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12 Athletes Win Titles On Final Day Of GOODE Nationals

The 76th annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships concluded Saturday at the Mystic Lakes Ski Club in Maize, Kan., with 12 athletes winning national 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. To view the scorebook, click here.

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 hosted the tournament.

National overall titles awarded on Saturday were: Women 1: Samantha Stackpole (Dow, Ill.), 3,009.0 points; Masters Men: Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.), 2,830.0; Women 2: Erin Kalkbrenner (Kansas City, Mo.), 3,129.2 points; Men 1: Kevin Malak (San Diego, Calif.), 3,220.3 points; and Men 2: Garrett Karber (Cypress, Texas), 2,915.0 points.

In the third annual national team competition, Florida won for the third consecutive year, tallying 34,360.0 points. Northern California finished second with 28,535.0 points and Northeast Texas was third with 26,790.0 points. The top-two teams from each regional championships qualified for the 76th GOODE Water Ski National Championships, and all skiers of a team, regardless of ranking, could compete on their team at the Nationals. 2016 marked the inaugural year of team skiing in which states and areas formed 3-event teams of five men, five women, and five junior skiers competing in a placement-based NOPS format like collegiate water skiing.

Saturday’s (Day 5) National Champions

Women 1 jumping: Riley Daulton (League City, Texas), 147 feet; Women 2 overall: Erin Kalkbrenner (Kansas City, Mo.), 3,129.2 points; Men 2 jumping: John Mommer (Mercer Island, Wash.), 167 feet; Masters Men jumping and overall: Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.), 167 feet/2,830.0; Men 1 slalom: Ben Leutz (Jacksonville, Ill.), 3 buoys at 38 feet off; Men 1 jumping: Andrew Schmitt (Mount Vernon, Ind.), 161 feet; Women 1 slalom: Kelley Breeden (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3-1/2 buoys at 35 feet off; Men 2 slalom: Casey Contos (Anderson, Ind.), 4 buoys at 38 feet off; Women 2 slalom and jumping: Keri McClure (Scott, Ohio), 3 buoys at 35 feet off/108 feet; Women 1 overall: Samantha Stackpole (Dow, Ill.), 3,009.0 points; Men 1 overall: Kevin Malak (San Diego, Calif.), 3,220.3 points; and Men 2 overall: Garrett Karber (Cypress, Texas), 2,915.0 points.

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 marked 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.

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.

The 2019 and 2020 Water Ski National Championships will be held at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Fla.