Hanna Farrar recovering after river accident | PostIndependent.com
Jon Maletz
Aspen Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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Hanna Farrar recovering after river accident

ASHEVILLE, N.C. ” Colorado Rocky Mountain School graduate and U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team member Hanna Farrar is recovering in a North Carolina hospital after being injured in a kayaking accident March 19 on the Green River.

The Carbondale native and Dartmouth student was negotiating class IV and V rapids on the river’s famed Narrows when her boat hit a rock, according to an e-mail her father, Davis Farrar, sent to The Aspen Times. The force of the blow broke both ankles.

Farrar managed to swim to shore in an eddy above a large rapid. A group of Dartmouth boaters met her on shore and began the painstaking four-hour process of carrying Farrar out of the gorge and back to the car. From there, she was driven 45 minutes to Mission Hospital in Asheville in the western part of the state.

“She has been a real trooper throughout this incident and the other kayakers have been real heroes,” Davis said.

Farrar had surgery on both ankles Thursday. While her left ankle was repaired, her right will need additional work. In a brief conversation with The Aspen Times on Friday, Farrar declined comment.

“These breaks are particularly painful, but her spirits are good,” Davis Farrar wrote. “That is Hanna.”

Doctors speculated that the 21-year-old will be wheelchair-bound for the next three months, Davis Farrar wrote. It has yet to be determined how long it will take before she’s back in her boat.

“We are taking [this] one day at a time and are helping her to maintain her very positive mental attitude,” Davis Farrar wrote. “This has been an emotional event to say the least. We continue to focus all of our positive vibrations [in] her direction.”

Hanna Farrar was the top American finisher in April 2007’s World Freestyle Kayaking Championships on the Ottawa River in Ontario, taking fifth overall. On the same wave nine months earlier, Farrar captured the U.S. squad’s third and final spot during team trials.

Two weeks before her trip to eastern Canada, the pre-med student humbled the field at the Collegiate Nationals Whitewater Kayaking Championships in Reno, Nev. Despite kayaking for the first time all year the night before in an impromptu practice session, Farrar made herself right at home in the Truckee Whitewater Park, winning both the boatercross ” her first competition in the discipline ” and the freestyle. The wins helped her run away with the overall title.