Over the next few months, we will be checking in with the current NCWSA record holders.
Previously we caught up with Lauren Morgan, this week we check in with her record holding counterpart Zack Worden (Instagram), alumnus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) (Instagram | Facebook). Zack was a skier on the 2009 and 2011 ULM National Championship winning teams. Zack currently holds the Men’s Jump Record of 195 feet (59.5 meters). He broke the record at the 2011 NCWSA National Championships at Tri Lakes in Zachary, Louisiana (a.k.a. Bennett’s)–the same tournament where Lauren Morgan broke the Women’s Jump Record!
Zack is currently a pro skier, and he signed with Nautique Boats during his second year of college. Zack says this “has allowed me to chase my dream of being a pro jumper.” He currently has 5 professional wins under his belt with over 20 podium finishes. Zack is currently finishing his marketing degree at University of Central Florida while continuing his pro career. Zack would love to work in the industry after his career comes to end: “I love this sport and I want to continue to give back to it!”
Reflecting on his time at ULM, Zack says, “Skiing with a team of 20+ people can be a nightmare, but it was truly something amazing. Squeezing into a van and driving 10 hours to compete may sound like a pain, but it brought us all closer together as a team. We ate, trained, roomed, and hung out together all semester. I was part of an amazing family from all over the world; you don’t get a chance to do that very often. Being a record holder only makes me miss college more. It’s the last thing I have to hold onto. It’s no easy task to break a record, because so many pro skiers have been part of the NCWSA. Being able to break the record at Nationals in front of everyone made it even better… boy do I miss it!”
Zack certainly seems to try to keep in touch with the NCWSA, and has become somewhat of a regularly at Team Midwest’s Winter Conference. He has lead sessions as a pro skier fives times in the last six years!
As you might guess, NCWSA Nationals is Zack’s favorite event. Waking up at 7 a.m. to cheer on the first skier of the day, and staying lake side until the last skier finishes at 7 p.m. is like no other tournament. This tournament brings you closer to your team and friends from other teams.
I’ll leave you with Zack’s parting words: “If you haven’t experienced collegiate skiing, then you truly missed out on something great!” I am sure we all agree with him, but if you haven’t been to one in awhile, reinvigorate your passion by attending one this year!