CRMS grad surfing to success |

CRMS grad surfing to success

Special to the Post Independent/Jimmy Blakeney Hanna Farrar, a 2005 Colorado Rocky Mountain School graduate, performs an airwheel in the Black Bear Hole feature of St. Vrain Creek during the Lyons Whitewater Festival in Lyons on June 11. Farrar took the women's kayaking title in the competition.

Hanna Farrar is making a big splash in the national kayaking scene.Farrar, who graduated from Colorado Rocky Mountain School in 2005, finished in second place in the pro women’s division at the 2006 Freestyle Kayaking Nationals during the Blue Paddle FIBArk Whitewater Festival June 15-18 in Salida. Since going pro in December, the finish was the highest of Farrar’s pro career.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was happy with how it turned out,” Farrar said. “These are the results I am most proud of because it was the biggest event I have been in and this one really matters.”Farrar competed against 15 other professional women, three of whom were international kayakers. The kayakers fought for the national title at night with spotlights shinning down on the Arkansas River. While Farrar said she had kayaked at night, under moonlight or far-reaching streetlights, she had never competed at night.

“It was different, but I liked it,” Farrar said of the night competition. “It wasn’t as hot and it kind of got the adrenaline going.”Another part of the event Farrar enjoyed was the 1,000 spectators, who lined up on the banks to watch.

“It was really cool because there were a lot of boulders along the side and a lot of people could sit on them and watch,” Farrar said. “There are good eddies and it’s a good area for competitions, for people to watch and for just playing around.”Farrar has been busy this summer, taking first in both the Lyons Whitewater Festival and in the Colorado Adventure Sports Festival in Gunnison earlier this year. She also placed second at the Yampa Whitewater Festival in Steamboat and fifth at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail.

As for the future, Farrar will be heading to Canada in late August to try out for the U.S. kayak team. She plans on arriving in Canada a week before the Aug. 23 tryout to train for the event. Farrar will be aiming to land one of the three open spots on the squad and if she does, she will qualify for worlds in May.In the meantime, Farrar will try to make it back to Salida to train at least once before her Canada trip, but will be doing a lot of strength training and running to prepare for the tryout.”That is where a lot of the training that is important comes in,” Farrar said. “Training on the water is good, but it is the other training that you have to do if you want to do anything on the water.”

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