Queen, Hurd/Larimer Miss Cut for Semifinals at 2012 Games

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On Monday, Day 2 of Slalom Racing at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross, just north of London, U.S. champions Caroline Queen (K1) and the team Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer (C2) both missed the cut for semifinal rounds.

Penalties again were enough to prevent Women’s K1 Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) and the Men’s Double Canoe tandem of Eric Hurd (Woodstock, Ga.) and Jeff Larimer (Marietta, Ga.) from advancing. Hurd and Larimer finished 12th and Queen 17th Monday to cap off a tough two days for the U.S. Olympic Slalom Team at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Hurd, 26, and Larimer, 30, improved upon their first qualifying heat to turn in a second run time of 109.78. Had it not been for three gate touch penalties, including a particularly tough call on Gate 12, the duo could have finished as high as 8th. The fastest of the two runs for each athlete count and the top 10 Men’s C2 boats advanced to Thursday’s Semifinal. Fourteen boats competed.

The C2 tandem also incurred 6 seconds of penalty time in their first run, which they finished in 112.91. That time was good enough for 12th in the first heat. Their improved second run was 9th fastest in the heat.

In Women’s K1, Queen was turning in an improved second qualifying heat only to stumble late in the course. She nearly missed the second-to-last gate (#21) altogether, but was able to valiantly paddle back, much to the delight of the 8,386 spectators on hand. While the 20-year-old Olympian avoided the 50-second penalty for missing the gate, the lost time negated an otherwise fast time. She finished the second run in 136.23, including four penalty seconds.

“It was going pretty well, I had some penalties. But I think that the boat was moving well, so I think I would have been able to survive those penalties,” said Queen on her 2nd run prior to nearly missing Gate 21. “But I think I came a little too high out of the second to last [upstream gate], the line was off, I was late in [Gate] 20. I was trying to get back on line and didn’t quite do it as effectively as I ought to have.”

Queen ranked 13th after a solid first heat time of 117.05, but was unable to hold off four paddlers from overtaking her with improved second runs. She finished 17th, just outside of the top 15 necessary to reach Thursday’s K1 Semifinal.

On Sunday, Three-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) and two-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld (Drums, Pa.) also narrowly missed out on advancing to the semifinals. Click here for a full Day 1 recap.

Beginning Aug. 7, the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sprint Kayakers will take to the flatwater of Eton Dorney for competition. Check www.usack.org for more information.

–Aaron Bible

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