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Local paddlers fare well in Mexico City
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Several local paddlers participated and placed in Saturday and Sunday events at the 2010 Pan American Championships held in Mexico City.

Morgan Smith of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, teamed with Katy Hill of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team to claim bronze in the Junior K2 200-meter race. Smith also placed seventh in the Women’s Junior K1 1000-meter.

Luke Potts (LCKC) and J.L. Guinchard (San Diego Canoe and Kayak Team) placed fourth in the Men’s Junior K2 200-meter tandem.

In the Junior K1 500-meter, Smith finished in sixth place in the women’s race while Potts placed fifth on the men’s side.

Potts also placed fourth in the Men’s Junior K1 1000-meter.

“The 500 was as hard as the 1000, but I came off the water feeling good about giving everything I had for my last international race as a junior,” Potts said.

In junior canoe, Ben Hefner (LCKC) finished fourth in the Men’s Junior C1 200-meter and seventh in the Men’s Junior C1 500-meter. Hefner paired with James Watson (LCKC) to place eighth in the Junior C2 200-meter tandem.

In addition, Hefner placed eighth in the Men’s C1 500-meter and eighth in the Senior Men’s C1 1000-meter.

Emily Mickle (Gainesville) and Nicole Mallory (West Henrietta, N.Y.) finished fifth in the Women’s K2 200-meter, while Tim Hornsby (Atlanta) and Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) placed sixth in the Men’s K2 200-meter tandem race.

Mickle and Mallory also teamed with Jen Burke (San Diego, Calif.) and Kaitlin McElroy (Oklahoma City) to placed eighth in the Women’s K4 500-meter.

Robert Finlayson (Gainesville) placed ninth in the Men’s C1 200-meter race and teamed with Ian Ross (Bethesda, Md.) to place eighth in the C2 1000-meter final.

Team USA finished third in the medal count, behind Canada and Mexico. Results for the 2010 Pan American Championship will determine allocation of boat slots for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico on Oct. 13-30. The Pan American Games serve as a qualifier for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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