US Raft Team logo

mens womens legacy support multimedia races
US Teva Whitewater Raft Team


Womens History
Womens Alumni

Mens History
Mens Alumni


Womens History

The original Colorado raft team (Team Timberline) was formed in 1998; that year the “green” paddling team competed in Gore Canyon against a senior and experienced Women’s California team who had already been to the World Rafting Championships as the US Team.  The Colorado girls had a lot of spirit, a commercial boat and commercial paddles.  They were beat by approximately 2 minutes.  The girls were not disheartened, but encouraged, to move forward in order to eventually overtake the California girls and earn their place as the Women’s US Team. 

In 2000 the Colorado Women’s team made this a reality at another US Nationals on Gore Canyon.  This qualified them for the Camel 2001 WRC on the Zambezi River in Africa and the IRF WRC in West Virginia on the Gauley River.  The team had some great finishes on both these stretches of river against teams from Czech Republic, New Zealand, Slovenia to name a few. 

First Place – Down River Zambezi
Second Place – Sprint Zambezi
First Place  - Overall Zambezi

First Place – Sprint Gauley River
Third Place – Downriver Gauley River
Third Place – Overall Gauley River

The Colorado team has repeated as US Team every year since 2001 except for one season when they made an error crossing the finish line and conceded their spot to the California girls. The Worlds following that year was held in the Czech Republic as a combined California and Colorado team.  The Colorado teams have had many avid female paddlers over the last 13 years.  The Colorado team has been supported heavily over the years by Timberline Tours and has made their name as Team Timberline.  That support continues and the team has always had at least a few Timberline employees on their boat.  The girls have been to over 7 World Championships and have dominated as the US Women’s Team in the last decade.  They have traveled all over the World and had many successes.

Womens Alumni

Kathryn Bugby
Sue Muncaster
Daisy Fair
Kristy Day
Lisa Sackville
Gabrielle Knedlik
Kristin Zimmer
Lizzie Burnett
Jody Swoboda Etters
Karla College
Kathleen Garcia
Lizzie Burnett
Karla College
Sara Shainholtz
Katie Smith
Dawn Vogeler
Lisa Reeder


Mens History
Beginnings of “Behind the Eight Ball”

Back in 2000 Mike Reid, Tom Olson, and Matt Dopp formed a team to participate in local raft races. The trio recruited three other river guides and signed up for the local Dowd Chute race in Vail CO. We took second at that race, behind the national defending champions at the time, John Rice’s Clear Creek team. Thinking, maybe if we trained, we could beat John at Gore Canyon later that summer. Winning would qualify us for the World Championship on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe. After training all summer for the chance to dethrone the boys from Clear Creek, we lost coming in 15th out of 30 teams. That Gore race taught us one very important lesson, we need a better team. So, we went in search for the best paddlers in the Vail. Chip Carney and Sean Vierling joined the team for the start of next season. After pooling our funds, we bought a black raft form Sotar and made our debut that race season at the Dowd Chute race as Team “Behind the 8-Ball.” The black raft reminded us of the 8-ball of a billiards game. We wanted to have every raft behind us - so we coined the name Behind the Eight Ball.

The following year, the 2001 Nationals were held on the Arkansas River in CO. “Behind the Eight Ball” took third, once again losing to John Rice‘s team. After the race we were shooting pool with Todd Toledo. At that time Todd was racing with his own team but we needed him on ours. During the game Todd hit a shoot leaving the cue ball behind the eight ball. I told him “once again there you are behind the eight ball”. One week later he joined our team.

At the end of that season Matt Dopp was going to move to Oregon and we needed a replacement, but not just any replacement. After the Gore race in 2001 we asked Chris “Mongo” Reeder, who had been heading a team of his own for years, to join us. Now “Behind the Eight Ball” was complete.

The next summer “Behind the Eight Ball” went to West Virginia to vie for the 2002 National title and finally beat John and Clear Creek. John Rice’s team won the slalom event but we won the sprint evet. The National title came down to the last event, the downriver. We won by several minutes! That was the start of our nine year run as National Champions, travels around the world and many great adventures with friends and family. The team has changed over the years, but three of the original members remain, Mike Reid, Todd Toledo and Chris ‘Mongo’ Reeder.


Mens Alumni

Matt Dopp 2000-2001

Sean Vierling 2001-2003

Tom Olsen 2001-2003

Ben Bungarts 2002-2005

Brent Redden 2004-2006

Ollie Dose 2004-2008

Chip Carney 2001-2009

Brandon Levy 2004-2006

Dave Digiannantonio. 2008