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22 Athletes Secure Titles On Day 3 Of GOODE Nationals

The 75th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships continued Friday at the San Marcos River Ranch in Martindale, Texas, with 22 athletes winning national titles in respective divisions and events. More than 600 water ski athletes 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 four-day tournament that culminates Saturday. To view the complete scorebook, click here.

Advancement to the Water Ski National Championships – the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament – is primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes also can qualify for Nationals 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, and the San Marcos River Ranch are hosting the tournament.

Among the highlights on Day 3: Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.) set a pending Boys 1 national tricks record of 6,050 points in winning his first national title. He is the current Boys 1 national tricks record holder (4,270 points) and has additional pending national records currently under review from this season. Chris Kuykendall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) won Men 1 slalom, his first career national title, after a four-way runoff for the top spot on the podium. Kuykendall scored 3 buoys at 38 feet off – the same score of the four-way tie – in the runoff to clinch the title outright. Ruth McCreary (Azle, Texas) won the Women 1 national slalom title after a runoff with fellow Texan Abbi Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas). After both skiers tied with 3 buoys at 35 feet off, McCreary won the subsequent runoff with 2 buoys at 35 feet off to Grathwohl’s 1-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off. It was McCreary’s first national title since winning Girls 1 slalom in 2008. Grathwohl didn’t come away from the Nationals empty-handed, though, as she claimed the Women 1 jumping and overall titles later in the day. James Bryans (Acworth, Ga.) won the Boys 2 national jumping title. With Blaze Grubbs (Rio Linda, Calif.) and Brody Keller (New Hartford, Conn.) tied (108 feet/32.8 meters) at the top with top-seeded Bryans the only remaining to skier jump, Bryans recorded distances of 93 feet and 99 feet before launching 110 feet on his third and final attempt to clinch his first national jumping title. Keller jumped 114 feet to Grubbs’ 112 feet in the subsequent jump-off for second place. Ryan Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) won Boys 3 tricks with a personal best score of 6,460 points.

Friday’s (Day 3) National Champions

Men 2 Tricks (from Thursday): Jared Sharkey (Mishawaka, Ind.), 4,520 points; Men 4 Tricks (from Thursday): Marc Bedsole (Orlando, Fla.), 6,480 points; Men 4 Overall (from Thursday): Jody Hooten (Austin, Texas), 2,531.9 points; Women 4 Tricks and Overall (from Thursday): Lori Krueger (Martindale, Texas), 3,750 points/3,733.8 points; Men 5 Tricks (from Thursday): Gordon Hall (Martindale, Texas), 3,830 points; Men 5 Overall (from Thursday): Tommy Newman (McDonald, Tenn.), 2,712.2 points; Boys 1 Tricks: Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.), 6,050 points; Girls 1 Tricks: Cameron Davis (Milford, Va.), 2,450 points; Boys 3 Tricks: Ryan Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), 6,460 points; Girls 3 Tricks: Brooke Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), 8,430 points; Men 2 Slalom: Adam Cord (Bronxville, N.Y.), 3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off; Men 2 Jumping: Cole Kalkbrenner (Kansas City, Mo.), 183 feet; Men 2 Overall: Garrett Karber (Cypress, Texas), 2,653.5 points; Women 1 Slalom: Ruth McCreary (Azle, Texas), 3 buoys at 35 feet off; Women 1 Jumping and Overall: Abbi Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas), 134 feet/3,137.6 points; Masters Women Slalom: April Coble-Eller (Lillington, N.C.), 1 buoy at 38 feet off; Masters Men Slalom: Jeff Rodgers (Ninety Six, S.C.), 2 buoys at 41 feet off; Men 1 Slalom: Chris Kuykendall (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 3 buoys at 38 feet off; Men 1 Tricks: TBD – to be posted after deemed official on Saturday morning; Women 2 Slalom: Keri McClure (Van Wert, Ohio), 2-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off; Women 2 Tricks: TBD – to be posted after deemed official on Saturday morning; Women 2 Overall: TBD – to be posted after deemed official on Saturday morning; Girls 2 Jumping: Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), 106 feet; Girls 2 Tricks: TBD – to be posted after deemed official on Saturday morning; Boys 2 Jumping: James Bryans (Acworth, Fla.), 110 feet; Boys 2 Tricks: TBD – to be posted after deemed official on Saturday morning; Open Women Jumping: Lauren Morgan (Seattle, Wash.), 159 feet; Open Women Tricks: Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), 8,440 points; Open Men Jumping: Nick Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), 195 feet; and Open Men Tricks: Kevin Malak (San Diego, Calif.), 5,130 points.

The Nationals concludes Saturday with competition beginning at 8 a.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend. Daily scorebooks, schedules, press releases and additional information can be found at www.waterskinationals.com.

The San Marcos River Ranch, a private water ski development featuring four world record-capability water ski lakes, is located between Austin and San Antonio along the San Marcos River. It previously hosted the 2014 GOODE Water Ski National Championships. GOODE Skis, a gold level sponsor of USA Water Ski, has been the title sponsor of the Nationals since 2000.

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.