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U.S. Team Wins Gold Medal At Junior Worlds

The U.S. Junior Water Ski Team won the coveted overall team gold medal and four U.S. water ski athletes combined to earn five individual medals in respective events at the 17th Junior Water Ski World Championships, Aug. 2-5, at the Seseña Water Sports Complex in Seseña, Toledo, Spain. The United States tallied 7,614.46 points in winning the gold medal for the 12th time in the history of the biennial event. France earned the silver medal (7,161.05 points) and Ukraine claimed the bronze medal (7,024.86 points). Athletes and teams from 27 countries competed in the four-day tournament as the world team title and world individual titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall were at stake.

Members of the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team were: Kristen Baldwin (Winter Garden, Fla.), Ryan Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), Blake Keller (New Hartford, Conn.), Will Roberts (Dow, Ill.) and Griffin Stange (Sherman, Texas). April Coble-Eller (Lillington, N.C.) was the coach, Bob Schouten (Alexander City, Ala.) served as team manager, and Dr. Brad Harman (Alvarado, Texas) was the team physician.

Hansen won the gold medal in girls’ overall with 2,773.38 points after scoring 1 buoy at 38 feet off in slalom (preliminary round), 7,750 points in tricks (final round) and 127 feet in jumping (final round). She also earned the silver medal in tricks (7,750 points) and placed fifth in jumping (127 feet) and eighth in slalom (4 buoys at 35 feet off). Keller earned the silver medal in boys’ jumping, soaring 181 feet in the finals, and placed 15th overall (1,937.84 points). Roberts placed fourth in boys’ jumping (177 feet). Gay placed fifth in boys’ tricks (7,570 points). Baldwin finished fifth in girls’ slalom (0 buoys at 38 feet off), seventh in tricks (5,290 points), 14th in jumping (114 feet) and sixth overall (2,335.30 points). Stange placed fifth in boys’ slalom (5 buoys at 38 feet off).

Ali Garcia (Winter Garden, Fla.), Garrett Reese (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Jonathan Leutz (Jacksonville, Ill.), Tianna Kosek (Buffalo, Minn.), Zachary Butterfield (Sherman, Texas), Brett Stackpole (Dow, Ill.) and Allyson Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas) competed as U.S. independents.Garcia earned the bronze medal in girls’ slalom, scoring 2 buoys at 38 feet off in the finals; Reese earned the bronze medal in boys’ slalom, scoring 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in the finals; Grathwohl placed eighth in girls’ tricks (5,240 points); Kosek finished ninth in girls’ jumping (120 feet); Stackpole placed ninth in boys’ jumping (163 feet); Butterfield placed 11th in boys’ overall (1,974.81 points); and Leutz finished 13th in boys’ jumping (158 feet).

Other athletes winning junior world titles were: Canada’s Neilly Ross, girls’ tricks (9,570 points) and slalom (4-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off); Mexico’s Patricio Font, boys’ tricks (10,700 points); Colombia’s Federico Jaramillo, boys’ slalom (2-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off); Australia’s Sade Ferguson, girls’ jumping (136 feet); and Ukraine’s Alexander Samoilov, boys’ jumping (184 feet) and overall (2,792.08 points).

For complete results of the 17th Junior Water Ski World Championships, visit http://www.iwwfed-ea.org/competition.php?cc=T-18IWWF03&page=TimeTable.

The United States has won the world team title in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018. France won in 1998 and 2006. Canada won in 2004 and 2016.

The 2019 Ski Nautique was the official towboat of the Junior Water Ski World Championships. Nautique is a Premier Sponsor of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.
























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