January 10, 2020 at 12:03 am #53400
What team had the biggest improvement, the largest growth, or posted massive scores? Nominate a team below, and let us know why you think they deserve the award!January 10, 2020 at 7:13 pm #53407
(Written by Mallin and a bit by Joey for NCWSA Awards… I just couldn’t have said it better!)
2019 was a huge year for the Bearcats. I’ve been around for 4 years now, and seeing the incredible individual and team growth that UC put together this season was unbelievable. Our 2018 season ended abruptly and disappointingly, but it truly set a fire under our feet to come back better and stronger the next year. We accomplished quite a bit in such a quick turn-around.
The annual alumni banquet in February successfully raised thousands of dollars from our generously donated auction items. The team returned to Lucky Lowe’s Ski School for spring break training for the first time in years. Multiple skiers competed in and helped officiate the Spring Fest tournament at Swerve. In April, the team walked the Nippert Stadium track for hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society in UC’s Relay for Life. We volunteered at the Flying Pig Marathon with the relay teams.
Two skiers, Austin Bolger and Clare Knecht, represented UC and Team Midwest at All-Stars, where Clare set a new school jump record at 71 feet! We transitioned to a new full-time home lake this year, Skier’s Runway in Harrison, Ohio and practiced all summer. We hosted a youth adaptive ski clinic in conjunction with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and On The Edge foundation for the first time and plan to make it a tradition. Many Bearcats also traveled up to Columbus to help run the Ampuski event hosted at White Sulfur in Ostrander, Ohio. In August, we held our annual alumni tournament and introduced another auction with items donated thanks to the crafty, artsy Allie Steele. We also had members participate in AWSA sanctioned three event tournaments all throughout the summer.
Once the collegiate season kicked off, UC skiers were at the forefront of supporting tournaments. At our first tournament, the Southern Ohio Challenge, UC and its alumni were the main sources of judges, scorers, safeties, drivers and dock starters throughout the weekend. As the season continued, UC kept on supporting tournaments as officials, announcers, and boat cleanup at the end of each weekend. Cruises Creek in Walton, Kentucky hosted regular fall practices as well, thanks to the alumni Rouse Family.
Once tournament season rolled around, we boosted some impressive scores and had skiers in the top ten every tournament. Allie became the second ever female Bearcat to join the shortline club, just 2 buoys away from breaking the school record. Curtis Kolb joined shortline as well, making him the first new male addition in years. The team nailed 5th place at Great Lakes Conference Where Curtis tied for 2nd in slalom. Braving tornado winds in Decatur, the team managed 7th place at Midwest Regionals. Mallin Blaxall took 3rd in jump, 3rd in slalom, and 2nd in Women’s overall and Curtis took 3rd in slalom at regionals. Sneaking into the last wildcard spot sent us on our way to Nationals.
This was our 11th Nationals in 12 years, following a straight decade from 2008-2017. 11 Bearcats took off for Rio Linda, bringing our small but mighty team that carried us all year to Nationals and took home 8th in DII, ahead of our seed. Curtis placed 3rd in slalom, missing 1st by only a single buoy. Every single jumper PB-ed or matched their PB, including a monster 74’ jump on a wakeboard for Brayden Patton. In early November, we officially wrapped up our season when we helped pull the jump out and tie up loose ends at the lake for the winter. Now we are transitioning into focusing on academics and resting up for next season. GO CATSJanuary 20, 2020 at 9:03 pm #53433
IU has been consistently growing with each season. This year was the second year that they made it to the Regional tournament. We admire their determination and desire to improve and grow as a team. To have that much growth and success in such a short amount of time is a huge testament to their skiers in and out of season. Who ever said there was an IU-Purdue rivalry was lying, off the water that is…..
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