Jon McLaughlin ‘01 joined the USA Men’s Whitewater Raft Team-Masters Division in July 2017 and in October placed eighth in the 2017 IRF World Whitewater Rafting Championships in Japan. The team is currently training for the US National Championships that will be held on the Gauley and new rivers in West Virginia in September—a qualifying race for the 2019 World Championships in Australia.
“A lot of my paddling skills developed significantly while going through the Northland Outdoor Education program,” McLaughlin said. “In fact, my first two summers of raft guiding at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina probably wouldn’t have happened without the recommendation and connection from Grant Herman ’76 (former Northland OE Professor).”
McLaughlin worked as a kayaking, rafting, canyoneering, and backpacking field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and marketing director for Sawyer Paddles and Oars. Living in Ashland, Oregon, he started Therapeutics in Motion, a business focused on massage and bodywork for athletes. He teaches massage and continuing education classes to other massage practitioners and Adventure Kinesiology at Southern Oregon University, where he’s on staff.