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21 Athletes Win Titles On Day 1

The 76th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships kicked off Tuesday at the Mystic Lakes Ski Club in Maize, Kan., with 21 athletes winning titles in respective divisions and events. More than 720 water ski athletes – the largest field of competitors at the Nationals since 2010 – from across the United States are competing for national titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall in respective age divisions and two Open divisions during the five-day tournament that culminates Saturday. The unofficial scorebook will be posted here as soon as it becomes available throughout each day from the chief scorer. To view the scorebook, click here. Live unoffical scoring can be viewed at www.waterskiresults.com.

Advancement to the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament is primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes also can qualify by placing in the top-five at Regionals or by placing in the top-five at the previous year’s Nationals. The American Water Ski Association, a sport discipline organization of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, and the Mystic Lakes Ski Club are hosting the tournament.

Among the highlights on Tuesday: Prissy Edwards (Alexandria, Ind.) won the Women 7 national jumping title by just one-tenth-of-a-meter over Brenda Cavanaugh (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.). Edwards won with a distance of 37 feet/11.4 meters. Cavanaugh jumped 37 feet/11.3 meters to finish second. Anne Bennett (Zachary, La.) won the Women 6 national tricks title. Bennett and Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.) tied with 3,400 total points, but Bennett, by rule, was declared the winner because she had the highest-scoring single pass (1,910 points) of the two 20-second passes. The husband and wife duo of Harry and Artis Price (De Leon Springs, Fla.) took to the water on Day 1 in the Men 11 and Women 11 divisions, respectively. Harry, 91, is the eldest competitor at this year’s Nationals. He is competing in his 59th Nationals, while Artis, 88, the eldest female competitor, is competing in her 58th Nationals. Paul Armour (Plano, Texas) won the Men 6 national jumping title for the third consecutive year, jumping 125 feet. Steve Ware (Phoenix, Ariz.) won the Men 6 national slalom title for the third consecutive year, scoring 2 buoys at 39-1/1 feet off. Steve Raphael (Southlake, Texas) won the Men 7 national slalom title for the third consecutive year, scoring 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.

Tuesday’s (Day 1) National Champions
Women 8 jumping: Janice Prociw (Carter Lake, Iowa), 36 feet; Men 9 jumping and tricks: Carrol "Bud" Piercy (Ashland, Neb.), 43 feet/1,450 points; Men 7 jumping: Dean Chappell (Decatur, Ill.), 112 feet; Women 5 jumping: Mary Koenig (Groveland, Fla.), 82 feet; Men 8 jumping: Dennis Longo (Coral Gables, Fla.), 65 feet; Women 6 jumping: Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.), 106 feet; Women 7 jumping: Prissy Edwards (Alexandria, Ind.), 37 feet; Men 5 jumping: Danny Zeisler (Oxford, Conn.), 156 feet; Men 6 jumping: Paul Armour (Plano, Texas), 125 feet; Men 10 jumping: Floyd McCreight (Buda, Texas), 30 feet; Men 6 slalom: Steve Ware (Phoenix, Ariz.), 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off; Men 7 slalom: Steve Raphael (Southlake, Texas), 2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off; Men 8 slalom: Bob Hardeman (Livermore, Calif.), 3 buoys at 38 feet off; Women 5 slalom: Alison Poulsen (Caldwell, Idaho), 2 buoys at 35 feet off; Women 6 tricks: Anne Bennett (Zachary, La.), 3,400 points; Women 7 tricks: Leza Harrison (Chuluota, Fla.), 2,280 points; Men 5 tricks: Jon Penner (Austin, Texas), 3,170 points; Women 8 tricks: Janet Piercy (Ashland, Neb.), 1,980 points; Women 11 tricks: Artis Price (De Leon Springs, Fla.), 360 points; Men 10 tricks: Bruce Kunde (Sterling, Ill.), 670 points; and Men 11 tricks and jumping: Elgin Faulkner (Houston, Texas), 640 points/0 feet.

The Mystic Lakes Ski Club, which includes three world-record capability water ski lakes, has previously hosted the Midwest Regional Water Ski Championships, Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships and Barefoot Water Ski National Championships. It marks the first time that the state of Kansas has hosted the Water Ski National Championships. GOODE Skis, a gold level sponsor of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, has been the title sponsor of the Nationals since 2000.

Competition continues Wednesday at 8 a.m. (CDT). Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

The first national championships was held in 1939 at Jones Beach in Long Island, N.Y. Except for three years during World War II (1942-1944), the Nationals has been held every year since 1939.