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2010 US Wildwater Team Heading to
Sort, Spain

by Chris Osment
USA Canoe/Kayak Wildwater
Director of Eastern Jr Athlete Development/Team Management

May 24, 2010 -- Atlanta, GA

It has been 31 years since the world visited Sort for a Wildwater event. Sort is located in the Catalonia region of Spain. The Palleresa is a solid class 3-4 run. This years US Team contains a diverse group that is prepared for the type of big water run they will find in Sort. The Spanish are enthusiastic to to be hosting the World Championships. Wildwater is on a resurgent trend in Spain. Sort will be an exciting venue for the next few weeks.

The US Team contains a mixture of youth and experience. Hopefully one will contribute to the other in thier efforts to shine at the event. Rich experience can be found in mens' K1 members David Jones and Maurizio Tognacci. David has competed in the Worlds in C2 and K1 for a number of years. His objective in Sort is the podium in Masters K1. Maurizio is a former Italian team member, and US Team member for the past eight years. He is equally an athlete and coach on the water with others. Jeremy Rodgers from Boulder Colorado enjoys the big water, and looks to move up in the World Rankings since his last visit in Italy in 2008. A new member to the team is Mark Wendolowski from Massachusetts. Mark is a cross over paddler from the Sprint discipline. Mark has been working hard this spring to pick up the nuances of whitewater racing to go along with his speed.

Tom Wier, Mike Harris, and Tyler Hinton will be competing in C1. Three boats in this class is good representation in the individual and the team races. Tom has a decade of international experience, and is one of the outstanding alumni of the Dawson School (Colorado) paddling program. The Dawson School canoe kayak team was founded by Scott Overdorf, a former US Wildwater Team member. Mike has multiple years experience on the team in C1 and C2. Tyler, also from the Dawson School, is a part of the youth movement in the US team. Tyler competed in the Junior World Championships in 2009, earning a top 20 finish in a field of 31 boats.

Jennie Goldberg from Seattle returns for her fourth US Team appearance. Jennie is well known in the Northwest for racing, and organizing events including this years US Wildwater Nationals.

Haley Popp is one of the Popp clan on the team this year. Haley also competed in the 2009 Junior World Championships. She has focused on wildwater racing since her experience in 2009. Colton Popp and Bryson Popp are competing in C2. The Popp family has the benefit of having experience at home. Tom Popp raced with the US Team in the World Championships in C1, and C2 in the 1980s. The entire family paddles. Colton and Bryson got the bug to try out for the team after Haley had success in 2009. The whole family has become a youth movement for the US team.

The World Championships are June 7-13. You can follow results day by day on the Sort 2010 website:

Photos and more information about the team members can be found at: