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October 19, 2003

ULM Water Ski Team Finishes Second in National Competition- Women's Team Places First

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Water Ski Team came in at second place overall during the 2003 National Collegiate Water Skiing Association (NCWSA) Competition held Thursday Oct. 16th through Saturday, Oct. 18th in Austin, Texas.

Though gaining the second highest team placement at nationals, scores from competition place the ULM women's team as national champions and the men's team as second in the nation. ULM's team held the 2002 national championship title. This was the Indian's 25th year to compete at nationals- they had previously won first place 17 years out of 25.

ULM's Water Ski Team coach and advisor, Bill Bagley, said the team had a chance to win it all right up to the end of competition. UL-Lafayette took home first place. "Lafayette had great scores in men's slalom, 3 of their guys skied personal bests. Our men's slalom team all reached their goals. We just had a couple of unlucky things happen. Our girls skied awesomely. Our men skied well, too. In the end, UL-Lafayette had guys doing things they had never done before at the collegiate level and that pushed them over the top. It seemed like everything went their way."

Speaking of the top winning team Bagley said, "It seemed like it was their year and that is part of the sport. I am very proud of my team. They did a fantastic job."

The 25th anniversary of the NCWSA National Collegiate Water Ski Championships started off late on Thursday due to fog on the water. Still, Louisiana Monroe's Regina Jaquess took first place in woman's slalom (2 @ 11.25m). ULM's Thomas Degasperi tied for third place (1.5 @ 10.75m) in men's slalom.

In the women's jump event, the Indian's Regina Jaquess won the title with a distance of 137'. Louisiana-Monroe teammates Luisa Zettinig (134') placing second and Breanne Wagner (123') placed fourth. In the men's jump event, Louisiana-Monroe's Ryan Dodd tied for a second place spot (117').

Placing first in the women's tricks competition was again, ULM's Regina Jaquess. The Indian's Carly Clifton came in at third, while teammate Juanita Hernandez took the fourth spot. In the men's tricks event Louisiana-Monroe's Matt Curmi (4100) placed fifth.

Speaking right after the results of the nationals were announced, Bagley said, "We are already looking forward to next year with the team and we have already turned our focus to next year. We have been discussing what we need to work on and which spots we need to fill on the team. The members of the team and I want to thank the administration, student body, community and everyone that has supported us over the last year."

Members of the ULM Water Ski Team are students Joey Blakley, Matt Curmi, Thomas Degasperi, Olivier Fortamps, Juanita Hernandez, Jason Hutchins, Renee Jaquess, Regina Jaquess, James Lefebvre, Tyler McDermeit, Frederico Minelli, Brooke Osis, Josh Seale, Ryan Dodd, Breanne Wagner, Louisa Zettinig and Carly Clifton.

The top three placements at national competition were the University of Louisiana at Lafayette- first place, the University of Louisiana at Monroe- second place, and Arizona State University ­ third place. Many teams from all over the country including Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Michigan competed at the three - day event.

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Click here to see 2003 team picture.

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