buena Vista, where team trials were being held, I was pretty nervous and worried about the competition. I had not had very much practice due to a lack of water on my hometown river. This had me feeling very unprepared for the tough competition ahead. But after competing in the BV pro rodeo, the local freestyle competition, I remembered how fun kayaking is and that it’s not just about winning or about how you do at all. Even though I took last in the first competition I oddly felt better about team trials. I think my losing actually took a lot of the pressure off of me. I went from a complete nervous Nancy to being super exited. I was suddenly pumped to just get out there on the water and do my best.
The first day, Tuesday, was prelims and because there were only 5 junior women competing nobody was eliminated the first round. I woke up that morning completely stoked to get out there and compete. I wasn’t nervous at all, except for a little bit as I was gearing up, but then I remembered that no one was getting cut therefore I had nothing to be nervous about. In prelims I placed fourth which didn’t put me in the best position for finals the next day but it was a blast being on the water.
The next day I woke up early and went for a run to get warmed up for the competition. That morning I was a little nervous because, even though I didn’t think I had a very good chance, I really wanted to make the team. I just kept thinking about how many people I would be letting down if I didn’t make it. But once I sat in my boat I forgot about all of that and all I could think was how much fun I was going to have.
I came into the competition and had an awesome first ride of 263 points which put me in second place behind Sage Donnelly. My next two rides were not great so I kept my first rides score. I was in second place up until Olivia McGinnis’s awesome last ride. She bumped me into third with her 270 point ride.
I took third behind Sage and Olivia which means that I did make the US team. I had so much fun training and competing in Buena Vista, Colorado. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete at the world championships in Argentina this November! I can’t wait to see what the next six months have in store!
– Katie Fankhouser