BEA: Alden Henrie captures Gold Medal at 2019 U.S. Team Trials
Oklahoma City — April 14 at the U.S. National Whitewater Slalom Team Trials, Alden Henrie of Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania, and Senior at Bald Eagle Area High School, won the gold medal in the Men’s Under 23 Single Canoe division and confirmed his intent to represent Team USA at the 2019 International Canoe Federation (ICF) U23 World Championships in Krakow, Poland, July 16-21.
“When he started paddling at age eight, I never imagined it would lead to an elite Olympic-level track,” his mother Michele Barbin reflected. “It was all fun for us — Evenings on the water after school. Weekend travel to races was quality time. He is always seeking the next challenge. When he was eight, his goal was just to make all the gates, then have a penalty-free or ‘clean’ run. Now it’s bigger, more challenging water while maintaining clean runs.”
After six grueling runs on the Class IV courses at Riversport Rapids OKC over three days at the U.S. Team Trials, Henrie’s best four times confirmed his talent in the field of under 23 paddlers.
“My race runs weren’t good, but they were good enough,” reflected Henrie. “I need more time on man-made courses so my training has a better impact at this level.”
Henrie learned the art of whitewater paddling and continues to train with the Mach 1 Whitewater Slalom Team in Bellefonte Pennsylvania. This will be Henrie’s third appearance at the ICF World Championships. He represented Team USA Whitewater Slalom at the 2017 World Championship in Bratislava, Slovenia, after he got the call as first alternate to the Team USA contingent when one of the top three paddlers could not attend and earned the spot for the 2018 World Championships in Ivera, Italy, as the bronze medal winning Junior/U18 at U.S. Team Trials.
Henrie will be attending Penn State this Fall.
The sport of canoe slalom involves the navigation of a decked canoe or kayak through a course of hanging downstream or upstream gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible. Time penalties accrue for missed gates (50 secs) and touched gates (2 secs). The two canoe/kayak disciplines at the Summer Olympics are Canoe/Kayak Slalom and Canoe/Kayak Sprint. Canoe Slalom debuted at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where U.S. canoeist Jamie McEwan won the bronze medal. After a hiatus, canoe slalom was added indefinitely to the 1992 Olympic calendar.