U.S. Wakeboard Team Earns Bronze Medal At IWWF Wakeboard Worlds
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
The 2022 U.S. Wakeboard Team earned the bronze medal and four U.S. athletes earned individual medals at the 14th IWWF Wakeboard World Championships, July 25-30, in Rieti, Italy.
Italy won the gold medal with 715 points, two-time defending champion Australia earned the silver with 665 points and the United States earned the bronze with 470 points. Argentina (305 points) and Great Britain (216 points) rounded out the top-five placements in the 22-team field.
Divisions for competition at the IWWF Wakeboard World Championships were as follows: Boys/Girls (14 and Under); Junior Men/Junior Women (18 and Under); Masters Men/Masters Women (30 Years and Over); Veteran Men/Veteran Women (40 Years and Over); and Open Men/Open Women (Open).
Members of the 2022 U.S. Wakeboard Team were: Dayle Cartwright (Naples, Fla.), Ryder Dillon (Noblesville, Ind.), Hudson Gentry (Hickory, N.C.), Cody Hunnicutt (Orlando, Fla.), Kira Lewis (Clermont, Fla.), Taylor McCullough (Centralia, Ill.), Carson McDaniel (Albany, Ky.), Tarah Mikacich (Orlando, Fla.), Avery Ruegsegger (Maple Grove, Minn.), Maya Ruegsegger (Maple Grove, Minn.), Victor Sanchez (Houston, Texas) and Kitt Smith (Orlando, Fla.). U.S. athletes competing as independent riders were: Elle Christensen (Orlando, Fla.), Bryn Compton (Orlando, Fla.), Vivienne Davidson (Westlake, Texas) and Joe Ruegsegger (Maple Grove, Minn.).
Smith earned the silver medal in U14 Girls, scoring 52.33 points. Italy’s Giulia Castelli won the gold (61.44 points) and Ukraine’s Zlata Pyvovarenko earned the bronze (45.78 points). Davidson placed sixth (29.78 points).
Gentry earned the silver medal in U14 Boys, scoring 61.45 points. Italy’s Federico Dal Lago won the gold (67.44 points) and Mexico’s Andres Villegas earned the bronze (53.45 points).
Lewis earned the bronze medal in Junior Women, scoring 35.89 points. Italy’s Alize Piana won the gold (62.00 points) and Australia’s Mackenzie McCarthy earned the silver (60.00 points).
Sanchez earned the bronze medal in Masters Men, scoring 62.00 points. Argentina’s Alejo De Palma won the gold (63.22 points) and Australia’s Dean Smith earned the silver (62.45 points).
Cartwright placed fourth (57.56 points) in Veteran Men. Italy’s Francesco Starita (64.56 points), Australia’s Josh Sanders (64.00 points) and France’s Daniel Duquesnoy (62.78 points) won the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Mikacich (57.44 points) and McCullough (46.56 points) placed fifth and sixth, respectively in Open Women. Argentina’s Eugenia De Armas won the gold (73.00 points) with Italy’s Alice Virag earning the silver (62.33 points) and Australia’s Rebecca Gange earning the bronze (61.33 points).
In other divisions, Australia’s Nic Rappa won the gold (76.67 points) in Open Men, Brazil’s Mariana Nep won the gold (56.11 points) in Masters Women, Australia’s Symonne Kennedy won the gold (61.89 points) in Veteran Women, and Italy’s Stefano James Comollo won the gold (86.56 points) in Junior Men.
The United States won the world team title in 2004, 2005 and 2011; Australia won team titles in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2018 and 2019; South Africa won the team title in 2001; and Italy won the team title in 2015 and 2022.