August 4, 2001 -- Newport, TN
Steady late-week rains increased the Pigeon River's flow and shortened race times considerably from
speed training runs in weeks approaching last Saturday. Andrew
McEwan (K-1), Tom Wier (C-1), Caroline Domenghino
(K-1W), Shannon Reeves (K-1WJR), and Joe Barkley (K-1JR)
emerged as Wildwater's National Champions for 2001 in an exciting
one-day race format that combined two enervating sprints and a four-plus
mile classic event performed within a span of a only few hours.
According to race organizer Chris Hipgrave, the format was "very
popular with both racers and spectators and could serve as a model
for future major wildwater events."
McEwan Takes Top K-1 Honors
After a slight mishap with time calculations, Washington, D.C. area
racer Andrew McEwan, the U.S.'s best hope for international
podium time in coming years, seized the day. Dark horse contender
David "D.J." Jacobson, a slalom athlete from
the Nantahala Racing Club, took the silver medal home. Fellow
NRC member Chris Hipgrave won the bronze with his signature
lanky finesse. Though knocked out of top position in the classic,
Jacobson was victorious in the sprint event that favors strength and speed training regimens followed by slalomists.
Andrew McEwan blurs past the Pigeon's "Lost Guide" rapid
at the 2001 National Championships, completing the 4+ mile course
in well under 19 minutes.
Walla Walla Wunderkind Gains Second C-1 Championship Title
Defending National Canoe Champion Tom Wier of Washington State fended
off eastern rival Michael Beavers in a tight sprint race
where Wier had badly damaged his skeg halfway through his first
run. After a quick field repair, Weir dominated the afternoon's
classic distance run, besting Beavers by nearly eight seconds
to take his second national title in as many years. Atlantan Chris
Osment took the bronze with Franklin, North Carolina up-and-comer
Russell Johnson closing in to take fourth.
Not-So-Sweet Swiss Miss
Expatriate Swiss paddler Caroline Domenghino defeated an increasingly
competitive American women's kayak field, which included Jennie
Goldberg (silver) of Seattle and Trish Chambers (bronze)
of Bryson City, NC. Dlomenghino's performance was zehr gut
in the sprints, defeating her short course competitors by eight
seconds in the first sprint and eleven seconds in the second.
The teutonic terror was over two percent faster than Goldberg
in the classic run, in spite of boat damage that forced Dlomenghino
to slog through a long finish line pool with considerable water
U.S. Junior Joe Barkley took advantage of his high school's weight training program to win the gold medal.
Junior U.S. Athletes Battle it Out
The junior women also fought hard, with Shannon Reeves taking the National title. Silver medalist Beth Karp and
bronze finisher Kathryn Dyer, who recently won the Junior
Olympics slalom title in North Carolina, rounded out the top of
the pack. In the K-1 junior men's class, Raleigh paddler Joe Barkley emerged victorious
over Clay Wilder (silver) and Tyler Dyer (bronze) in an incredibly tight sprint showdown and a highly competitive
Most of the juniors were fresh off of a trip to the Junior World Championships in Bala Wales and were hungry to perform on
Michael Beavers is editor of USAWIldwater.com and a C-1 Wildwater racer training in Atlanta, Georgia. Reach him at