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20 Athletes Win Titles On Day 3 Of 77th GOODE Nationals

The 77th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships continued Thursday at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fla., with 20 athletes winning national titles in respective divisions and events. Nearly 700 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 five-day tournament that culminates Saturday. For the third consecutive day, afternoon thunderstorms caused a lengthy delay in the tournament action. *****As a result, Men 5 slalom was unable to complete its event. Men 5 slalom will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Skiers seeded 23 through 34 will ski on the Turnpike Lake. The remaining skiers, starting with skier 35 (starting at 7:30 a.m.), will ski on the North-South Slalom Lake. Runoffs will be conducted on the North-South Slalom Lake.***** For unofficial live scoring, visit www.waterskiresults.com. To view the unofficial scorebook, click here.

Among the highlights on Thursday, Chris Kopecky (Annapolis, Md.) and Steve Raphael (Southlake, Texas) were declared co-national champions of Men 7 slalom with a score of 5 buoys at 38 feet off. After tying with 5 at 38 off, they tied with scores of 3 buoys at 38 feet off in two subsequent runoffs. Roger Wahl (Prior Lake, Minn.) set a pending Men 11 national slalom record with a score of 2 buoys at 15 feet off. Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.) and Garrett Reese (Walnut Creek, Calif.) won the Girls 3 and Boys 3 national overall titles, respectively. After Wednesday’s weather delays pushed Women 6 slalom to today, Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.) completed a marathon-type day by sweeping the Women 6 national slalom, tricks, jumping and overall titles.

Thursday’s (Day 3) National Champions

Boys 3 Slalom: Griffin Stange (Sherman, Texas), 5 buoys at 38 feet off; Boys 3 Overall: Garrett Reese (Walnut Creek, Calif.), 3,229.5 points; Men 8 Slalom and Jumping: Jeff Wiswall (Montgomery, Ala.), 4-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off/69 feet; Men 8 Overall: Dennis Longo (Coral Gables, Fla.), 2,839.80 points; Men 9 Slalom: Frank Harrison (Indio, Calif.), 4 buoys at 35 feet off; Men 9 Jumping: Carrol "Bud" Piercy (Ashland, Neb.), 39 feet; Men 10 Slalom and Jumping: Bruce Kunde (Sterling, Ill.), 2 buoys at 28 feet off/36 feet; Men 11 Slalom: Roger Wahl (Prior Lake, Minn.), 2 buoys at 15 feet off; Men 11 Jumping: Elgin Faulkner (Houston, Texas), 0 feet; Men 7 Jumping: Dean Chappell (Decatur, Ill.), 115 feet; Men 7 Slalom (Tie): Chris Kopecky (Annapolis, Md.) and Steve Raphael (Southlake, Texas), 5 buoys at 38 feet off; Women 11 Tricks: Artis Price (De Leon Springs, Fla.), 440 points; Women 8 Tricks and Jumping: Brenda Cavenaugh (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), 1,450 points/37 feet; Women 6 Slalom, Tricks, Jumping and Overall: Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.), 1-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off/3,740 points/98 feet/4,245.60 points; Women 7 Tricks: Sandra Cummings (Lapeer, Mich.), 1,340 points; Women 7 Jumping: Leza Harrison (Chuluota, Fla.), 47 feet; Men 5 Tricks: Scott Henderson (Gardner, Ill.), 2,590 points; Girls 3 Tricks and Overall: Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), 7,880 points/3,612.90 points; and Girls 3 Jumping: Kristen Baldwin (Winter Garden, Fla.), 135 feet.

Competition continues Friday at 7:30 a.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Advancement to the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament was primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes also could qualify by placing in the top-five in the previous year’s event or at respective 2019 regional championships. The American Water Ski Association, a sport discipline organization of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, and the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches are hosting the tournament.

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.