USA Water Ski has selected Zack Worden (Deltona, Fla.) and Caroline Hensley (Chattanooga, Tenn.) as its Male and Female Athletes of the Month for July. The U.S. Junior Water Ski Team has been selected as Team of the Month. Worden, Hensley and the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team will now be eligible for the United States Olympic Committee's Athletes and Team of the Month honors.
“U.S. athletes Zack Worden and Caroline Hensley performed exceptionally well at the 2006 Junior Water Ski World Championships and at the Southern Regional Water Ski Championships in July,” said Andy Jugan, executive director of USA Water Ski. “I congratulate them for their remarkable individual accomplishments as well as the members of the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team on earning the silver medal at the Junior Worlds.”
Worden was the lone U.S. athlete to win an individual gold medal at the 11th Junior Water Ski World Championships, July 20-23, in Moissac, France. He leapt 161 feet (49.2 meters) to earn the world title in Boys' jumping. Besides the Boys' world jumping title, Worden also placed fourth overall, sixth in slalom and eighth in tricks. At the 2006 Southern Regional Water Ski Championships, July 27-30, in Talking Rock, Ga., Worden placed first in Boys 3 jumping with a 173-foot-leap, first in tricks with 5,400 points and first overall. He also broke the Boys 3 regional jumping record at the event.
Hensley earned bronze medals in Girls' overall (2,760.95 points) and jumping (125 feet/38.0 meters), and placed fourth in tricks and fifth in slalom at the Junior Water Ski World Championships. At the Southern Regional Water Ski Championships, Hensley placed second in Girls 3 slalom with 4-1/2 at 35 feet off; second in tricks with 3,670 points; second in jumping with a 130-foot-leap; and second overall.
The U.S. Junior Water Ski Team earned the silver medal at the Junior Water Ski World Championships. The United States tallied 7,975.22 points at the biennial event. Host federation France won the gold medal, scoring 8,008.80 points. In addition to Worden and Hensley, other members of the 2006 U.S. Junior Water Ski Team were: Taylor Pavur (Santa Fe, Texas) and Storm Selsor (Fremont, Calif.). Lori Krueger was the coach of the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team and Jim Grew was the team manager. Selsor earned the silver medal in Boys' overall (2,563.41 points) after placing fifth in slalom, 11th in tricks and 10th in jumping; Pavur placed fifth overall, fourth in tricks, ninth in jumping and 11th in slalom.
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.