All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘U.S. National Whitewater Center’

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Kayaking Queen Qualifies To Advance Toward Olympics


I didn’t catch up personally with kayaking queen Caroline Queen amid the madding hubbub of humanity that was Day Three of the U.S. Olympic Slalom Trials on Saturday at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. But I saw her power down the rushing river waters of the concrete channel course on her second run. I even strained a hip flexor sprinting over other people’s picnics to get off a few shots. I’m not in as good a shape as Caroline ’14 (#29) or her Davidson Wildcat kayaking buddy Austin Kieffer ’12 (#65), who also competed at the trials.

“Darnestown, Md.-natives Caroline Queen and Ashley Nee battled all weekend and will head into World Cup No. 1 tied with 30 Olympic qualification points,” read the Sunday-morning-after press release. “Queen owns the tiebreaker for initially earning the slot for Team USA at the 2011 World Championships, so Nee must finish in the top 20 and above Queen to book her ticket for London.” While Kieffer won’t be advancing toward Olympics 2012, he kept a true sportsman’s smile on all day Saturday. Kudos to both these fine young athletes are going around, on Daybook and beyond. Cheers! Click here to visit the Team USA site.




Davidson Scholar-Paddlers to Compete in Olympic Trials at U.S. National Whitewater Center


Caroline Queen ’14, photo Brett Heyl

Two Davidson College paddlers will be competing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom, to be held at Charlotte’s U.S. National Whitewater Center April 12-14.

Austin Kieffer ’12 paddling "whitewater" on a windy day at Lake Norman, photo Bill Giduz

Austin Kieffer ’12 and Caroline Queen ’14 are so serious about their Olympic hopes that they took the semester off from their academic pursuits at Davidson to travel and train for the trials. Now, they’re back in town and they’re ready! Click the links above and here to learn more about these Davidson scholar-athletes. And this WAMU story just in from Caroline!

Meantime, Dodger is happy it’s spring.

Spring has sprung in beautiful downtown Davidson. Photo illustration by Anna Prushinski.

Sweet Potatoes, BamBam, and Lake Norman Whitewater: A Kayak Tale


I was in Alvarez Union having lunch yesterday, when senior Austin Kieffer brought over a baked sweet potato he was working on and sat next to me.

Austin Kieffer paddling "whitewater" on a windy day at Lake Norman, photo Bill Giduz (click to enlarge)

I think the sweet potato was probably just a snack. Austin is tall and muscular and physically active in the way that a single sweet potato is just not going to be enough for lunch. Anyway, I met Austin a couple of years ago at Lake Campus off Langtree Road, on a photo shoot for the Davidson Journal. He was, and is, a kayaker extraordinaire, hailing from Asheville, N.C. and competing at the top national levels.

Now there’s another paddler to be reckoned with on the Davidson campus, too. Sophomore Caroline Queen from Darnestown, Md., just qualified the first Olympic position for the U.S., the last boat quota slot available in Women’s Kayak at the 2011 ICF Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sept. 7-11.

Caroline Queen ’14, photo Brett Heyl

I’d met Caroline the day before I ran into Austin. She is as well-versed in behavioral economics as she is in kayaking—but make no mistake where her most vital and current passion lies. This young woman’s nickname is BamBam, Austin informed me, and she answers questions the same way I expect she navigates channels in whitewater, with the precise energy and angle—no more, no less—to get the job done and done right.

Queen has been kayaking since she was nine, and knew Austin from competitions as teenagers.

“If Austin can make it work at Davidson, I think it might be the right place for me, too,” she recalls thinking. “When I came the next year to visit Davidson, he was just having a ball.”

Now, they are looking forward, independently and together as Wildcat “teammates,” to the U.S. Olympic Trials at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in April 2012.

Right now, Austin said over lunch, he’s eating pretty much what he wants and plenty of it while he’s building strength that he’ll refine next semester, along with a more competitively precise take on nutrition.

“I’m just doing whatever it takes to be an animal in the spring,” was how he put it between large, polite bites of sweet potato.

So if you see Austin and/or Caroline streaking along the water’s surface training at Lake Norman, or loading up kayaks for another trip down I-77 toward the NWC, maybe offer them a snack.

We want them to keep their strength up—Bam Bam!