Another Midwest Regionals is in the books, and six, possibly nine, teams will represent Team Midwest at the NCWSA National Championships at Bennett’s in Zachary, Louisiana. As a senior who unfortunately isn’t taking a victory lap, writing this recap is especially hard for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better last collegiate tournament, and I’m guessing a number of skiers out there can agree. The weather was perfect, the company even better, and the memories are sure to last a lifetime.
Unlike the first three tournaments of the season, Midwest Regionals lasts Friday-Sunday at P.I.T.S Ski Lake in Decatur, Illinois, which means an extra day of fun in the sun for the 16 teams competing. Skiers lounged on floating animals, soaking up the sun and incredible skiing.
First off the dock Friday morning was women’s slalom. What started off as a chilly morning gave way to great skiing conditions. The women of Miami Ohio placed first as a team with the following skiers making podium:
1. Kristen Dammeyer (OHS)- 2 buoys, 32 off @ 34mph
2. Erin Vespestad (IWS)- 1.5 buoys, 32 off @ 34mph
3. Sarah Condra (MST)- 2 buoys, 28 off @ 34mph
4. Camille Clark (PUR)- 5 buoys, 15 off @ 34mph
5. Amanda Rippel (KST) and Ellie Staver (KAN)- 2 buoys, 15 off @ 34mph
Men’s slalom was next with Ohio State University edging out Michigan State University by a mere 5 points (2,555 pts to 2,550 pts). Taking the top five spots in men’s slalom are:
1. Kevin Dammeyer (OHS)- 2 buoys, 38 off @ 36mph
2. Hunter Duffy (LAX)- 4.5 buoys, 32 off @ 36mph
3. Alex Clark (MST)- 2.5 buoys, 32 off @ 36mph
4. Sean Kulig (KAN)-2 buoys, 32 off @ 36mph
5. Jared Lutz (MOH)- 1.5 buoys, 32 off @ 36mph
With the completion of men’s slalom, skiers headed to the judges tower for a spaghetti supper!
Saturdays are for the Skiers
Saturday morning dawned bright and early with men’s trick. As usual, men’s trick was a spectacle to see with Wisconsin-Madison’s Jarad Meyer and Jose Luis Tejada battling it out for the top spot. Jarad Meyer would clinch the top spot of the podium with 2,520 pts and Purdue’s Jose Luis Tejada close behind with 2,390. The remaining top five placements are: 3. Brandon Regester (KAN)- 1540 pts; 4. Dan Greene (KAN)-1,520; 5. Andrew Shea (OHS)-1,480 pts.
The men would put away their skis for the day and let women take over with both women’s jump and trick. A number of Midwest ladies proved they know how to #SendIt. Nikki Weber (MOS) took 1st with a jump of 86ft–a 19 foot PB! 2. Amber Aho (IWS)-63 ft; 3. Margot Flowers (MOH)- 62 ft; 4. Sara Condra (MST) and Kristen Dammeyer (OHS)- 59ft.
Before the last jumper hit the ramp, ladies were already lining up on the dock for trick. With not one, not two, not three, but FOUR boats going women’s trick got done in record time. Similar to men’s slalom, the difference between the top two women’s team was only five points. University of Wisconsin- La Crosse ladies edged out University of Wisconsin-Madison with a total of 2,430 pts. The women’s trick podium also had the most people on it with four ladies tying for 4th place.
1. Kristen Dammeyer (OHS)- 1710 pts
2. Amanda Rippel (KST)- 1130 pts
3. Sara Condra (MST)- 890 pts
4. Jessica Carr (MST), Madeline Garrison (MAD), Cynthia Prentice (MAD), Katie Stenger (CIN)-660 pts
Saturday Night Food & Team Reports!
Once the boats were off the water, skiers enjoyed a fried chicken dinner, and captains got to meet for the annual Team Midwest regional captains meeting where they had the pleasure of listening to Team Mom Christy Kingsmill. During the meeting, teams have the opportunity to brag about things they’ve accomplished in the past year. Some notable accomplishments are:
- Madison bought a 2005 Pro Star 197 black and white (woo!!) and brought 38 skiers to the GP Conference tournament.
- Nebraska raised $5,000 working concessions at Pinnacle Bank Arena for UNL basketball games and concerts and volunteered at an adaptive water ski clinic at Championship Lake Estates. .
- Miami Ohio also bought and designed a 2017 Pro Star (Congrats you’re the most envied team in the Midwest)!
- Ohio State had a successful alumni tournament and raised about $6,000.
- UW Milwaukee made it to Regionals!!
- Iowa State helped with an adaptive water ski clinic at Dream Lakes Estates and also hosted the GP Conference tournament where 243 skiers attended.
- Bowling Green University bought a team trailer.
With all of the women’s events in the books, Sunday was strictly Men’s Jump, and let me tell you, it was an experience. There were a number of “passes” that didn’t quite make it around the jump and turned into some sketchy falls. Luckily, no serious injuries were reported, although I’m sure there were some sore muscles on Monday morning. University of Kansas freshman Dan Greene, a 1st place prospect, passed on his first two jumps, adding to the intensity of the competition. The freshman came in clutch and booted a jump of 133 feet to clinch first. The following podium finishes are: 2. Jose Luis Tejada (PUR)- 129 ft; 3. Cameron Baxter (IWS)- 126ft; 4. Laken Downes- 123 ft; 5. Jonathan Moss (PUR)- 102 ft.
After men’s jump, the teams that were able to stay made their way to the pavilion for the awards ceremony. The top six teams are guaranteed a spot at the NCWA National Championships at Bennett’s in Zachary, Louisiana, from October 19-21. The next three teams will be entered into a wild card tournament on October 9th.
In years past, Team Midwest has dominated the wild card tournament and usually sends all three teams. Be sure to look for the link to the wild card show here on NCWSA.com! Additionally, the women’s overall champion is The Ohio State’s Kristen Dammeyer and Purdue’s Jose Luis Tejada won the men’s overall championship. The two will serve as Team Midwest’s captains at the 2018 All-Stars tournament.
The final team results are below and the tournament scorebook can be found here.
- The Ohio State University
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Michigan State University
- Miami of Ohio
- University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
- University of Kansas
- University of Michigan
- Iowa State University
- University of Cincinnati
- Missouri State University
- Purdue University
- Grand Valley State University
- University of Nebraska
- Bowling Green State University
- Kansas State University
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Best of luck to the teams representing Team Midwest at Nationals!
Photos from the 2017 Midwestern Regional Championship
Photos courtesy of Molly Voska, Margaret Silhasek, Jill and Brian Smith via Christy Kingsmill, and several team Instagram accounts including Michigan State, Miami University, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan.