Water ski team blows away competition at Bayou Classic

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Water ski team blows away competition at Bayou Classic

Martin Kolman

Martin Kolman

Martin Kolman

Martin Kolman

John Stevens

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The ULM Water ski hosted the 2016 Bayou Classic on Saturday, which featured colleges from Texas and Arkansas as well as in-state rival UL-Lafayette.

The event was held on Bayou Desiard right next to ULM’s campus where spectators sat on bleachers in Warhawk Heritage Park.

With many skiers fresh from the World Championships in Ja-

Martin Kolman

Martin Kolman – photo courtesy of ULM Athletics

pan, the talent level on the bayou Saturday featured some of the world’s best skiers.

The tournament started off with a slalom event in which the skiers weaved through the buoys.

One of ULM’s skiers, Alex King, talked about how his slalom performance was crucial to giving his team points.

“I skied pretty well for slalom. I kind of did what I needed to do for the team. It’s a pretty positive atmosphere, and everyone is trying to improve a little bit more,” King said.

Skiers have to make adjustments to the bayou and the different settings they will compete in around the country.

“Every lake that you go to, you have to make an adjustment. The biggest difference is the speed. When we do colligate, the speed gets different,” said King.

With a decreased speed, it can be harder to get more air in the jumping events. Besides the speed, the bayou can be a little difficult for skiers because of the surrounding wilderness. However, ULM skiers use this to their advantage when other colleges come to compete.

This season brings a couple of new faces to the Warhawk’s Water Ski team. Recently hired head coach Joey McNamara looks to take over the reigns and continue the success of the 26 time national champion program.

Some may think that the ULM Water Ski team is rebuilding with new freshmen on the team, but members of the team prefer the term, reloading. Highly skilled recruits will help the future of the team and the program as a whole.

McNamara says he really is happy with how the ski team has been supported by the surrounding community.

“I’ve only been here for a little over a month now, but the Monroe ski community has come up to introducing me. If we can give back to Monroe for what Monroe does to us, that’d be great.”

Besides the community as a whole, fellow students and athletes from other sports showed up Saturday to encourage their ULM water ski team.

“It’s been amazing, we’ve had people from classes, and the volleyball team was out here earlier cheering us on,” said Sara Westerland, a member of the women’s team.

Westerland also talked about how the team is preparing for regionals and getting their pre-competition jitter out of the way.

“It’s been a good transition. We’re trying to work on everything ready for tournaments, like nerves and control,” Westerland said.

Regionals will be held at Lakes of Katy in Katy, Texas on October 1st and 2nd. After regionals, the team will turn it’s attention towards Nationals, which will be held the following weekend in El Centro, California.