Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.) and Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) have been selected USA Water Ski’s 2012 Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively. Smith won men’s slalom titles in 2012 at the Moomba Masters, U.S. Masters, Malibu Open, Calgary Pro Shootout, and Soaked Orland. He ran 39-1/2 off 53 times out of 60 possible rounds, and 41 off eight times, one more time than last year.
Jaquess, now a six-time recipient of USA Water Ski’s Female Athlete of the Year award, won women’s professional slalom titles in 2012 at the U.S. Masters, Malibu Open, Soaked Orlando and Diablo Shores Pro-Am. She set a new women’s world slalom record of 3 buoys at 41 feet off on June 17 at the Cedar Ridge Early Record in Canton, Miss. She won gold medals in Elite women’s slalom, jumping and overall, and the bronze medal in tricks at the 2012 Malibu Pan American Water Ski Championships, Sept. 12-15, at the Pickos World Ski Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Her performances – including a Pan American tournament record 4-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in slalom – helped lead the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team to the overall team gold medal at the biennial event. Jaquess also won the women’s jumping title at the 2012 Rocketman Night Jump and placed third in women’s jumping at the U.S. Masters and Malibu Open.–Scott Atkinson/USA WATER SKI