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Bethesda, Darnestown Kayakers Earn Olympic Posts

Two athletes with ties to the area have secured their spots on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.

Two kayakers with roots in Bethesda and Darnestown will compete in London this summer, according to the Washington Post.

A trio of locals competed at a world cup event in Cardiff, Wales, this weekend to wrap up a three-step Olympic trials selection process.

Bethesda’s Scott Parsons secured a third straight U.S. Olympic team berth in men’s kayaking, according to the Post.

“It’s a relief,” Parsons said in a release from USA Canoe/Kayak, according to  the Post. “Honestly, it’s hard to describe. The process has been physically and mentally exhausting. So at the moment, I’m not sure that the excitement is really going to kick in until a little later ...But I’m very, very excited. I’m really happy.”

Parsons lead the U.S. last fall at the world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, and also placed first at the April Olympic trials in Charlotte, N.C., but his Olympic dreams could have been dashed by a poor performance in Wales, the Post reported.

Caroline Queen, of Darnestown, earned her first Olympic team spot in the women’s event, coming in 35th place. She beat out fellow Darnestown native Ashley Nee, who came in 37th place, according to the Post.

Queen, 19, attended camp at in Darnestown as a child, according to a New York Times feature that recalls her failed attempt to join the 2008 Olympic team.

“I tried out four years ago, and it’s been interesting this time around because last time, I was quite young for the team,” she told the Times.

Parsons and Queen train at the Potomac Whitewater Racing Center, according to the Post, along with men's qualifier Casey Eichfeld of Drums, Pa.

Queen won in a tiebreaker. She earned a slot at the 2011 World Championships with a 37th place finish, but came second to Nee at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, according to a Team USA press release, putting both in an Olympic selection points tie.

Because of her first place finish, the tiebreaker went to Queen for initially qualifying, according to the release.

Nee needed to finish in the top 20 and above Queen in Cardiff to compete in London, according to the release.

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