Home Forums 2018 SkiAmmy’s Most Improved Team or 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 the past season? It could be a team or an individual!

    Sara Condra

    U of I has been in the growth stage for many previous seasons. It was SO exciting to watch them qualify for the first time ever to attend Midwest Collegiate Regional s. They are the perfect example of what hard work, dedication, and consistency can get you.

    Everyone obviously gets pumped when their team qualifies and moves on, but I will never forget the looks on the skiers faces when their school name got announced over that mic. So many hugs, so much adrenaline, and so much pride for their school and for midwest skiing.

    Even when they did not qualify for nationals, UI still were reaching out to other midwest teams, offering their site for practices on the way. This team is young, but they are driven and with how much they have improved in the past year, I expect nothing but greatness in the years to come.

    Kudos to Lauren Goldman for being at the forefront of her squad and being a great leader for this team.

    Hunter Duffy

    Evan Marcus – La Crosse

    Over the past two years I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to ski with Evan everyday and watch him improve his skills. Last year, Evan finished off his freshman season being a solid 3-event skier but he believed that he wanted to take his skills to the next level and that’s exactly what he did. He was able to heavily improve his scores in not just one event but all three. In jump, he was able to improve his PB from 71 feet last year to joining the century club and jumping 103 feet, that’s over a 30ft improvement in one year. This is a huge improvement in just one year, especially when LAX does not have a jump at our practice site where we can practice long distance jumping! In trick, he ended last year with a PB of 770 points and this year at nationals he was able to break the 1000 point barrier with a pass worth 1,040. In slalom he ended last season with a PB of 2@22off 36mph. He ended this last season with a best of 3@28off 36mph. Improving your personal best by over a full pass in one season is not an easy thing to do. Evan has put in so much time and effort to learn more and more about the 3-event world. He has improved an amazing amount this previous season and he is someone that is more than qualified to earn this award.

    Anjelica Werning

    Olivia Neitzke -Western Michigan University

    Olivia joined the team last fall shortly before tournaments started and it was easy to see her passion and how quickly she fell in love with waterskiing. Olivia was the first girl to respond to me after sending out a mass text message to 65 girls and continued to show her dedication throughout the season. Olivia was out on the water whenever she could be. She had never 3 event skied before this season and is already touching 3/4 ball and working hard to finish the course. Not to mention, Olivia also has a steady balance on a trick ski and is working on surface O’s already. In addition to slalom and trick, Olivia was always was eager to listen to constructive criticism about jump and by the last tournament, Olivia had landed her first jump! To never 3 event skiing to all of these major improvements in a short season is an excellent asset to our team and I can’t wait to see all the progress she will make these next coming seasons.

    Mark Coyne

    University of Illinois!

    Our team accomplished huge things last season. We went from being a dead team to to competing in our first tournament in 2 years and hosting the Midwest Regional. We grew from a team with 4 members to almost 20. For the first time in several years we held practices about once a week. Our freshman Anna Zallek landed all of her jump attempts at conference. She had never landed a jump prior to that day. Our team now has a social media following, social events and we are becoming a family. We have been continuing to become better skiers by holding workouts in the off season and our goal is to make regionals for the first time in 5 years next season.

    Evan Marcus


    Wow what an amazing year. I haven’t been apart team like this before. We had the most participation amongst a team in awhile. Everyone was outgoing and eager to help out and learn. We had so many new members join that hopped right into the action. we had a full mens team for the first time in awhile and a dominant woman’s team (check tourney scores they kill it). The group of skiers we had this year were always up for the first skier of the day till the last. Skigles lined the shores to support each other all year long. In one season we went from taking 4th in D2 to qualifying D1. Most importantly to highlight our season we had fun, lots and lots of fun.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Avatar Evan Marcus.

    UW – La Crosse

    Here we are, finishing our season with a D1 Nationals placement, doubling our team size, and looking ahead to greater and even more successful seasons. UWL Waterski, once a Midwest Regional Champ team long ago, has had a rough past five years. Not qualifying for Nationals in 2015, only having a three person men’s team in 2017, and every year struggling to even find a boat to use, we’ve endured it. But 2018 has been the year that we’ve seen all that hard work start to pay off. All the effort of rebuilding our executive board and ensuring it would not crumble again, promoting the team so we had more than nine skiers, working on sponsorships and fundraising to help cover the steep costs of waterskiing, all that work finally being molded into an accomplishment. An accomplishment in the form of a team. A team worth skiing for and cheering for, not just individuals seeking podium spots. A team who wakes up to cheer on their teammates at 8am dressed in maroon and gray, despite them personally not skiing for a few hours. A team who picks you up at the end of the lake after a tough crash. Sure we’ve had a few lucky breaks here and there, but truly, it has come down to our members loving the organization and wanting to see it thrive. An improved team, no doubt.

    Roy Hagglund


    Joey Gilroy

    Bowling Green

    The BGSU team took huge strides to improve their team this past offseason. Last year, they qualified for regionals and left with 14th place, this year when they went, they were 10 points from making their first ever trip to Nationals. Sam, Trace, and Ali worked so hard to get their team to improve in a huge way.
    Comparing last year to this one, I don’t see a team who has made as drastic of a jump as BGSU.

    Slalom: 2 people across both the men’s and women’s team were able to run a single pass at regionals last year, this year 7 of their skiers ran multiple passes in the tournament.

    Trick: Most members of BG’s team came close to doubling their trick score from last year.

    Jump: The Mollets are honestly one of the best beginner jump coaches that I know. They can get almost anybody to land a jump, and it showed throughout this season.

    I don’t see another team who has put in the work to grow their current squad into greater skiers the way that Bowling Green has this past year.

    Adam Koehler

    Sara did a great job providing a team nomination for Indiana University (just mentally change her UIs to IUs), but I would like to pick out one person from Indiana and nominate her individually.

    Sonja Popovich – Indiana University

    Slalom: 56 buoys. Trick: nope. Jump: No lands in tournament.

    Slalom: 65 buoys (+9 buoys!). Trick: 40 points. Jump: 69 feet!


    Chris Kownick – ISU

    Chris’ stats speak for themselves, but his hardworking personality speaks even louder. Chris spent huge amounts of time this summer working on improving his skiing as well as gaining an officials rating to help ISU during the season. He continues to find ways to improve himself and ISU (even being across the world for his first semester of President) without hesitation or complaint. Always asking questions when needed and willing to spend time learning the hard stuff, Chris’ attitude has lead him to drastic improvements.

    2017 -> 2018 Season
    Slalom: 54.5 -> 65 buoys
    Trick: 40 -> 460 points
    Jump: 73ft -> 83ft

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