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Islanders earn top finishes at national canoe/kayak event | Sports brief
Four Mercer Island residents, who are members of the Cascade Canoe and Kayak youth racing team, recently earn top finishes at the U.S. Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships in Georgia.
Held at the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics venue on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, the four racers earned medals for their sprints.
Michael Wenya, 15, took third place overall in the kayak-4 1,000 meter race, while he took fourth in the kayak-1 1,000 meter race. Teammate Caleb Chuck, 16, was first in the men's canoe-1 200 meter race, which he won with his brother Carlin Chuck. Caleb Chuck also took first place in two other events, as well as second in one and third in three. Carlin Chuck, 14, took first place in each of his races, including the canoe-2 bantam 5,000 meter race and earned the best sportsmanship award during the event.
Natasha Dietz, also 14, participated in six events, taking first in three, including the kayak bantam 1,000 meter and the 3,000 meter races, as well as second in two events and third in the kayak-1 500 meter race.
The team practices throughout the year at the team's facility in Renton. There are 10 members on the youth racing team, and another 10 adults who race with the team.
To learn more visit www.canoe-kayak.com.