Kayaking: Kurt Smithgall wins race at Red Moshannon Downriver again

Kurt Smithgall, of State College, and Montoursville once again screamed down the slow-flowing Red Moshannon Creek in a shocking time of 45 minutes, 56 seconds, winning the race for the sixth time.

His time earned the Top Dog Award for the 2016 running of the Red Moshannon Downriver Race. This repeats his performance from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, but 1:15 slower than in 2015. In all cases the times or speed are dependent on the water flow of the creek, which was 1 foot on the Route 53 gage this year with a flow calculated to be 406 cubic feet per second. The flow last year was estimated at about 800 CFS. Sponsored by Tussey Mountain Outfitters, the 49th running had a large number of paddlers. The racing crowd was above that of last year and consisted of 167 persons paddling 131 boats. They were competing in 27 classes in a variety of boats both open and decked on an unseasonably warm 65-degree day.

The largest paddling class this year was the Kayak Singles, K-1, Whitewater Class of 20 boats. Winner was Stacy McInroy, of Galeton, with a time of 67 minutes, 29 seconds. Ben Patt, of State College, took second place in 69:02 and Tim Kundro, also of State College, was third in 69:40 minutes.

Zachary Grant, 12, of Milesburg, was fourth in 70:32 while his cousin Jacob Saldana, 12, of Milesburg, was fifth in 70:42. Close in sixth place was 11-year-old Michael Inman, of State College, in 72:13.

The whitewater class was filled with many local paddlers. Tenth place found Bill Torretti, of Spring Mills, in 74 minutes. The next four places were from State College: Dennis Inman, 11, 74:58; Dave Kurtz, 75:30; Emilyan Kadiev, 75:37; and Andrew Stuart, 76:00.

Finally places 17-19 were Johnathan Inman, of State College, 82:48; Aleck Nyman, of Howard, 84:54; and Natan Moorman, of State College, 103:35.

The Women’s K-1W Whitewater crown was taken by Williamsport paddler Rebecca Renner in 68:53. Amy Nelson, of Boalsburg, was second in 69:27. In fifth was Joan Marie Delvecchio, of State College, in 75:03 while Sara Barwise, of Pine Grove Mills, took eighth in 88:12.

The Open Canoe Singles (OC-1) gold was taken by Scott Arnold, of Tunkhannock, with a time of 67:10. Mike McClure, of Huntingdon, was second in 76:26 while Doug Swope, of State College, finished third in 80:23. Dave Yoxtheimer, of Pine Grove Mills, was fourth in 122:59. Matt Hardy, of State College, finished fifth in 124:12 while Dan Ombalski, of Julian, took the sixth in 124:17.

Leanne Stine, of State College, won first place in the Open Canoe Singles for Women (OC-1W) with a time of 69:18. Katie Thomas, of State College, was second in 79:57.

The Open Canoe Doubles Event (OC-2) short had a number of local entrants but was won by Grant Coates and Scott Shaffer from Nottingham and Drumore, in a time of 65:34. The State College team of Howard Pillot and Ed Prince took second in 66:15 while the Natasha Volkes-Matt Weldon team took third in 68:02. James Scheuchenzuber and Chris Pfeiffer, both of State College, took fourth place in 67:52. In sixth place we found Jeff Meitrott-Dan McClure both of Huntingdon, with a time of 68:49. The team of Brian Wendler and Mark Wolf, of Bellefonte, took ninth place in 70:30 while the Chris Force-Eric Humaney team of Grassflat ended in 12th place in 71:39.