Some members of the Oklahoma City University canoe/kayak team will be fresh off the airplane and back into the water for the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta Oct. 5 and 6.
Head coach Shaun Caven and student athlete Maggie Hogan, along with recent OCU graduate Kaitlyn McElroy, are currently competing in the Canoe Marathon World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The two athletes teamed up again in hopes of improving on their eighth-place finish in last year’s championships in the K-2 event.
“No matter how they finish this weekend, they’ll be gaining valuable experience for the competition next year, which happens to be taking place in Oklahoma,” Coach Caven said.
Hogan and McElroy have been improving their times and team chemistry since their 14th-place finish in the K-2 500m at the International Canoe Federation (ICF) World Championships in Germany in August. The next day, they finished 15th in the K-2 200m.
Arezou Montamedi, who left Iran last year to continue her studies in the U.S., also competed in the ICF championships as a new member of Team USA and the OCU Stars, placing 15th in the women’s K-1 1000m event. Montamedi followed it up with an 18th-place finish in the K-1 5,000m.
“She has worked hard to break into our team and acquitted herself well in her first World Championship in a USA shirt,” Caven said. “The whole team will continue to work hard over the winter to improve their results next year,” Caven said.
At the Junior and U23 World Championships in Canada in July, freshman Natalie Griffin made it to the semifinals of the Junior Women’s K-2. Griffin moved to OCU in hopes of making the U23 team next year and to improve her results.
Katie Hill, who graduated from OCU in May, finished 18th overall in the U23 Women’s K-1 200m.
The Stars will participate in the 4K races in the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta. The OGE NightSprints will also include kayak racing on Oct. 4 and 5.