Congratulations to Eric Hurd, NRC's latest Olympian!
NRC elite athlete Eric (bow) and his teammate Jeff Larimer (stern) travelled to London in 2012 to compete in the Olympic Games. Jeff and Eric competed in the men's C2 class.
Senior Slalom Athletes:
Born and raised in Marietta, GA, Eric has been paddling slalom since he was a child, when he was nicknamed Butter by his coach Mike Larimer "because he was on a roll." Since nobody could argue with this assessment the name stuck, and now Butter is headed to London for the 2012 Olympics. A strong and versatile paddler, Butter races in both K1 and C2 classes. He is a university student in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he trains at the US National Whitewater Center.
Rickey to his friends and family, Powell enjoys playing the guitar, downhill skiing, rock climbing, and skateboarding. He started racing slalom at the tender age of three, in an open canoe with his mom and dad. At six years old, Rickey transitioned to K1, and later began paddling C2 with partner Casey Eichfeld. In 2008, the two childhood friends earned the right to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
At 18, Michal is indisputably one of the top K1 athletes in the United States. Now a student at Queen's University in Charlotte, NC, where he trains at the US National Whitewater Center, Michal began his paddling career on the Nantahala River outside of Bryson City, NC. As a child, Michal was often persuaded to run the dreaded Nantahala Falls with the use of bribes and threats. Today, you can't keep Michal out of the water. One of the hardest training athletes on the US circuit, Michal is seeing his hard work pay off on the results board: placing 1st at the US Team Trials in 2011 and 2nd at US Olympic Trials in 2012. Michal will be representing the US this summer at U23 World Championships in Wausau, WI.
Born and raised in Boise, ID, Jim Wade is now pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech. One of the top K1 athletes in the country, Jim was National Champion in 2009. Though he was a relative latecomer to the sport of slalom, Jim trained hard and saw his dedication pay off when he qualified for the US Team in 2006. Since then, Jim has become known for his speed and his willingness to take risks in a race. When he's not in his boat or studying, Jim enjoys skiing, soccer, and reading.
Zach Lokken, otherwise known as Bug, is NRC's youngest C1 paddler to qualify for the US National Team. A Colorado native, Bug graduated early from Durango High School in order to compete in the 2012 Pan American Championships in Brazil. Though he is now known to be fearless on the water, at one time, Bug, like Michal, was heard to cry out for his mother above the Nantahala Falls. Ranked among the nation's most talented young slalom athletes, Bug will be representing the United States at the Junior World Championships this summer in Wausau, WI. It will be his last international competition as a junior.
NRC's only C1W racer, we are proud to call Jen Singletary our own. Jen started paddling in 2008. Not a girl to shirk a challenge, she chose to race in the newly-emerging Women's C1 class. Over the last four years, Jen's racing has improved dramatically, placing 3rd in the US Open in 2009 and 2010. Recently, she has been branching out, and has been running increasingly harder whitewater in her C1. She currently spends much of her time in a creek boat, and has been training for the Green Race, which takes place each fall on the Green River Narrows outside of Asheville, NC.
Stay tuned for news and details about our newly embraced brethren from other disciplines!