In just one day, the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club let the rest of the competition know that it had some of the most talented paddlers in the nation.
The Gainesville club had 20 first-place finishes in 38 events Thursday during the first day of the USA Canoe and Kayak Sprint Championships at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.
“It’s been great,” LCKC President Loren Collins. “We’ve got good representation from all around the country and great athletes from all over.”
Thursday was especially great for Collins, who saw his son Stanton (along with Tanner Easterday) win a gold medal in the K-2 Men’s Juvenile 1,000.
“I’m pretty proud of that,” Loren Collins said. “He’s worked so hard.
“These kids put in five or six hours a day in training, and we’re pretty tickled that he won.”
The gold for the younger Collins, who also took third place in the K-1 Men’s Juvenile 1,000, kicked off a day filled with golds for LCKC paddlers.
Robert Finlayson stood atop the podium three times, finishing first in the C-1 Men’s Senior 1,000, the C-2 Men’s Senior 1,000 and the C-4 Men’s Senior 1,000. Sam D’entremont, Alejandro Schwedhelm and John Blackburn were apart of Finlayson’s C-4 team and Schwedhelm was in the canoe with him for the C-2 final. LCKC paddlers finished in three of the top four spots in the C-2 event.
Morgan House was also a multiple-medal winner, taking home a gold in the K-1 Men’s Senior 1,000 and the K-4 Men’s Senior 1,000 alongside John DePalma, Sheaffer Sorrells and Luke Potts.
Potts and Chris Miller placed first in the K-2 Men’s Junior 1,000, which saw all three top spots occupied by LCKC paddlers.
Zachary Robertson and Jared Mcarthur placed second and William Roszel and Hezekiah Blackburn finished third in the event.
The Gainesville club also occupied the top two spots in the K-4 Men’s Junior 1,000 with Robertson, Mcarthur, Miller and Potts winning gold and Zachary Copeland, Ethan Jackson, Roszel and Hezekiah Blackburn taking home silver.
In other men’s events: James Watson won gold in the C-1 Men’s Juvenile 1,000 and K-1 Men’s Ban 1,000 with Ben Hefner, who also won gold in the C-1 Men’s Junior event. Duncan Hord finished first in the K-1 Men’s Ban 1,000 with Graham Roper taking second. The two combined to win gold in the Men’s K-2 Men’s Ban 1,000 event.
The final gold medal in the men’s events went to the team of Nathan Geyer, Roper, Emerson Smith and Hord in the K-4 Ban event.
LCKC paddlers also had success in the women’s events, winning gold medals in five events.
Morgan Smith and Cannie Ash finished first in the K-2 Junior event, Anna Crawford placed first in the C-1 Junior finals, Emily Mickle and Emily Vinson won gold in the K-2 Senior finals, Rebecca Westmoreland won the K-1 Juvenile final, and Ash and Smith finished first and second respectively in the K-1 Junior finals.