Meet the Athletes - Tuck Fest

Meet the Athletes

Dirty Crit

Owen Clark

Owen is a student at Brevard College and a Team Canada Cross-Country MTB member from Mono, Ontario. Aside from bikes, he enjoys hockey, going to the movies, and filmmaking.


Crystal Pena

Crystal is a pro XC mountain bike racer based out of Brevard. She is in the early years of her pro career and says she has ambitious goals for the future.


Sarah Griffith

Sarah hails from a loamy bog in the Pacific Northwest. She’s a fan of all things two-wheeled, growing her own food, and the transformative power of being in nature. Since moving to the Southeast, Sarah’s competed in various local, state, and national XC and gravel competitions.


Evan York

Evan York is a multi-disciplined cyclist from Charlotte who earned the South East Gravel Championship title in 2022. When not riding or racing, he is in charge of Operations at BEDGEAR and spends quality time with his wife, 1-year-old and two dogs at the Whitewater Center.


Andrew Blackstock

Andrew got into cycling at a young age and currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina. After turning pro in 2023, Andrew chased the Lifetime and Belgium Waffle Ride series. He now manages his own team and continues to race off-road.


Ava Sykes

Ava is an all-arounder cyclist who doses a little bit of everything after taking a step back from road racing after a successful career. She has competed at the World Championships in Yorkshire and has represented the United States National Team at many of races in Europe.


Davis Austin

Davis was born and raised in Charlotte and enjoys riding his bike through the woods.


Colleen Maher

Colleen Maher is an endurance cyclist from Brevard. On drop-bars, she’s raced Gran Fondos, placing second in the National Championships, and raced some of the largest gravel/off-road races such as BWR NC, SBT, Southern Cross, and Mid South.


Chris Ames

Chris grew up riding mountain bikes with his family and started racing in 2011. In the past five years, he has transitioned more into crit racing but is always drawn back to mountain bikes.


Jessica Thompson

Jessica is a mom, coach, and racer who has dabbled in almost every cycling discipline. She advocates for women in cycling community by creating spaces and events in which women become more confident in the saddle.


Beata Wronska

Beata Wronska is a five-time National Champion in XC and Marathon Mountain Biking from Brevard. She has triumphed in renowned endurance races such as ORAMM, Breck Epic, Cohutta 100, and has won the Sea Otter Classic twice. Her primary goal is to secure a World Title in Mountain Biking.


Valentina Cummings

Valentina rides drop bar bikes all over Western North Carolina. She is always looking for a long climb — the steeper the better, she says.


Sarah Legg

Sarah is a vegan cyclist and travel enthusiast. She’s participated in adventures from riding her bike through Pisgah to living out of her van in Mexico with her husband and 2 dogs. She loves all things XC and dabbles in downhill.


Rebecca Iden

Rebecca Iden is an XC racer and adventure rider who recently moved to Charlotte from Southern Oregon. Rebecca has participated in 24 hour races, multiple marathon Honey Badger Adventure rides, and the Rogue Valley Flahute.


Will Hardin

Will Hardin is a professional road cyclist from Winston-Salem, NC, racing with the Miami Nights CC. He has consistently placed in the top 10 of the biggest road races and criteriums in North America. When not racing on the road, Will can be found in the dirt with Velocious Sport, racing Cyclocross, MTB and Gravel.


Cypress Gorry

Cypress is a mountain bike racer, coach, and guide living in Brevard, North Carolina. He is a current eMTB GNCC National Champion and has a wealth of racing experience in elite cross country racing.


Jonathan Ramirez

Jonathan Ramirez from Blacksburg, Virginia. He enjoys mountain bike, ultra, gravel, crit, cyclocross and track racing.


Shane Sisco

Shane is new to competitive gravel cycling but has a background in high-level athletics, spending the past decade playing professional ultimate frisbee. He has several grass and beach National and World titles under his belt.

 Shane Sisco

Avery Nelson

Avery resides in Charlotte and has been racing mountain bikes, gravel, and road for 10 years across the Southeast. Outside of cycling, he enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, and skiing.


Malcolm Barton

Malcolm Barton is a 26 year old MTB racer from Ontario, Canada. He has been racing for over 10 years across North America. He spends his winters training in Brevard, North Carolina.


Tyler Orschel

Tyler is a professional MTB and cyclocross racer from Uxbridge, Ontario. He is a current member of the Canadian National Mountain Bike team as well as the Pan American Racing Union UCI Pro team. He graduated from Brevard College in North Carolina in 2022 after taking home the D1 Varsity National title in MTB Cross Country, Short Track, Overall MTB Omnium and Cyclocross in 2021.


Sammy Halbert

Sammy Halbert has clinched multiple championships and an X Games gold medal. His plan is to expanding his reach in 2024, competing in MotoAmerica, American Flat Track, the FIM Flat Track World Championship, and other high-profile events.


Ryan Azer

Ryan fell in love with mountain biking on a Whitewater Center rental, and now he says biking is now all he thinks about. He enjoys road, gravel and single speed MTB and enjoys bikepacking through western North Carolina between races.


Alex Krohn

Alex Krohn is a Charlotte resident. He is an aspiring XC mountain biker & gravel bike racer.


Deep Water Solo

Kai Lightner

Kai Lightner is a professional rock climber who has won 12 National Championships, five Pan American Championships, and one Youth World Championship. He started Climbing for Change in 2020 to address the lack of BIPOC representation in the outdoor industry. Kai is climbing out of Fayetteville, NC.


Quinn Mason

Quinn Mason is from Seattle, Washington, and  currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She spends most of her time training and competing, but she likes to climb outside when she can. She also enjoys sewing, cooking, and finding other ways to be creative.


Nikolas Karolides

Nik is a competitive climber living in Santa Cruz, California. He was on the youth national team for sport, and was a 2018 Psicobloc finalist.


Brendan Beauchamp

Brenden Beauchamp is a 17-year-old competitive rock climber from Murrieta, California. He has been climbing for over 10 years and competes in both the Youth and Elite Series.


Billy Brown

Bill Brown has been competing in speed climbing the past two years. He recently moved to Charlotte from Raleigh to have better access to regulation speed walls. He is currently studying exercise science.


Austin Hoyt

Austin has been climbing for about nine years and focuses mainly on outdoor climbing. Recently he spent the summer in Africa and sent his first v15. This will be his first time doing deep water solo.


Micah Feller

Micah Feller is a senior in high school from Chicago, Illinois, and has been climbing since age 6. He has placed 2nd at the Youth National Championships and the Youth World Championships, and he qualified over the summer for the USA Youth National Team.


Cloe Coscoy

Cloe is a two-time Vice National Champion and a multiple-time Nation Team member, and she has eight World Cup Semifinal appearances. Cloe is based out of El Cerrito, CA.


Ben Hammer

Ben is a designer and climber from Atlanta, Georgia, where he currently work at Stone Summit as a coach and routesetter. He has been climbing and competing for over 12 years, competing in Youth and Collegiate, including the Youth World Championships in 2017.


Landers Gaydosh

Landers Gaydosh was born in Fayetteville and now lives in Salt Lake City. He is a three-time UIAA Ice Climbing Youth World Champion, a USAC National Champion, and also has multiple podiums at USAC lead and bouldering nationals.


Petra Risen

Petra is a sophomore at UNC Charlotte studying nursing. She grew up competing in the USA youth circuit and went to bouldering nationals last summer. She loves coaching rock climbing and is a novice mountain biker.


Zoe Steinburg

Zoe Steinberg, based out of Boulder, Colorado, has been climbing for nearly 20 years. Her competition results include youth and collegiate national champion titles, and she has competed internationally at numerous IFSC events.


Erin Lamoutte

Erin is a sophomore at UNC majoring in Business and Environmental Studies. On her breaks from class, she loves to climb in the New River Gorge and Rumbling Bald.


Addy Tallent

Addy Tallent grew up in Atlanta, Georgia on the Stone Summit climbing team. She has competed in comps for years and loves climbing outside in the Southeast.


Joe Goodacre

Joe Goodacre has competed in the youth circuit for as long as he can remember and has also dabbled in the IFSC World Cups. He enjoys many aspects of climbing, from competitive speed climbing to deep water soloing. Joe is based in Boulder, CO.

 Joe Goodacre 2

Lily Gurdison

Lily Gurdison is a competitor, a rock enthusiast, and is currently a setter at The Refuge Climbing and Fitness in Las Vegas, NV.


Alina Albert

Alina Albert is an eight-time youth national team qualifier and recently placed 15th in lead at the Youth Worlds in Korea. She’s from San Diego, CA, and has been climbing nine years.


Caroline Ori

Caroline began climbing competitively at age 8. Most recently she won the 2024 USA Climbing D7 Divisional Bouldering Championship for her age category and will compete for the national youth championship this summer in Salt Lake City.


Katie Bone

Katie Bone is a member of the USA Climbing team for speed climbing, was the 2023 Women’s Champion on American Ninja Warrior, and competed at the world cup in 2023 in Wujiang, China. Katie is climbing out of Bernalillo, NM.


Nathan Monte

Nathan Monte is a competitive climber, aspiring psychologist, and climate advocate who recently moved to Salt Lake City from California.


Makaila Parks

Makaila, a high school senior, has competed in numerous USAC local, regional and divisional competitions as well as a few national competitions. Makaila is climbing out of Holly Springs, NC.


Mira Capicchioni

Mira Capicchioni grew up in Bend, Oregon, and started climbing nine years ago on Team Bend Endurance Academy. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, UT.


Ben Hanna

Ben is 25 years old and currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His main focus is on competitive climbing and has been for the last couple of years. Ben has competed in the last 6 Tuck Fest Deep Water Solo Competitions and it is always one of his favorite events.

 Ben Hanna 2

Zander Waller

Zander Waller is a climber from Atlanta, Georgia. His primary focus is outdoor bouldering, but he enjoys the occasional competition. In his free time, Zander loves to ski, golf, and play poker.


Eric Jerome

Eric Jerome is a boulderer currently working in marketing at KAYA Climb and traveling full time in search of the new boulder problems.


Hannah Breen

Hannah Breen is based in Durham, North Carolina, and she competes in the USA Climbing Open and Youth Circuit.


Julia Duffy

Julia Duffy is a two-time U.S. team member and sophomore at the University of Utah. She’s a Charlotte local who started climbing at the Whitewater Center.


Joshua FitzPatrick

Joshua FitzPatrick has been climbing for eight years and currently competes at the national level. He recently began traveling in his van while pursuing a full-time climbing career.

 Joshua Fitzpatrick 2

Quinn O’Francia

Quinn O’Francia, originally from Seattle, WA, moved to Salt Lake City, UT, to pursue both climbing and school at the University of Utah.


Yealiya Southern

Yealiya Southern, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has competitively climbed for almost eight years. Nationally ranked, she trains with the Stone Summit team and is a part of the youth US national team.


Noah Downey

Noah has been climbing since he was 5 years old and has competed once before at Tuck Fest. He climbs at Inner Peaks and is on the Comp Team and competes in the USA Climbing Youth Series.


Jacob Southern

Jacob Southern, from Atlanta, Georgia, currently trains and sets at his home gym Stone Summit and attends university nearby.



Landon Miller

Landon Miller is a 2x Freestyle World Champion C1, OC1, and a 5x Green race C1 champion.


Wesley Bolyard

Wesley Bolyard has been paddling for about 14 years now and raced on the slalom national team as well. He’s a Charlotte native and now coaches canoe slalom for team Djibouti.


Richard Powell

Richard was a former canoe slalom athlete and national team member. He started kayaking at the age of 6.


Evy Leibfarth

An Olympian in K1 and C1, Evy has competed at the international level since 2019.

 Evy Leibfarth 2021

Walker Wilson

Walker Wilson is from Birmingham, AL. He is a freshman at Appalachian State University in Boone, where he is able to pursue his passions such as kayaking, mountain biking, cliff jumping, and other outdoor activities.


Christina Hendren

Christina learned to kayak through Purdue Outing Club, and she is currently a PhD student at University of Michigan. Fun fact, there is a picture of her kayaking on a sign about whitewater releases next to the Cheoah River.


Sanderson Skardon

Sanderson grew up in Charlotte, paddling at the Whitewater Center. He has a passion for old-school slicey boating and has been teaching the sport to the youth for the past three years.


Christina Kossis

Christina is a West Virginia local paddler who enjoys paddling whitewater, whether it’s creek boating, play boating, long boating, or competitive racing.

 Kossis 2

Katie Burn

Katie started paddling four years ago with her school’s outdoor program. She now lives in Virginia, works at NASA, and travels to new rivers as much as she can.


Micah Feagin

Micah Feagin said she loves everything about whitewater from kayak racing, downriver freestyle, to guiding commercial rafts. She lives in Ocoee, Tennessee.


Patrick Sheehan

Patrick is a pre-med student at West Virginia University and has been kayaking for 12 years. He spends most of his time creek boating and traveling around the US and Canada.


Michal Smolen

Michal has competed in slalom for 15 years and represented US at the Rio and Tokyo Olympics. He is currently coaching Luuka Jones at the Paris Games and plans to compete again soon with goal of going to third Olympics at home in LA 2028.


Walker Edens

Walker Edens is a 18-year-old kayaker from Charlotte. He made the US Junior Freestyle Team last year and competed in the ICF Freestyle World Championships. His favorite trick is the airscrew, and his favorite run is the Green Narrows.


Joel Newton

Joel Newton is from Greenville, South Carolina. This is his sixth year kayaking, and he said he looks forward to another year on the water.


Sam Sharp

Sam Sharp is a  paddler currently living in White Salmon Washington. He has recently been pushing hard in training for the upcoming Little White Salmon race and chasing high water.


Jamey Moore

Jamey Moore has been kayaking since he was 2.5 years old. He is a Gauley Race Champion and a kayak instructor at the Whitewater Center.


Fergus Coffey

Fergus is 42 years old and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina


Jean Etulain

Jean Etulain placed third at Juniors Extreme Kayak World Championships and currently attends college in Asheville.


Sam Lupo

Sam was born in Norway but grew up in the Great Falls area just outside of Washington D.C. He loves kayaking and sharing his passion with others.


Caitlin Swingle

Caitlin started out as a raft guide out at the Whitewater Center in 2017. Since then she has traveled across the US chasing whitewater and racing with friends. Some of her favorite races she has competed in are Iceman, Russel Fork Race and NFC.


Driscoll Larrow

Driscoll Larrow is 21 years old and is from Underwood, Washington.


Kenji Goodspeed

Kenji Wild Goodspeed is 17 years old and was raised in Asheville. He said he feels lucky to live in such a beautiful area with easy access to such great whitewater and is looking to forward to racing in the Tuck Fest.


Magnus Monson

Magnus Monson is a 17-year-old whitewater kayaker from Charlotte. He enjoys creek boating and downriver freestyle. His favorite rivers include the Ottawa River and the Green River Narrows.


Morgan Cox

Morgan Cox has been an instructor for ACE Kayaking School since 2012 and a member of Team Pyranha since 2017. Morgan travels around the USA, South America, and Europe to compete in kayaking races and explore new rivers.


Alexandra Horne

Originally from New Hampshire, Alexandra moved to West Virginia to pursue whitewater kayaking. She enjoys creeking, racing and freestyle kayaking and spends over 200 days on the river each year.


Cashion Porter-Shirley

Cashion is 19 years old and based out of Asheville. He started paddling at 9 and competing at 12.


Tara Blair

Tara started paddling with the outdoors club at her university and has been hooked ever since. She loves traveling the world chasing whitewater of all types, but she specifically loves creek racing, big water, and waterfalls.


Louie Chiappetta

Louie is 19 from Atlanta and has been kayaking for eight years. He loves running the stouts, racing, and spending time on the water with his friends.


Ava Christensen

Ava Christensen is a whitewater kayaker from Boone, North Carolina. Her preferred style of paddling is creek boating and overnight expeditions. Her favorite rivers are Cherry Creek and the Zambezi.


Landis Kafsky

Landis, 18 years old, has been kayaking since he was 8, starting at the Whitewater Center. He is from Charlotte, but now attends Western Carolina University for undergrad, paddling in the area whenever he can.


Gibson Kafsky

Gibson Kafsky grew up paddling at the Whitewater Center. He currently lives in Brevard and works as a carpenter with fellow paddlers.

 Tuck Fest 2023 - Wes Maxwell

Wesley Shelmire

Wesley Shelmire is a Texas native who has lived in Asheville for four years. He is currently the Outdoor Program Director at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina.


Kenny Hank

Kenny Hank is a former US extreme slalom athlete turned engineer living in Greenville, South Carolina. Kenny is usually out chasing some of the biggest whitewater in the South.


Chaz Chisam

Chaz is from Chattanooga and enjoys all there is to Whitewater boating.


Isaac Holden

Isaac was born and raised in North Carolina and currently lives in Chattanooga.