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October 1, 2004

Two ULM Skiers Break Records at Regional Tournament

Team Prepares for Nationals

Two University of Louisiana at Monroe water skiers broke records during a recent tournament in Texas. Regina Jacquess jumped 152 feet, breaking her previous record of 147 feet and Ryan Dodd became the first men's athlete to break the 200-foot barrier off of a 5-foot ramp (32 mph) in a collegiate tournament.

Both records were set during the 2004 National Collegiate Water Ski Association's (NCWSA) South Central Regional Championships held September 25-26 in Austin.

USA Water Ski reported: "Jaquess, of Suwanee, Ga., jumped 152 feet to become the first women's athlete to eclipse the 150-foot mark off of a 5-foot ramp (32 mph) in a collegiate tournament. The mark shattered the current record of 147 feet that Jaquess established as a freshman at the 2001 Collegiate Water Ski National Championships in Austin. Jaquess now owns two of the three NCWSA women's records. She set the slalom record of 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off at the 2003 Collegiate All-Stars Water Ski Championships in Ahoskie, N.C."

USA Water Ski also reported: Dodd, from Canada, "leaped 201 feet to eclipse the mark of 193 feet set by Ryan Fitts at the 1999 Collegiate Nationals in Sacramento, Calif."

Overall, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette won the tournament with ULM coming in second and the University of Texas claiming the 3rd Division I slot. Texas A&M and Texas State will represent the Region in Division II at the Nationals.

In addition to breaking records, the ULM water skiers are preparing for their biggest event of the year, nationals. The 2004 National Collegiate Water Ski Championships will be held in Zachary, Louisiana, October 14-16.

"Nationals is in two weeks and we are training really hard," Jacquess, said. "We placed second behind Lafayette (in the Regionals). They have a strong team but we are preparing and as long as we start the tournament off well, we should be fine," said Jacquess.

Jacquess, along with other teammates, are encouraged by the support of family and friends that will be present at the National tournament. "Everyone's parents are going and a lot of friends are going to go to the tournament too. We should have a big crowd," she said

The ULM water-ski team consists of captains, Regina Jacquess and Matt Curmi and teammates, Juanita Hernandez, Carly Clifton, Breanne Wagner, Natalia Berdnikava, Jason Hutchins, Thomas Degasperi, Ryan Dodd, Tyler Collins, Kyle Damman, and Ian Trapp.

Earlier this semester ULM skiers participated as part of the United States Team in the 2004 FISU World University Water Ski Championships, September 2-4 in Balakovo, Russia. The U.S. Team got the gold, defeating runner-up Russia and third-place finisher, Australia. The U.S. team consisted of six members that were selected by the NCWSA's International Activities Committee. Of those six members, four were from ULM. They were Joey Blakely, Matt Curmi, Regina Jacquess, and Carly Clifton.