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Cox, Slone Inducted Into AWSEF HOF

The American Water Ski Educational Foundation held its 30th annual hall of fame induction ceremony on Saturday night at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla. Wade Cox and Sherri Slone were the 62nd and 63rd inductees into the AWSEF Hall of Fame, which is located in Polk City, Fla.

Cox was perhaps the most successful U.S. slalom skier of his time. He scored points and wins on the U.S. Pro Water Ski Tour, facing tough competition from others such as Great Britain's Andy Mapple. He always credited the competition as incentive to improve. He has more than 30 victories in professional water skiing. He held the U.S. national slalom record at one time. In 1996 he won men's slalom titles at the Masters and U.S. Open. The high point of his career was in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He earned a bronze medal in men's slalom at the 1995 Water Ski World Championships.

Slone's skiing career had many honors and victories, even though throughout most of her career she was competing against other top women who are now in the Hall of Fame. She co-held the U.S. women's jumping record at 156 feet (47.5 meters) before the ramp for Open Women was raised to 5- feet. She was the world champion in jumping in 1991. She won more than 20 pro tournaments. Although noted mainly for her jumping, she also was a three-eventer in traditional skiing. She was ranked in the top-three in women's overall in the world for several years. In 1990, when there were competing pro tours, she accomplished a unique feat of winning two separate pro jumping titles on the same day. She contributed to the sport by serving on the American Water Ski Association's International Activities Committee and becoming a rated judge.

The 2012 Award of Distinction recipients, also honored during the AWSEF Hall of Fame inductions, were: Bob Maher, Larry Meddock, Lance Renfrow, Don Thomson and Mike Tolzmann.

Maher, a three-event water skier, started his ski company, Maherajah Skis, in 1950. Maherajah had some key skiers, such as the LaPoints, using his product. His innovations included beveled side edges, high-wrap bindings, and concave bottoms on their top quality wooden skis. Today, Maherajah Skis is mainly noted as a manufacturer of water ski racing skis. 

Meddock's water ski industry career spans almost 50 years, beginning with Medalist Water Sports, later at Correct Craft, and continuing today as executive director of the Water Sports Industry Association. He served as AWSEF trustee from 1986-92 and chairman of the board from 1990-93.

Renfrow has been an AWSEF trustee since 1986 and served on the Hall of Fame Selection Committee over three terms. He was an engineer by trade and was an early designer of a private lake in Newberry Springs, Calif.

Thomson introduced back barefooting to the Cypress Gardens ski shows, was an endurance barefoot record holder and the first ever to do the doubles act (a girl riding on his shoulders) barefoot. He was instrumental in introducing the use of carbon fiber in molded skis and the "wing" to slalom ski fins.

Tolzmann was a three-event water skier and show skier, but went into the freestyle event when it was featured on the Pro Tour for a few years. He was noted for putting out huge distances while doing tricks off the ramp. Distances became so long in the freestyle event that the rules were even modified to reduce the scoring bonus.

The purpose of the Water Ski Hall of Fame is to honor and perpetuate the names and accomplishments of skiers, pioneers and officials whose dedication and competitive achievements at national and international levels have brought lasting fame to the sport of water skiing. Four categories of membership have been approved by the AWSEF's board of trustees: competitive water skiers, including participants in traditional water skiing, barefoot skiing, ski racing and any other nationally competitive individual discipline recognized by USA Water Ski and approved by the AWSEF board of trustees; water skiing pioneers; water skiing officials; and show skiing. For eligibility requirements and more information, visit the official Web site of the American Water Ski Educational Foundation at www.waterskihalloffame.com.
















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