Congratulations to Caroline Queen, a Davidson student who qualified this weekend in Cardiff, Wales for the 2012 Olympics.
Queen, 20, is from Darnestown, Md., but moved to the Charlotte area a couple of years ago to go to Davidson and to be close to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where she trains. She took the spring semester off from Davidson to pursue her Olympic dream, and it worked -- she will be the only American women's kayaker in London. She will then return for her junior year at Davidson in the fall semester.
To get the spot, Queen had to edge fellow American Ashley Nee in Wales. Nee would have had to finish in the top 20 and beat Queen to have gotten the spot, because Queen held a tiebreaker over Nee due to some earlier results.
Instead, Queen finished 35th and Nee 37th in the international competition -- far out from the leaders, but good enough for Queen to clinch her first Olympic spot.
"It's kind of hard to believe at this point," Queen said after the competition in Wales in a statement issued by USA Canoe/Kayak. "The selection process is so long. This morning I woke up and couldn't believe it was here. And now that it's done, I can't believe that that's all she wrote. But it is. It's pretty incredible and I'm really glad that I'm with my family to share the moment and my teammates and coaches and staff and everybody."
Queen will be joined by Scott Parsons and Casey Eichfeld on the whitewater side of the U.S. team. Both of those men have made the U.S. Olympic team before. Three two-man canoe teams are vying for the final spot in the Olympics, including Charlotte's Dave Hepp and Scott McCleskey (Sylva, N.C.)