The Latest News with Parker's Paddling Team
With the paddling season well underway, it is time to reflect on the past few weeks of races. The Parker paddling team has participated in one long distance race and two regattas, doing very well in the junior varsity divisions. In the long distance race, Parker’s JV girls placed first in their division and third overall. The JV mixed crew placed second in their division and fifth overall. The paddling team skipped the race on December third in Kona, but returned the next week for the first regatta (short distance race) of the season. Spirits are high with the paddling team, and Ava Harris, a first year paddler, pretty much sums up everyone’s mood right now with, “I love getting them gainz.”
With so many canoes entered in the races this year, it has been necessary to divide races into heats, with the top teams qualifying for the final heats later in the day. The JV girls started their regatta season out with a bang in the Hilo Bay when HPA’s crew collided with theirs at the beginning of the race, turning the nose of Parker’s canoe towards the beach. However, the bulls pushed through it and finished the race in 4th place in their heat. This qualified them for the final heat, which they chose not to compete in. The JV mixed crew placed 5th. Tamar Wessel, a freshman, made her steering debut in both canoes. Tamar has been working very hard to improve both her own skills and the teams.
On Saturday, December 17th, Parker returned to Hilo Bay, looking for a shot at redemption. Upon arrival, Charlotte Sommerhoff, a junior, said “I’m glad there’s no sewage in the water today.” Tamar steered the JV girls again. They had a very strong race and finished second in their heat, but unfortunately discovered they were over the line at the start, disqualifying them. Tamar said, “I hate the wind.” The whole crew shook it off however, and held their heads high in preparation for the next race.
JV mixed raced again this weekend with David O’Dell, a freshman, steering for the first time. They finished 4th in their heat and qualified for the final heat. David said, “Paddle when you can, and paddle hard.” The paddling team also competed in the 1⁄4 mile varsity race, with Binyamen Vogt, a sophomore, steering in his first race. They finished 8th. After the race, Binyamen said, “The canoe was crooked, but we were not. I hate the waves.” Despite a few bumps along the way, this year’s paddling season has had a very good start.
It was also time to say goodbye to a very special member of the Parker School Paddling team. Tita Immke came to Parker for the Fall semester, but has since returned to Germany over the break. She has been a very valuable member of the team, and has competed with the JV girls, as well as the ¼ mile varsity and JV mix. The team sent her off with a lei and many hugs. You will be missed Tita!
Tita Immke pictured above (Elayna Henderson).
This past Saturday, the team traveled to Kona for their first and only race at the Kona pier. There were two crews, JV girls and non scoring varsity mixed. JV girls did well in their mile long race, and Non Scoring Mixed got third place overall in their race. With BIIF championships only two weeks away, the team is practicing harder than ever. Natalie Wipp, a sophomore and JV girls seat two, says, “We feel strong, and we will beat everybody.”