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October 19, 2004

World Ski Champion at ULM

Student and water skier Regina Jaquess wins so many medals a year that it is hard to keep count. Regina Jaquess' career medal tally in international competition is 54. Jaquess, a junior at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, also recently won the 2003 Women's world overall title.

"The ultimate achievement in this sport is capturing the world overall title," said Jaquess "nothing in this sport can compare to winning the world overall title."

Jaquess earned gold medals in women's slalom and overall at the 2004 International University Sport Federation (FISU) World University Water Ski Championships, held earlier this year Sept. 2-4, in Balakovo, Russia. She helped lead the U.S. team to the gold medal at the tournament. Jaquess also shattered the National Collegiate Water Ski Association's jumping record at the NCWSA's South Central Regional Championships, Sept. 25-26, at the Aquaplex in Austin, Texas.

In 2003, Jaquess broke the National Collegiate Women's Slalom record. In 2002 and again in 2004, she crushed the National Collegiate Women's Jump record. She is a World-Class Water Ski Athlete, a World Trick Champion, and Member of the World Champion Team USA. She is also 2002 World University Champion Slalom, Trick, Jump, and Overall Skier; and the 2002/2001 U.S. Open Trick and Overall Champion. Jaquess was also named Athlete of the Year in 2001.

Jaquess is a pre-pharmacy major at ULM who finds time for both school and competing.
"I put my studies first in the order of priorities," said Jaquess.

Jaquess chose to attend ULM over many other offers and she said she does not regret her decision. She said she loves the close-knit community of ULM and Monroe. She also said she is thankful to be able to attend a school in which her professors and the university president develop a relationship with students. She said ULM President James Cofer is supportive and would do anything for his students. Jaquess' professors are very flexible and understanding of her skiing.

"There is no way that I would be able to have such a demanding tournament schedule and go to school if it were not for the support of the faculty at ULM," said Jaquess.

Jaquess is from Swanee, Ga., where she began skiing at age 2. She began competing at age 5, and she broke her first national record for girls at age 8. Jacquess continuously broke national records thereafter. As a teen, she moved to Florida to live with her coach for three years. This experience helped her move on to be the top woman's skier in the world.

Jaquess is hardly oblivious to all of her accomplishments.

"It makes you realize all the effort and all the time you put in," said Jaquess, "it makes you feel like all of this is worth it."

Jaquess said she plans on competing professionally for many years to come, and is in no rush to graduate. She said she is excited to be world champion.

"Life is not any different now that I am the world overall champion, but I am definitely thrilled to have the title at this point in my career," said Jaquess, "and I am looking forward to competing for years to come."

Jaquess took home the women's overall title at the 2004 National Collegiate Water Ski Association Tournment held in Zachary, La. She placed first in women's slalom. The ULM Water Ski Team won the National Collegiate Title for the 18th time at the tournament held Oct. 15-17.

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