Most Improved Skier

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    the MCWSA
    the MCWSA

    To get better at anything, it takes consistent practice. Trial and error. Failing and overcoming those failures. In water skiing, this is especially true – the number of times you have to fall on each new trick is often a serious barrier to an individual’s progress.

    Who do you think was the most improved skier over this past season?


    Kelly Reeve

    Allison Thomas – She had never skied before the season, but by the end, she jumped and tricked at nationals. She also skied all three events throughout the season and always had a positive attitude.


    Ben Brannan

    Sam Reifsteck (Ohio State)

    Sam closed out his freshman year on the team like many rookie skiers: running the course at 26 mph and plopping in the mid-40s. But he was so excited about the sport that he spent most of the summer coaching at a ski school, and came back for his sophomore year a total stud!

    Sam is Ohio State’s newest century club member, jumping 103 ft at Nationals — a 58 ft improvment! He is now ranked 11th in the region, starting from scratch.

    Although he didn’t quite make the OSU slalom team, Sam has also been working hard to improve in that event. He has picked up 4 passes since last season, and can now run the course at 34 mph.

    That said, his flips still need a bit of work…


    Kevin Dammeyer

    Sam Reifsteck (OHS)

    Sam’s improvement and impact on the team were crazy. I have never seen a person more eager about learning to fly then him. Sam is a testament to Midwest Collegiate waterskiing in his attitude and his drive to improve. Improving 58 ft in a year is nuts, some people never even learn to go 58 ft in all four years of their college career.


    Riley Daulton

    Sam Reifsteck of the Ohio State Buckeyes!

    Sam’s story is kind of a fairy tale. He chose to come to Ohio State kind of randomly, and has became a part of our water ski family so quickly! Sam’s willingness to listen and ability to be coached have taken him from someone who learned how to ride over the ramp to being a member of the century club in 2 seasons! Sam loves the sport and his eagerness to water ski will keep him competing after college. We need more skiers like Sam!


    Samuel Reifsteck

    Gegan Milroy, Ohio State

    When gegan joined the team last year, she had zero skiing experience. By the end of this past summer, gegan was running slalom passes, tricking like a champ, and even facing off against Big Red again! Her drive to improve is amazing!


    Mark Anderson

    Matt Lewandowski, Nebraska

    Matt’s first two seasons on the team found him with what you would expect of a skier who is learning the ropes. He had never landed a jump, could barely pick up a ball in slalom, and struggled to ride a trick ski.
    After a summer of hard work, Matt found his stride on the lake. He was running passes at 28mph, tricking 380points, and landing a jump at 71 feet. Matt also improved as a member on the Nebraska team becoming the Vice President. Anyone who knows Matt can attest to his love for the sport, and his excitement to gain new experiences through the sport.


    Brad Eick

    Miranda Monroe – Michigan State

    A junior, this was Miranda’s first year on the team and first year in any sort of competitive skiing. Flashback to the beginning of summer; she could not run the course, didn’t know what a trick ski was, and obviously had never seen (let alone gone over) a ramp.

    Well here we are 8 months later and I am not at all surprised how much she improved. Slaying buoys at 32mph, picking up some of the basic tricks (290 pts), and landing jumps over 40 ft! She is so hooked, probably asking herself why she didn’t join two years ago!


    Ellie Marie Staver

    Allison Thomas, KU

    She’d never skiied before this season and by the end of the season was killing it off the jump and doing tricks we didnt even tell her to do!


    Katie Ellerhorst

    Sam Reifsteck – OSU

    I 100% stand by what everyone else from OSU has said about Sam. He is an extremely hard worker in school and in skiing. I don’t know how he does it, but he is able to successfully take engineering courses while skiing and driving the boat about 3-4 times a week. When Same first joined the team, he fell in love with jump and just wanted to fly. After working at a ski school this past summer, Sam impressed everyone on our team. He went from a rookie jumper to someone who, without fail, would jump 80+ feet. He had great form and always looked strong and confident. Sam became one of our key skiers this season and even joined the century club after only jumping for a year!


    Sara Condra

    Miranda Monroe, Michigan State

    Miranda deserves most improved skier because she not only improved her own skiing abilities, she improved the abilities of Michigan State’s team as a whole. Miranda met members that were living in East Lansing this past summer and fell in love with skiing immediately. She dedicated every moment that she was not either working or studying to be on the boat, learning everything she could. Miranda went from not knowing what competitive skiing was, to being 3rd round everything on our A team and competing to help up qualify for nationals. I admire Miranda in the fact that she can do absolutely anything she puts her mind to, and proved it this collegiate season. Our team would not have been as successful as it was without Miranda joining and I know she will only get better and better as time goes on.


    Nick Ostrander

    Sam Reifsteck (Ohio State)


    Alex Clark

    Jessica Carroll

    A definite sleeper in this category as no one has mentioned her, but I advise you all to read everything I am about to say about her very carefully. Jessica Carroll joined the MSU team her freshman year without any knowledge or competitive ability in waterskiing. She could barely get up on a slalom ski and had never seen the trick or jump event. Slowly but surely Jessica improved behind the scenes, and year after year she picked up buoys, points, and feet. She worked her way from having barely enough skill to get up on a slalom ski to PLACING FOURTH OVERALL IN THE 2016 MIDWEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. From virtually no competitive waterskiing ability to top 5 in the Midwest??? Are you kidding me??

    The most impressive part about Jessica’s improvements is that you never would guess that she is such a solid overall competitor. Jessica competes in all 3 events with modesty and humility, and then spends her downtime behind the camera or cheering on ALL of the Midwest skiers.

    I assure you there is no one more deserving of this award. 0 to 100 in four years and not a bragging bone in her body. It’s an accomplishment in itself to improve as quickly as she did, but to get to the top of the competition while carrying herself with the same humility that she did when she was a beginner. Jessica Carroll, you are a superstar.


    Nikki Weber

    John Disterhaupt (Missouri State)

    John, a sophomore joined the team last year, being someone who had never seen 3 event skiing in his life, being a weekend wakeboarder. After his first tournament John was hooked, but his freshman year never landed a single jump, only ran the slalom course once, and tricking only a hundred averagely. After a summer of hard work, John now lands 50 foot jumps for the team, consistently runs passes at 30mph and has stepped up tremendously on the water, taking on managing the keeping and care of the team boat and helping others new to the team teaching them everything he knows. John has been integral in the rebuilding of the Missouri State water ski team, I’m glad to have him as a teammate.

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