From Tricky Whu’s to Tricky Gates: Emily Jackson Makes US Slalom Team, Behind Caroline Queen, Ashley Nee; Parsons, Fraker Take Top Spots for Men’s K1 and C-1

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A key round in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trails for whitewater slalom took place at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C., April 12-14. Among the results, women’s world freestyle champion Emily Jackson earned a seat on the USA Canoe/Kayak Team, with an opportunity to win a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team competing in London this summer.

The next step is the fourth and final Olympic selection event, the World Cup in Cardiff, UK on June 8. Jackson, from Rock Island, Tenn., placed third in the event behind Ashlee Nee and Caroline Queen on the U.S. Kayak Team. Jackson says her experience as an overall competitor gave her an edge.

“I generally know what to expect of myself when I’m in my boat,” she says. “But having no idea how my slalom performance would place me made making the team all the more exciting. Coming in I was the least prepared physically, but with my family and friends running down the course with me I was more than prepared mentally.”

Beijing competitors Scott Parsons and Benn Fraker finished first for the men in K-1 and C-1, respectively.

Whitewater Slalom athletes will compete in the Olympic disciplines of men’s and women’s Kayak (K1M and K1W) and men’s single and two-person Canoe (C1 and C2). Based on an athlete’s placing in races throughout the year, including the U.S. Olympic Trials, points are assigned to rank the athletes within their disciplines. The athlete (or team for C2) with the highest point total in each qualified discipline will be nominated to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games. A maximum of five U.S. athletes will have the chance to compete in London.

“It was a great showing by everyone,” says USACK executive director Joe Jacobi, a gold medalist in C-2 from the 1992 Olympics. “The final Olympic team will be selected after the results on June 8.”

Overal Results</b.

K1 Men Overall:

1 Parsons Scott
2 Smolen Michal
3 Wade James
4 Heyl Brett
5 Mann Scott
6 Hurd Eric
7 Powell Richard
8 Mann Aaron
9 Levinson Isaac
10 Kieffer Austin
11 Stock Danny
12 Ranagan Simon
13 Jackson Eric
14 Rudnitsky Michael
15 Jackson Dane
16 Keller Pat
17 Beakes Jason
18 Van Horn Ethan
19 Poindexter Mark
20 Smith Tyler
21 Vollrath Tyger
22 Peters Ben

K1 Women

1 Nee Ashley
2 Queen Caroline
3 Jackson Emily
4 Clements Michelle
5 McCleskey Aleta
6 Benson Brynn
7 Ifarraguerri Anna
8 Click Tracy
9 Vuksich Catie
10 Heaney Mariah
11 Van Horn Evelyn
12 Cary Marci

C1 Men

1 Fraker Benn
2 Eichfeld Casey
3 Lokken Zachary
4 Hinton Tyler
5 Dennis Tad
6 Poffenberger Jordan

C2 Men

1 E. Hurd / J. Larimer
2 C. Eichfeld / D. McEwan
3 S. McCleskey / D. Hepp

C1 Women

1 Hickey Colleen
2 Reeves Micki
3 Thompson Hailey
4 Adams Lisa
5 Vuksich Catie

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