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Athletes, Team of the Year Selected

Anna Gay was selected Female Athlete of the Year for USA Water Ski and the American Water Ski Association.USA Water Ski and its respective sport discipline organizations are pleased to announce award recipients for 2016. Dane Mechler (Loveland, Ohio) and Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.) have been selected USA Water Ski's 2016 Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively. The U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team earned USA Water Ski's 2016 Team of the Year honors. The award recipients will be honored at USA Water Ski's annual awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla. The reception, which celebrates the 2016 water ski season, will be held in conjunction with USA Water Ski's mid-winter board meetings for the 17th consecutive year.

The award winners were selected either by the USA Water Ski Awards Committee or by the sport disciplineís organization. The awards reception is open to the public. For information on ticket pricing and availability, click here.

Gay, 17, won womenís tricks titles in 2016 at the Moomba Masters, Masters, GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Nautique U.S. Open Water Ski Championships and Pan American Water Ski Championships. She also set a new womenís world tricks record of 10,610 points.

Dane Mechler was selected Male Athlete of the Year for USA Water Ski and the National Collegiate Water Ski Association.Mechler, 21, won menís slalom titles in 2016 at the Collegiate All-Stars Water Ski Championships, South Central Collegiate Water Ski Championships, Collegiate Water Ski National Championships (tie) and World University Water Ski Championships. He also was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. World University Water Ski Team.

Members of the 2016 U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team were (left to right): Lori Krueger, Mitch Grau, Janie Fausold, Joy Kelley, Tony Knight, Renee Jaquess, John Burris and Kelly Zoellner.The U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team won the overall team gold medal at the 4th 35+ Water Ski World Championships, Sept. 14-18, at the SeseŮa Water Ski & Wakeboard Complex in Toledo, Spain. Members of the 2016 U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team were: John Burris (West Point, Miss.), Janie Fausold (Pleasant Grove, Calif.), Mitch Grau (Carrollton, Texas), Renee Jaquess (Miramar Beach, Fla.), Joy Kelley (Loudon, Tenn.), Tony Knight (Jacksonville, Fla.), Lori Krueger (Martindale, Texas) and Kelly Zoellner (Jacksonville, Ill.). Fausold earned silver medals in Over 55 Women jumping and overall, and the bronze medal in slalom; Grau won the gold medal in Over 55 Men jumping and the bronze medal in overall; Jaquess earned the bronze medal in Over 35 Women jumping; Kelley won gold medals in Over 55 Women slalom, jumping and overall, and the silver medal in tricks; Knight won the gold medal in Over 45 Men overall; Krueger won gold medals in Over 45 Women slalom, jumping and overall, and the silver medal in tricks; and Zoellner won the gold medal in Over 35 Women jumping.

Additional 2016 awards from USA Water Ski and its respective sport discipline organizations are as follows:

USA Water Ski: John and Lucy Goodman (Bellingham, Wash.), Award of Merit Ė the organizationís highest award for a volunteer; Lori Krueger (Martindale, Texas), National Coach of the Year; Paul Adams (Center City, Minn.), Volunteer of the Year; and Torey Narans (Golden, Colo.), Thatís Incredible Award.

The American Barefoot Club: Sammi Eaton (Janesville, Wis.), Rising Superstar; Lexi McCauley (Louisville, Ohio), Female Athlete of the Year; and Jackson Gerard (Babson Park, Fla.), Male Athlete of the Year.

The American Kneeboard Association: Alisa Piper (Lake Placid, Fla.), Female Athlete of the Year; and Chris Dinse (De Pere, Wis.), Male Athlete of the Year.

The American Water Ski Association: Tonya Maurer (Amston, Conn.), Volunteer of the Year; Ryan Canepa (Elk Grove, Calif.), Junior Athlete of the Year; Freddy Krueger (Winter Garden, Fla.), Male Athlete of the Year; Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), Female Athlete of the Year; and the U.S. 35+ Water Ski World Championships Team, Team of the Year.

The National Collegiate Water Ski Association: Margaret Silhaksek (Lincoln, Neb.) of Nebraska (Female Outstanding Leader); Cole Burgess (Newnan, Ga.) of Georgia (Male Outstanding Leader); Riley Daulton (Dublin, Ohio) of Ohio State (Female Athlete of the Year); Dane Mechler (Loveland, Ohio) of Louisiana-Lafayette (Male Athlete of the Year); and Arkansas (Team of the Year).

The National Show Ski Association: Bruce Berg (Zumbro Falls, Minn.), Honorary National Director; Jeff Henke (Oconomowoc, Wis), Official of the Year; Breanne Imse (Madison, Wis.) and Mickey Loka (Tomahawk, Wis.), Volunteers of the Year; Shauna Pasanen (Winter Haven, Fla.), Thatís Incredible Award; USA Water Ski Show Team, Presidentís Award; Leah Straub (Middleton, Wis.), Female Athlete of the Year; Garrett Bouley (Bradenton, Fla.), Male Athlete of the Year; and Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team (Wonder Lake, Ill.), Team of the Year.

The United States Hydrofoil Association: Todd Goin (Loveland, Colo.), Volunteer of the Year; Southwest Water Lovers (Roosevelt, Ariz.), Team of the Tear; Dominic Schumacher (Rapid City, S.D.), Junior Athlete of the Year; MJ Green (Minneapolis, Minn.), Female Athlete of the Year; and Al Lewin (Austin, Texas), Male Athlete of the Year.

The National Water Ski Racing Association: Rex Helm (Porter Ranch, Calif.), Male Athlete of the Year.

The Water Skiers with Disabilities Association: Kerri Vanderbom (Birmingham, Ala.), Female Athlete of the Year; and Elijah Hager (Alexis, N.C.), Male Athlete of the Year.

USA Wakeboard: Nick McDonald (Monroe, La.), Volunteer of the Year; Heather Bouchard (Ware, Mass.), Female Athlete of the Year; Colby Bernier (Verbena, Ala.), Male Athlete of the Year; and University of Florida, Team of the Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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