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Lanier Canoe and Kayak athletes dominate again on Day 2
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John Radel, general manager of Epic Kayaks in Charleston, S.C., tends to a kayak Friday during the 2009 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue. Epic Kayaks supplied tech support and other boat help for the competing athletes. - photo by SARA GUEVARA | The Times

The athletes from the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club picked up on Day 2 of the USACK Sprint National Championships on Lake Lanier right where they left off on Day 1.

Among the 26 medals won in 21 events by LCKC members Friday, 13 were gold bringing the club’s two-day total to 33 first-place finishes.

As was the case when he took the top spot in three events Thursday, Robert Finlayson was the big winner for the LCKC on Friday earning his fourth and fifth gold medals of the championships.

Finlayson won the C-1 Senior Men’s 500 with a time of two minutes, 11 seconds and then won the C-2 Senior Men’s 500 with Alejandro Schwedhelm (2:03.196).

Morgan House made it three gold medals in two days with his win in the K-1 Senior Men’s 500 (1:50.27).

Ben Hefner, who won a gold Thursday, added medals two, three and four Friday with first-place finishes in the C-1 Men’s Junior 500 (2:18.850) and C-2 Junior Men’s 500 with James Watson, and a second-place finish with Claudiu Ciur behind Finlayson and Schwedhelm in the C-2 Men’s Senior 500 (2:13.186).

Junior women’s paddler Chelsea Smith had a quite a day on the water winning two gold medals.

Smith first helped contribute to Rebeca Westmoreland winning her second gold medal in as many days as the pair won the K-2 Junior Women’s 500 (2:04.722).

Smith then beat Westmoreland by just over two seconds to win the K-1 Junior Women’s 500.

Westmoreland also picked up a silver medal Friday with Cannie Ash, Emily Mickle and Morgan Smith in the K-4 Senior Women’s 500.


The team headed by Smith finished just ahead of bronze medalist Kalen Lee, Katie Hagler, Anne Blanchard and Nicole Mallory, also of the LCKC.

Smith and Lee also won individual medals with Smith finishing third in the K-1 Junior Women’s 500 and Lee placing first in the K-1 Intermediate Women’s 500 three second ahead of silver medalist and LCKC teammate Blanchard.

Luke Potts followed the lot in adding to gold medal totals with his second gold medal, this one coming in the K-1 Junior Men’s 500.

Other gold-medal winnners on the day were the team of Macy Dwyer, Katelyn Dill, Morgan Smith and Cannie Ash who won the K-4 Junior Women’s 500 (1:56.173) and Hezekiah Blackburn and Chris Miller who bested two other LCKC teams to win the K-2 Junior Men’s 500 (1:47.851).

In the K-2 Junior Men’s 500, Zachary Robertson and Jared McArthur took the silver medal and Tanner Easterday and Stanton Collins took the bronze.

Anna Crawford was the only other gold medalist from the LCKC, she picked up her first-place win in the C-1 Junior Women’s 500.

Stewart Carr picked up a silver medal in the C-1 Intermediate Men’s 500, John Blackburn finished third in the C-1 Senior Men’s 500, James Watson finished third in the C-1 Junior Men’s 500 and Blanchard and Mickle along with Hagler and Mallory finished second and third respectively in the K-2 Senior Women’s 500 to round out the LCKC winners on Day 2.

The USACK Sprint National Championships continue today on Lake Lanier beginning at 8 a.m.

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