Water ski makes first trip to Nationals
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 00:10
Miami University is not only known for its undeniable beauty or its strong academics, but also for its club and varsity athletic teams. And now it might be time to add the Miami waterski team to that list.
For the first time in the team’s 16-year history, the RedHawks are heading to the National Collegiate Water Ski Championships in Zachary, La. following a third place finish in the Midwest Regionals behind the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and Purdue University.
The No. 7 ’Hawks began Regionals with a splash, as the women’s slalom team recorded two personal bests along with a fifth place finish by junior Emily Van Treese. Junior David Dalton finished third for the men’s slalom team.
The Red and White continued to dominate on the ramp, as every member of the jump team recorded a new personal best and Van Treese won the event, breaking the Regional Record with a 2090 point run in the individual trick category.
“The team’s achievement of qualifying for nationals goes beyond skiing incredibly well at Regionals, but is a tribute to the endless hours we have committed to make it this far,” senior Ashley May said. “I am so proud of our dedication on and off the water that made accomplishing this amazing feat possible.”
In 2009, the team failed to qualify for the Regional Tournament. The following year, the team finished 14th out of 16 teams, and placed 10th in the region last year. However, each of these accomplishments fell short of the team’s goals.
“It has been the vision of the seniors to lead this team to this point [in making Nationals],” senior and President Drew Petro said. “Four years ago, this was just a group of freshman with a dream.”
This year the team financed the purchase of a new MasterCraft boat to train behind and secured an official tournament site for practice.
Meanwhile, some team members received professional coaching in Florida during Spring Break last semester and the entire team spent significant time on the water over the summer.
The additional time paid off.
The team placed second in every regular season tournament for the first time in the club’s history and the women had complete teams running full slalom passes and a full team of jumpers; feats never accomplished before.
“The biggest challenge for teams if they want to be competitive is to create depth,” junior David Dalton said. “To put together five women and five men in each of the three events is quite difficult, but our accomplishments so far are a testament to the hard work each member of the team has put toward their events.”
The team also received the spirit award at Regionals, dressing up in camouflage, neon and all red on the different days, coupled with noise makers, supportive signs and school chants.
The RedHawks are now preparing for the three tournament water ski events: trick run, slalom and distance jump.
Miami will face the likes of the University of Texas, Clemson University, the University of North Carolina, Kansas University and the University of Alabama among others at Nationals Oct. 18-20.