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17 Athletes Secure Titles On Final Day Of GOODE Nationals

The 75th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships concluded Saturday at the San Marcos River Ranch in Martindale, Texas, with 17 athletes winning national titles in respective divisions and events. More than 600 water ski athletes from across the United States competed for national titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall in respective age divisions and two Open divisions during the four-day tournament. To view the scorebook, click here.

Advancement to the Water Ski National Championships – the world’s largest three-event water ski tournament – was primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes also could 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 hosted the tournament.

Among the highlights on Day 4: Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.) completed a clean sweep of the Girls 2 division. She won jumping and tricks on Friday and slalom and overall on Saturday. Brooke Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.) completed a clean sweep of the Girls 3 division, winning tricks on Friday and slalom, jumping and overall on Saturday. Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.) defeated Jon Travers (Groveland, Fla.) for the Open Men slalom title in a runoff. After both skiers tied with scores of 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off, Smith won the runoff with 2-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off to Travers’ 2 buoys at 41 feet off. Blake Keller (New Hartford, Conn.) won Boys 3 jumping on his third and final attempt, soaring 165 feet in edging out Will Roberts (Dow, Ill.), who jumped 161 feet competing in his first year in Boys 3. Keller had passed on his first attempt and jumped 159 feet on his second attempt.

In the national team competition, Florida won for the second consecutive year, tallying 28,515.0 points. Central Texas placed second with 24,840.0 points and Northern California finished third with 21,120.0 points. States and areas formed three-event teams of five men, five women and five junior skiers competing in a placement-based NOPS format similar to collegiate water skiing. Competing teams representing respective regions this year were: Eastern – Connecticut and Vermont/New Hampshire/New Jersey/Maine/Rhode Island (combo team); Midwest – Illinois and Ohio; Southern – Florida and Tennessee; South Central – Central Texas and Northeast Texas; and Western – Northern California and Southern California.

Saturday’s (Day 4) National Champions

Men 1 Tricks (from Friday) and Overall: Dylan Schaefer (Owens Cross Roads, Ala.), 8,630 points/3,647.8 points; Women 2 Tricks (from Friday): Sara Lemley (Largo, Fla.), 3,580 points; Women 2 Overall (from Friday): Erin Kalkbrenner (Kansas City, Mo.), 2,828.9 points; Boys 2 Tricks (from Friday): Bodie Cole (Haines City, Fla.), 3,280 points; Girls 2 Tricks (from Friday), Slalom and Overall: Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), 5,630 points/1-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off/3,865.6 points; Boys 3 Jumping: Blake Keller (New Hartford, Conn.), 165 feet; Boys 3 Slalom: Sean Hunter (Dothan, Ala.), 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off; Boys 3 Overall: Zachary Butterfield (Sherman, Texas), 2,905.1 points; Girls 3 Slalom, Jumping and Overall: Brooke Baldwin (Windermere, Fla.), 3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off/145 feet/TBD Points; Men 1 Jumping: Benjamin Leutz (Jacksonville, Ill.), 198 feet; Boys 1 Slalom and Overall: Jack Kuenning (Cincinnati, Ohio), 1-1/2 buoys at 28 feet off/2,000.0 points; Boys 2 Slalom and Overall: James Bryans (Acworth, Ga.), 3 buoys at 35 feet off/3,339.7 points; Girls 1 Slalom: Julie Mishler (Milford, Ind.), 1 buoys at 32 feet off; Girls 1 Overall: Cameron Davis (Milford, Va.), 2,317.6 points; Open Women Slalom: Danyelle Bennett (Zachary, La.), 3-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off; Open Women Overall: Kelly Zoellner (Jacksonville, Ill.), 2,794.8 points; and Open Men Slalom: Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.), 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.

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.