Five U.S. Junior athletes earn medals in San Bernardo,
POLK CITY, Fla.–Behind strong performances from Danyelle
Bennett (Zachary, La.) and Joy Todd (Pierson, Fla.), the
U.S. Junior Water Ski Team won the gold medal Sunday at the Junior
Water Ski World Championships in San Bernardo, Chile. Canada,
France, Australia and Mexico rounded out the top-five placements.
Athletes from around the world vied for titles in slalom, tricks,
jumping and overall at the biennial event.
“The Junior Water Ski World Championships marks the second major
international victory for the U.S. Junior Team in less than six
weeks,” said Steve McDermeit, USA Water Ski's executive director.
“I commend all the U.S. Junior athletes, including our independent
competitors, for their hard work and dedication leading up to this
event. Their success at the Junior Worlds was well-deserved.”
Bennett won the world Junior overall title after winning silver
medals in Girls' slalom (3 buoys at 35 feet off) and tricks (6,390
points). Bennett also won a bronze medal in Girls' jumping (133
Todd earned the silver medal in overall after winning a gold
medal in Girls' jumping (137 feet) and finishing fourth and eighth
in Girls' slalom and tricks, respectively. In Friday's preliminary
round, Todd set a new Junior Worlds' Girls' jumping record of 142
feet (43.2 meters).
Besides Bennett and Todd, the U.S. Team consisted of Brody
Reid (Jerseyville, Ill.) and Morgan Pavur (Santa Fe,
Texas). Reid earned the bronze medal in Boys' jumping with a
leap of 166 feet. Pavur finished sixth in Girls' tricks and eighth
in slalom. Rhoni Barton (Orlando, Fla.), coached the U.S.
Junior Team, while Mike Meek (Albany, Ohio), served as the
team manager. The team was chosen based on performances last July
at the 2002 U.S. Water Ski Team Trials. The U.S. Junior Team also
won the Pan American Water Ski Championships, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, in
San Bernardo, Chile.
U.S. athletes who competed as independents were Cale Burdick
(Danville, Ind.), Ian Trapp (Canyon Lake, Calif.),
Mandi Williams (Ozark, Mo.) and Tomlin Wilson (Minden,
La.). Trapp earned the silver medal in Boys' slalom (5-1/4 at
38 off). Wilson won the silver medal in Boys' tricks (8,960
points). Burdick finished eighth in Boys' slalom (1/2-buoy at 38
off), and Williams finished ninth in Girls' slalom (2-1/2 at 32
USA Water Ski was formed in 1939 as a non-profit organization
promoting water skiing in the United States. USA Water Ski is
affiliated with the International Water Ski Federation (world
governing body) and is recognized by the United States Olympic
Committee and Pan-American Sports Organization as the national
governing body of organized water skiing in the United States. With
more than 40,000 members, USA Water Ski is the largest water ski
federation in the world.