After we introduced you all the lightweight men double combinations that will race at the upcoming Olympic Trials, it's time to present the big guns. We have an open men’s double (M2x) lineup which is a composite entry with the OKC HP program.
In stroke seat: Kevin Cardno
Kevin Cardno was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. He graduated from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Shortly after graduating, Kevin joined the Oklahoma City High Performance Training Center to pursue rowing at a higher level.
At UAH, he was able to balance earning his degree while having success on the water, primarily in the single scull. Beginning rowing in 2013 after starting college, Kevin began sculling a year after due to lack of team members. It was the switch to sculling, a few teammates, and support from family and friends that helped Kevin achieve success on the water. Kevin has been rowing with OKCHP for the past three years steadily improving since joining under Coach Reilly Dampeer. He has had success in the Elite category at Club Nationals as well as constant improvement in the US Trials system. Beginning in December of 2020 Kevin was invited to train with Vesper in Austin, Texas after a promising doubles test race with JP. Kevin is excited to race with JP and see the hard work of the past few months come to fruition.
In bow seat: JP Kirkegaard
Vespers old battle horse started rowing in 2004 for Purdue University while earning his BS in Aerospace Engineering. They had some good success winning the Dad Vails V8 and earning D final appearances at IRAs in 2007 and 2008 which was a big deal for a club program. After senior year in 2008, JP stopped rowing but continued working out doing several Olympic distance triathlons in 2008 and 2009. In the fall of 2009, he began coaching the novices at Purdue while earning his Masters degree also in Aero Engineering. JP graduated in 2012 and moved to Cleveland where he slowly began sculling with not much regularity until 2013. In 2014 he moved to Philadelphia to join Vesper's elites and began training full time. In 2017 he had his first National Team appearance in the Men’s Quad M4x at the World Championships in Sarasota.
This combination developed greatly in our training Camp and has been nothing but an outstanding training partner for and with the light men’s doubles. Maybe an outsider by name but definitely a crew that will battle for the spots on the podium.