U.S. Team Wins U21 Water Ski World Championships
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
U.S. U21 Water Ski Team member Brooke Baldwin won the gold medal in women's overall.
The U.S. U21 Water Ski Team won the coveted overall team gold medal and four U.S. team members combined to earn eight individual medals in respective events at the 10th IWWF World Under 21 Waterski Championships, Aug. 26-28, at the Pickos Water Ski School in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
The United States tallied 8,193.48 points in winning the gold medal for the seventh time in the history of the biennial event. Canada earned the silver medal (7,814.41 points) and Italy claimed the bronze (7,259.42 points). Athletes and teams from 23 countries competed in the three-day tournament as the world team title and world individual titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall were at stake. The tournament was originally planned for four days, but it was reduced to three due to Hurricane Ida approaching the Gulf Coast of the United States. Despite the schedule change, all preliminary rounds and finals were completed.
Members of the U.S. U21 Water Ski Team were: Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.), Brooke Baldwin (Winter Garden, Fla.), Blaze Grubbs (Rio Linda, Calif.), Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), Sean Hunter (Dothan, Ala.), and Jon Leutz (Jacksonville, Ill.). April Coble-Eller (Lillington, N.C.) served as the coach and Erin Kalkbrenner (Maize, Kan.) was the manager.
Baldwin won the gold medal in women’s overall, silver medals in slalom and jumping, and the bronze in tricks; Hunter won the gold medal in men’s slalom; Leutz earned the bronze medal in men’s jumping; and Hansen earned the silver medal in women’s tricks and the bronze in overall.
Baldwin won the gold medal in women’s overall with scores of 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in slalom (preliminary round), 8,220 points in tricks (finals) and 162 feet in jumping (finals) to finish with 2,878.16 points. Canada’s Paige Rini earned the silver medal with 2,735.67 points and Hansen earned the bronze with 2,670.85 points.
Hunter won the gold medal in men’s slalom, defeating Canada’s Jamie Calhoun in a runoff. After both skiers tied with 2 buoys at 41 feet off, Hunter won the runoff by scoring 1 buoy at 41 feet off to Calhoun’s ½ buoy at 41 feet off. Colombia’s Federico Jaramillo earned the bronze (5 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off). Grubbs placed eighth (1-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) and U.S. athlete Garrett Reese (Walnut Creek, Calif.) finished 10th (6 buoys at 38 feet off).
Canada’s Jaimee Bull won the women’s slalom gold medal, scoring 2-1/4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. Baldwin earned the silver medal (2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) and Colombia’s Luisa Jaramillo earned the bronze (5 buoys at 38 feet off). U.S. athletes Annemarie Wroblewski (Toledo, Ohio) and Kassidy Hawkins (Zachary, La.) tied for fourth (4 buoys at 38 feet off) and tied for sixth (3 buoys at 38 feet off), respectively. Hansen placed eighth (2 buoys at 38 feet off) and U.S. athlete Ali Garcia (Winter Garden, Fla.) finished 12th (1 buoy at 35 feet off).
France’s Pol Duplan-Fribourg won the gold medal in men’s jumping with 211 feet (64.4 meters), one-tenth of a meter in front of Austria’s Luca Rauchenwald (211 feet/64.3 meters), who earned the silver medal. Leutz earned the bronze medal (209 feet).
Chile’s Agustina Varas won the gold medal in women’s jumping (164 feet). Baldwin earned the silver medal (162 feet) and Canada’s Paige Rini earned the bronze (151 feet). Hansen placed eighth (139 feet) and U.S. athlete Charlsey Newman (McDonald, Tenn.) finished 10th (135 feet).
Canada’s Neilly Ross won the gold medal in women’s tricks, scoring 10,080 points. Hansen earned the silver medal (8,280 points) and Baldwin earned the bronze (8,220 points). U.S. athletes Allyson Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas) and Taylor Grathwohl (Martindale, Texas) placed seventh (5,520 points) and 11th (4,170 points), respectively.
Mexico’s Patricio Font won the gold medal in men’s tricks (11,430 points), while Chile’s Martin Labra earned the silver (10,920 points) and Ukraine’s Olexander Samoilov earned the bronze (10,290 points). Abelson placed sixth (8,860 points).
Ukraine’s Olexander Samoilov won the gold medal in men’s overall, scoring 2,890.11 points. Italy’s Edoardo Marenzi earned the silver medal (2,709.24 points) and Argentina’s Tobias Giorgis earned the bronze (2,672.61 points). Grubbs and Reese finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
For complete results of the 10th IWWF World Under 21 Waterski Championships, visit http://www.iwwfed-ea.org/classic/21IWWF06/.
The United States has won the Under 21 world team title in 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2021. France won in 2007, Canada won in 2017 and Great Britain won in 2019.
The Ski Nautique was the official towboat of the 10th IWWF World Under 21 Waterski Championships. Nautique is a National Sponsor of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.
To donate to the 2021 U.S. U21 Water Ski Team to help offset its expenses, visit https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RVP8S6HK2BJ2Y&source=url.