Twenty-two of the nation’s top collegiate water ski teams will compete in the 35th Collegiate Water Ski National Championships, Oct. 17-19, at Imperial Lakes in El Centro, California. Take a look below at the top five ranked Division I Collegiate Water Ski Teams in the country. Who will be taking the National Collegiate Water Ski Title this year?
#1 University of Louisiana at Monroe [ULM]
24 Collegiate National Titles
Coach: Treina Landrum
Graduate Assistant: Martin Bartalsky
Captains: Will Oliver and Jennifer Benjamin
Women’s Team: Jennifer Benjamin, Eleanor Benjamin, Carli Guyer, Emilia Hoikkanen, Maddie McCammon, Janice Stevens
Men’s Team: Martin Kolman, Michael Stevenson, Will Oliver, Sergey Bushin, Nikita Bushin, Jake Bridges, James Earl, Claudio Köstenberger, Tyler Scott
Top skiers that have graduated from ULM:
Freddy Krueger, Daniel Odvarko, Adam Sedlmajer, Martin Bartalksy, Ryan Dodd, Breanne Dodd, Natallia Berdnikava, Aliaksei Zharnasek, Regina Jaquess,
Jamie Beauchesne, Thomas Degasperi, Zack Worden, John Horton, Tom Greenwood
Team Boat: Master Craft
Lake: Right on campus
ULM Goal: To win our 25th national title
Why choose ULM: Martin Bartalsky says, “Because it’s a great place to get better at skiing, ski with some of the best skiers in the world, and go to college. We also offer the best water ski scholarships in the country.”
#2 University of Louisiana at Lafayette [ULL]
5 Collgiate National Titles
Coach: Ryan Gonzalez
Team Captain: Matteo Luzzeri, Camille Tyler
Women’s Team: Alyssa Chayer, Brittany Greenwood, Charlotte Wharton, Giannina Bonnemann, Maddison Schneider, Taryn Grant
Men’s Team: Benjamin Stadelbauer, Chris Wharton, Cole Grant, Dane Mechler, Dylan Schaffer, Garrett Karber, Oskar Vikström, Roberto Linares
Top skiers that have graduated from ULL: Mandy Nightingale, Andriopoulou Angeliki, Will and Tom Asher
Team Boat: Nautique 200 (The one Nate Smith set the pending world record behind of 2.5 buoys at 43 off)
ULL Ski Site: 10 minutes away from campus. Near Lafayette airport. Also, just one hour drive from Bennett’s Ski School.
This year’s goal: Matteo Luzzeri says, “We did a good job with recruiting in the spring and fall semester and have a very strong team right now. Our goal is to win the 2013 collegiate nationals.”
Why choose ULL: Matteo Luzzeri says, “If you are a committed water skier and you also care about your future eduction, this is the place to be! I believe it’s the best combination for water skiing and a good education.”
#3 University of Alabama [UA]
1 Collegiate National Title
Coach: Dr. Tom Strong
President: Adam Reed
Captains: Ashley Combs, Zachary Kachele
Women’s Team: Catherine Buchanan, Ashley Combs, Caroline Cooper, Elizabeth Fowler, Maria Gerasikova, Jenny Marr, Rachel McNealy, Madeline Pierce
Men’s Team: Zach Kachele, John Lex Kenerly, Zane Nicholson, Paul O’Hara, Matthew Oglesby, Ryan Hinkle, Alston Robertson.
Top skiers that have graduated from UA: Ben Favret, Fiona Marin, Carey Marin, Billy Susie, Richard Kjellander, Travis Moye, Justin Allen, P.J. Wolfe, Tomlin Wilson, Caroline Hensley, Ham Wallace, Lyman Hardy
Team Boat: 2012 Mastercraft Prostar 197
UA Ski Site: 15 minutes out of town at LymanLand USA in Duncanville, AL where the 2013 Southern Regional Championships were held.
This years goal: To place in the top 3 at Collegiate Nationals.
Why choose UA: Adam Reed says, “The University of Alabama Water Ski Team has a very strong fellowship among current and past members. We strive to become better individuals on and off the water. While Alabama has a prestigious ski team, we pursue knowledge and strive for excellence. We have a history of having several professional skiers graduate from UA. Alabama is rapidly expanding with super modern infrastructure and guarantees scholarships for students posting requisite standardized test scores and grades. This is a university on the move, with a can-do spirit, and students have an opportunity to be a part of the excitement, growth, and achievement.”
#4 Rollins College
4 Collegiate National Titles
Coach: Marc Bedsole
Captain: Drew Phillips
Women’s Team: Haley Haines, Gabi Viljoen, Elizabeth Montavon, Jen Tee, Chantal Singer
Men’s Team: Tommy Wiley, Drew Phillips, Matt Bengtson, Daniel Carter, Tommy Shugart, Sam Jackson
Top skiers that have graduated from Rollins: Drew Ross, Russel Gay, Rhoni Barton, Marc Crown, Tony Knight, Tony Dick Junior, Jenna Mielzynski, Geena Krueger, Delfina Cuglievan, Michale Briant, Ty Oppenlander
Team Boat: 2014 Malibu Response Txi
Rollins Ski Site: Lake Virginia (public lake) right on campus.
This years goal: Marc Bedsole says, “I’d like to hold our seed. We’re ranked 4th in the country right now, and my goal is to get a really good strong start in women’s slalom.”
Why choose Rollins: Marc Bedsole says, “My thought has always been that if you’re serious about your education, and want a beautiful place to ski, I don’t think you can beat Rollins. The lake is right here on campus, and academically we stand out from other schools. Plus, you’re in the mecca center of the water-skiing world.”
#5 Florida Southern College [FSC]
Coach: Roger Skalko
Captain: K.C. Wilson
Women’s Team: Erika Borton, Ellie Horton, Amy Rooker
Men’s Team: Yiannis Nathanail, Luke Lockwood, Brett Walker, K.C. Wilson, Eric Kronenwetter
Top skiers that have graduated from Florida Southern College: Clementine Lucine, Marion Mathieu, Manon Costard, Thibauld Dialland, Aurlien Serault, Lauren Morgan
Team Boat: 2014 Nautique 200
Florida Southern Ski Site: Lake Hollingsworth
This years goal: Roger Skalko says, “To try our hardest in a rebuild year.”
Why choose FSC: Roger Skalko says, “If you want to train year-round behind the best Correct Craft on the market come to FSC.”
Teams competing in Division 1: Alabama, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Florida Southern, Grand Valley State, Kansas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State, Rollins and Wisconsin. At the 2012 Collegiate Water Ski Nationals, the University of Louisiana-Monroe won the Division 1 national team title for the 24th time in the history of the event.
Teams competing in Division 2: Clemson, Chico State, Iowa State, North Carolina, San Diego State, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas State, UC Davis and Western Washington. Clemson won the 2012 Division 2 title.
For more information on the NCWSA or the Collegiate Water Ski National Championships, visit www.ncwsa.com.