Published on Saturday, 21 December 2013 08:56
USA Water Ski and its nine sport discipline organizations are pleased to announce respective award recipients for 2013. Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.) and Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) have been selected USA Water Ski’s 2013 Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively. The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team earned USA Water Ski’s 2013 Team of the Year honors.
Bill Bowness (Brandon, Miss./Truckee, Calif.) is the recipient of USA Water Ski's Award of Merit, the organization’s highest award for a volunteer. In addition, Matt Oberholtz (Oroville, Calif.), the coach of the 2013 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team, was selected USA Water Ski's National Coach of the Year, and Libby Van Treese (Sidney, Ohio) was named USA Water Ski's Volunteer Coach of the Year. Nicole Baird (Covington, La.) was selected the Volunteer of the Year, and Todd Haig (Redlands, Calif.) was named the recipient of the organization's That's Incredible Award for 2013. The USA Water Ski Awards Committee selected the USA Water Ski award winners.
USA Water Ski and its respective sport discipline organizations will honor several athletes, coaches, volunteers and ambassadors at its annual awards reception on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall in Haines City, Fla. The reception, which celebrates the 2013 water ski season, will be held in conjunction with USA Water Ski's mid-winter board meetings for the 14th consecutive year. It also will be the kickoff event for the 75th anniversary celebration for USA Water Ski.
Regina JaquessJaquess, selected USA Water Ski's Female Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year and seventh time in her career, won gold medals in women’s slalom and overall at the 2013 Water Ski World Championships, and help lead the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team to the overall team gold medal. She also won titles in 2013 at the Diablo Shores Pro-Am (slalom), GOODE Water Ski National Championships (slalom, tricks, jumping and overall), World Games (slalom and jumping), Malibu Open (slalom), Atlanta Pro-Am (slalom) and Masters (slalom).
Nate SmithSmith, selected USA Water Ski’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year, won the gold medal in men’s slalom at the 2013 Water Ski World Championships and contributed valuable points to the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team’s gold-medal winning performance. Smith also won titles in 2013 at the GOODE Water Ski National Championships, Diablo Shores Pro-Am, MasterCraft Pro Water Ski Shootout, Malibu Open, Atlanta Pro-Am and Orlando Extreme Watersports Fest. He also set a new men’s world slalom record of 2-1/2 buoys at 43 feet off at the Ski Ranch Fall 1 on Sept. 7 at the Ski Ranch in Covington, La.
The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team won the overall team gold medal and three team members combined to win four individual gold medals in respective events at the 33rd Water Ski World Championships, Nov. 26-Dec. 1, at Lago Los Morros in San Bernardo, Chile. The United States tallied 8,248.66 points in winning the gold medal for the 26th time in the history of the biennial event. Members of the 2013 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team were: Scot Ellis (Auburndale, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), Alex Lauretano (Windermere, Fla.), Adam Pickos (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) and Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.). Jody Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.), Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, ill.) and Dr. Brad Harman (Cleburne, Texas) served as team manager, coach and physician, respectively. Lang (women's tricks), Jaquess (women's slalom and overall) and Smith (men's slalom) each won gold medals, and each set world championship records as well – Lang, 9,780 points in the elimination round; Jaquess, 1 buoy at 41 feet off in the elimination round and finals; and Smith, 5 buoys at 41 feet off in the elimination round. Ellis, Lauretano and Pickos also advanced to finals in respective events. Ellis placed 11th in men's jumping, Lauretano placed fourth in women's overall, fifth in jumping and seventh in tricks, and Pickos placed seventh in men's tricks.