On September 9th and 10th, collegiate skiers and alumni from around the country (mostly West Coast, with a few Team Midwest imports) gathered at Sundown Lake in Newberry Springs, CA for the 2nd Annual Western Collegiate Water Ski Alumni Regionals. Dogs ran freely along the shore, and competitors mingled under easy-ups, enjoying the unexpectedly cool weather (editor’s note: it was mid 80’s with a good breeze). All of the stress of work and adult responsibilities were left at the gate, so people could enjoy a relaxing weekend at the lake. Some of the older alumni brought their children, who spent hours swimming in the water and cheering on their parents from shore.
The first day was filled with fun as we worked through slalom and trick events. In the collegiate group, Ty Vaio of Cal Poly and Kari McCollum of San Diego State took first in slalom, but the surprise of the day was put on by Alex York who ran a pass for the first time ever in a collegiate tournament! Unfortunately, by running his opening pass the rest of the tournament attendees lost out on the evening entertainment of shaving Alex’s head 🙁 (oh well maybe later in the season). The alumni took the water next, and although many ran passes, there was definitely a fishing hole around 3 ball that lead to the unfortunate ending to many slalom passes. For the alumni, Steven Brooks of Arizona State and Connie Bergmark of San Diego State took home top honors in slalom.
We Love Our Smiley Face Judge! 🙂 🙁
Moving on to tricks, we decided to let some alumni go first so they could judge the remainder of the event. After seeing the first few skiers with big runs and flips, many of the small children were wondering what happened as the trick skiing took a downward turn for the collegiate group and many of the alumni. One aspiring judge sat with the event judges to hand out frowns and smiley faces for trick passes! San Diego State current skier Kari McCollum netted two smiley faces, one for her swimsuit and one for her flip attempt! While San Diego State alumnus Newt Cutcliffe received three sad faces for his two passes. We appreciate the honesty in her judging!
For the college group Ty Vaio of Cal Poly took first with a pass of 1120 points in men’s trick, and Kari McCollum took first in the women’s event. As for the alumni, Steven Brooks tricked the most points for the men, putting up a two pass score of 5,540 points, and Connie Bergmark narrowly outscored Ashleigh Wallace putting up 1,970 to Ashleigh’s 1,710.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Chairman
On Saturday night at midnight (CDT) we surprised Jeff Rush with an icy Russian gift before heading to the tents early, because the old folk can’t stay up all night like they used to.
Jump Day! #sendit
On Sunday, we celebrated jump day as collegiate kids and alumni threw themselves at big red. The college kids went first, and Kari McCollum was first off the dock and jumped her way into the century club with a leap of 100 feet! Kari’s jump netted her first place and secured her women’s overall win as well. For the collegiate men, Ty Vaio jumped to first place with a leap of 124 feet that also helped secure his men’s overall win!
As for the alumni, it can always be interesting to see who challenges the slanted enchanted if they have not hit the ramp for awhile. Nothing to fear at this alumni tournament, as every single alumni jumper landed a jump!
Now the final team results!
San Diego State Alumni finished first, followed by University of California, Los Angeles in 2nd, University of California, San Diego in 3rd, Arizona State University in 4th, and Cal Poly San Louis Obispo in 5th. All of the proceeds from the tournament were donated to the current collegiate teams in the Western Region.
Thanks to Jeff Rush for throwing an amazing birthday party masked as a water ski tournament, and Ty Vaio for helping with all the short notice planning. (Rush is already planning next year!) Special thanks to Chuck Dickey for letting us use his boat, and the Sundown Homeowners for letting us use the site!
Final Team Results
- San Diego State University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, San Diego
- Arizona State University
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- Texas A&M University
- Iowa State University
- HARWOODS Family
- Stanford University
- California State University, Chico
- University of California, Davis
- University of San Diego
- Marquette University
- Long Beach State University
View the scorebook on USA Water Ski’s website.