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June 2, 2002

ULM Students Part Of First- Ever U.S. University Water Ski Team

The National Collegiate Water Ski Association announces the first- ever U.S. University Team, consisting of six skiers plus two alternates. Four members of the University of Louisiana at Monroe water-ski team are members of the U.S. University Team. The U.S. University Team will be going to China in August to compete in the World University Championships.

Team members are: Skiers Regina Jacquess, ULM; Jimmy Siemers, ASU; Joey Blakely, ULM; Justin Allen, University of Alabama; Tarah Benzel, Rollins College; Marcus Brown, California State Chico. Alternates are Matt Curmi, ULM; and Renee Jacquess, ULM. The entourage includes Jeff Surdej and Robert Thayer, team managers, and Cory Pickos, team coach.

"We have a wonderful team representing the United States," said U.S. University Team Manager, Robert Thayer. "Based on the results of the team trials we picked the top men's and women's overall skiers, the next best overall skier, the two competitors that placed the highest in two events overall, and also one event specialist."

"We are very proud of ULM's Water Ski Team. They have won the National Championship 16 out of the past 21 years. As you can see, ULM is the only team that even has more than one member on the All-Star Team, we have four," said Bill Bagley, ULM Water Ski Coach.

The team will compete in Tianjin, China August 22 to the 25th for the University World Team title, as well as individual titles.

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