Sierra Nevada College water ski club members gave an impressive performance at the recent National Collegiate Water ski Association (NCWSA) tournament, with all athletes earning valuable points for the team in every event. A total of seven water skiers represented SNC at the tournament which took place in Arvin, California. It was the first collegiate water ski tournament for several of SNC’s skiers.
Freshmen Francesca Curtolo was one of the first-timers at the NCWSA tournament. She is part of SNC’s alpine team and decided not to let the wlack of snow is not going to stop her from continuing skiing for the rest of the school year.
”My first tournament at the Banana Lake was a blast,” Curtolo said. ”Our team did good and I tried jumping and wake boarding for the first time in my life which was awesome. It is a cool environment and I am looking forward to go to UC Davis tournament in a couple of weeks.”
The three events of traditional water skiing are slalom, trick and jump. In slalom, the skier will try to get through a zigzag course consisting of six buoys. The faster the speed, the harder it gets. In trick, the skier performs two, 20-second routines of tricks that each have an assigned point value. In jumping, the object is distance.
Many of the graduating water ski club members performed successfully in these three events. Senior John Wilkins reached 5.5 buoys on a 60 foot rope at 22 mph, which ended up being his personal best so far. Senior and club President Cory Johnson reached 6.0 buoys on a 60 foot rope at 26 mph.
”It brings me true joy to watch our team progress. After starting the team in fall of 2014 I have seen us grow during every practice and event so much so that I don’t want it to end,” Johnson said. ”Our next tournament in UC Davis will be our last of the 2015 spring season and I know we will exceed all expectations.”
Junior Cannon O’Brien exceeded all expectation when he landed all three jumps on his first tournament.
”I have never jumped on water skis before so I was a little nervous before my first try,” O’Brien said. ”As soon as I landed my first jump I realised it helps a lot to have a ski racer background. It felt amazing and I just wanted to keep jumping.”
Wilkins and Van Metre hold the SNC jump record with 58 feet.
”It’s fun to have some competition inside the team,” Van Metre said. ”As soon as we get more practice on the jump we will pass that 70 foot mark.”
The last tournament for the Water ski club will be on April 25-26 at UC Davis.
COURTESY OF CANNON O’BRIEN
CLUB PRESIDENT Cory Johnson with Junior Cannon O’Brien.