Top finishers announced from eighth annual Cullowhee Canoe Slalom

A WCU student takes a practice run down the Tuckaseigee River prior to the Cullowhee Canoe Slalom.

More than 50 paddlers took part in the eighth annual Cullowhee Canoe Slalom, a competition held on a calm section of the Tuckaseigee River near the Western Carolina University campus Saturday, Sept. 9.

The race course consisted of nine gates to navigate, with competitors, ranging in age from 7 to 70, timed during their runs. The competition was held just downstream from the greenway bridge at Locust Creek on Old Cullowhee Road.

Organizers included students from WCU’s Parks and Recreation Management Program and the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department. Sponsors were WCU’s Base Camp Cullowhee and the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor, also known as CuRvE.

Door prizes were provided by LiquidLogic, Green River Adventures, Landmark Learning and Watershed Bags. Organizers expressed appreciation to the student volunteers, sponsors and donors, and to the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department for the use of the greenway during the event.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Parks and Recreation Management Scholarship Fund.

Race results were:

Double open canoe – First, Glenn Middleton and Becca Lee; second, Andrew and Kirsten Bobilya; third, Ryan Smith and Ellie Padgett.

Men’s single kayak – First, Maurice Phipps; second, Zachary Buys; third, Dana Bobilya.

Kids’ kayak – First, Eli Bobilya; second, Lilyanne Bobilya; third, Ellie Padgett.

Women’s kayak – First, Alex McClure; second, Cindy Phipps; third, Laura Knapp.

Single open canoe – First, Burt Kornegay; second, Ryan Smith; third, Becca Lee.

Stand-up paddleboard – First, Glenn Middleton; second, Andrew Bobilya; third, Ryan Smith.

Parent-kids’ canoe – First, Dana, Ami, Eli and Lia Bobilya; second, Ryan Smith and Ellie Padgett; third, Mari and Ellie Padgett.