Trio of Victoria kayak sprinters going to nationals

Levi Rasmussen, Patrick Dann and Elias del Valle have qualified for the canoe/kayak national championships

Victoria athletes Levi Rasmussen

Two weeks ago Levi Rasmussen, Patrick Dann and Elias del Valle swept the podium in the under-18 K1 sprint at the canoe/kayak provincial championships in Burnaby.

That same week, they were spurred on by the Olympics, when they stayed up past 4 a.m. to cheer on Canadian paddlers Mark Oldershaw and Adam van Koeverden, who each won medals.

“It’s a good time for competitive kayaking,” Rasmussen said.

As a result of their success at provincials, all three are headed to the 2012 Canadian Sprint CanoeKayak Championships in Dartmouth, N.S., from Aug. 22 to 25.

Dann led the way at provincials, winning the men’s under-18 K1, with del Valle and Rasmussen finishing second and third, respectively, in that category. Dann and del Valle paired up for a K2 win too. It’s not yet known just how many events each will race at Dartmouth, though they’ll all be in the K1 200-, 500- and 1,000-metre sprints for sure.

“Right now I’m really happy just to be going to nationals,” Rasmussen said.

All three will start Grade 12 at Vic High in three weeks. That’s where Dann and del Valle, who’ve both raced over five years, convinced Rasmussen to come out to the Gorge Rowing and Paddling Centre to take up the sport last year.