2017 Great Plains Conference Championshiip

Wisconsin Madison Wins as Great Plains Conference Sends Eight Teams to 2017 Midwest Regionals

UW-Milwaukee (Instagram) captures the tournament scene.

The Great Plains Conference Tournament is in the books (finally), and 8 teams from the plains punched a ticket to the Midwest Regionals in Decatur, Illinois, this weekend. With a relentless sun and temperatures breaking 90 degrees, skiers from 16 different teams, 13 competing for a spots at Regionals, descended upon Dream Lakes Estates in Huxley, Iowa–practice site for the Iowa State Water Ski Team. With all the amazing weather, thoughts on how to best have fun in the water eventually lead to water slides. At the Great Lakes Conference site they have a stationary water slide on site, the Great Plains skiers got together and improvised to get their sliding fun in the sun.

250 skiers, two lakes, one weekend, no big deal, right?!?

The Iowa State University (Instagram) ladies placed 1st in women’s A jump.

With just under 250 students skiing during the weekend, the Great Plains was lucky enough to be skiing at a site with two lakes. Both the men and women were up early Saturday morning with men slaloming on the west lake and women jumping on the east lake. Making it on the podium for men’s slalom are: 1. Hunter Duffy (LAX)- 4 buoys, 32 off @ 36mph; 2. Jarad Meyer (MAD)- 1 buoy, 22 off @ 36mph; 3. Brandon Regester (KAN)- 4 buoys, 22 off @ 36mph. The top three women jumpers are: 1. Nikki Weber (MOS)- 65ft; 2. Amber Aho (IWS)- 57ft; 3. Madeline Garrison (MAD)- 54ft

After men’s slalom and women’s jump, B-Team skiers took over the two lakes, giving A-Team skiers a chance to watch women’s B jump (or fall) and men’s B slalom. The schools competing brought such an incredible amount of B-Team skiers that men’s B slalom had to be stopped at 5:30 p.m. so men’s and women’s A trick could stay on schedule. With three boats running constantly, 4 rounds of women’s trick and 3 rounds of men’s trick were completed before skiers were kicked off the water for the evening.

New Great Plains Conference Board

Skiers dressed in animal pairs from Noah’s Ark. Not too difficult for the UW-La Crosse ski-gles to pull off!

Representatives from each team, dressed as animals from Noah’s Ark, made their way to the tent for Great Plains Conference Exec Board elections. The new execs are:

  • Chair: Erin Vespestad (Iowa State)
  • Vice Chair: Hunter Duffy (Wisconsin – La Crosse)
  • Treasurer: Ben Bye (Iowa State)
  • Secretary: Natalie Marcus (Wisconsin – La Crosse)

You can look forward to reading more about these leaders in later articles posted on the NCWSA website.

AM Tricking, Ugh

UW-Madison’s Jarad Meyer goes for it on trick. He took 2nd in the event.

Trick skiers were off the dock bright and early at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning and finished in record time. Women’s A Slalom took over the west lake and men’s A and B jump would keep the east lake busy until 5:00 p.m.

The top finishers in men’s A trick are: 1. Dan Greene (KAN)-1840 pts; 2. Jarad Meyer (MAD)-1610 pts; 3. Hunter Duffy (LAX)- 970 pts. Women’s trick finishers are: 1. Amanda Rippel (KST)- 1260 pts; 2. Abby Hamilton (KAN)- 1040 pts; 3. Ellie Staver (KAN)- 680 pts.

Men’s jump… For regionals! Time to #sendit

Kansas’ Dan Greene knows how to #sendit and booted a 132-foot jump to take 1st.

As usual, men’s jump was a spectacle to see, especially with a lovely head wind leading to a couple scary falls. Luckily, no injuries were reported, and four men broke 100 ft. Top three men’s jumpers were: 1. Dan Greene (KAN)- 132 ft; 2. Cameron Baxter (IWS)- 124 ft; 3. Laken Downes (KAN)- 115 ft. Women’s slalom results are: 1. Erin Vespestad (IWS)- 4 buoys, 28 off @ 34mph; 2. Amanda Rippel (KST)- 2 buoys, 15 off @ 34mph; and tied for 3rd: Abby Hamilton (KAN) and Ellie Staver (KAN)- 1.5 buoys, 15 off @ 34mph.

Combined Team Results

Despite a great season from the entire Great Plains Conference, only the top eight teams will represent the conference at P.I.T.S. Ski Lake in Decatur, Illinois for the 2017 Midwest Regional Championship; good luck to the top eight that qualified!

  1. University of Wisconsin – Madison (MAD): 10,895 pts
  2. University of Kansas (KAN): 9,485 pts
  3. University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (LAX): 9,190 pts
  4. Missouri State University (MOS): 8,955 pts
  5. Iowa State University (IWS): 8,505 pts
  6. University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL): 7,385 pts
  7. Kansas State University (KSU): 5,265 pts
  8. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MIL): 5,165 pts
  9. University of Missouri (MIZ): 4,540 pts
  10. Marquette University (MAR): 4,440 pts
  11. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (WEC): 3,030 pts
  12. University of Wisconsin – Stout (WST): 3,000 pts
  13. University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (WSP): 2,445 pts
  14. University of Iowa (IOW)
    University of Minnesota (MIN)
    University of Wisconsin – Platteville (WPL)

Ski you next weekend! The scorebook from the Great Plains Conference Championship can be found here.




Margaret Silhasek

Lake-loving Minnesota girl who bleeds Husker Red!