UL Lafayette water ski team reclaims national title

Local News
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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns water ski team recently won the Division 1 national title at the 37th Collegiate Water Ski National Championships.

The UL Lafayette team won all the men’s and women’s events, including slalom, tricks and jumping, which is a first in national championship history, according to Ryan Gonzales, its head coach and adviser.

It’s the sixth time UL Lafayette has taken the national title since the team was founded in 1988. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns teams earned national championships five other times: 1995, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2010.

The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 12,845 points to take the 2015 title. Florida Southern College finished second with 11,965 points. Defending-champions University of Louisiana at Monroe added up 11,375 points to place third. The University of Alabama finished fourth with 11,265 points.

The Division 1 field also included Cincinnati, Grand Valley State, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rollins College and San Diego State.

UL Lafayette athletes who won individual Division 1 national titles were Taryn Grant for women’s slalom (5-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off) and women’s overall (1,675 points) and Christopher Wharton for men’s jumping (171 feet). Individual medals for slalom, tricks and jumping were awarded, based on athletes’ placements within their division. Overall titles were awarded in each division to athletes competing in all three events.

The Ragin’ Cajuns water ski team includes the men’s team: Cole Grant, assistant coach; Jaret Bull; Dane Mechler; Brody Newton; Benjamin Stadlbaur; Jonah Shaffer; and Christopher Wharton; and the women’s team: Giannina Bonnemann, Taryn Grant, Brittany Greenwood, Matilda Matte Mostrom, Madison Schneider, Julia Waitt and Charlotte Wharton.

The women’s slalom team members each placed in the top 10, with Taryn Grant winning with 5-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off, and Bonnemann coming in third with 3-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off. The men’s slalom team had Mechler and Stadlbaur tie for fourth with 3-1/2 buoys at 39 feet off. The men’s slalom team won with 2,210 and the women’s slalom team won with 2,255.

The men’s jump team won with 2,020 points, with three skiers in the top 10 and Wharton winning with a 151-foot jump.
The women’s jump won with 2,150 points and all five jumpers placing in the top 10. Bonnemann came in second with 147 feet, Grant was third with 145 feet, and Wharton took fifth with 137 feet.

The women’s trick team won with 2,215 points and the men won with 2,095 points.
The competition was held Oct. 15-17 at the Lakes at Cypress Hill in Cypress, Texas, near Houston.
Thirteen teams competed in Division 2. National team champions were declared in both divisions. Western Washington won the Division 2 title, scoring 9,130 points.

Visit usawaterski.org for complete results.

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