U.S. Teams, Athletes Claim Medals at Junior and Senior Barefoot Water Ski World Championships!
For immediate release:
Jan. 28, 2002
POLK CITY, Fla. - The U.S. Junior and Senior Barefoot Water Ski Teams and their athletes combined to win 24 medals as the six-day Junior & Senior Barefoot Water Ski World Championships concluded Sunday in Otaki, New Zealand. The United States' 24-medal count – two team medals and 22 individual medals – was 12 medals higher than Australia’s, the country with the next highest total.
''I congratulate the members of the Junior and Senior Barefoot Water Ski Teams for their tremendous efforts on behalf of the United States,'' said Steve McDermeit, USA Water Ski's executive director. ''It is always gratifying when a U.S. team does well in competition, but it is even better when it happens at a world championship.''
The U.S. Junior Team scored 5,694.60 points to outdistance the seven-team field and claim the Junior Worlds gold medal. South Africa finished second with 4,901.60 points, while Australia rounded out the top-three teams with 4,515.81 points. Members of the U.S. Junior Barefoot Water Ski Team were: Michael Caruso (Delray Beach, Fla.); Colt Mahan (Westlake, Texas); Brandon Pye (Boca Raton, Fla.); and Ashley Shewmaker (Oakley, Calif.).
Caruso scored 2,729.48 overall points to win the Junior Boys gold medal, topping South Africa's Andre De Villiers by 89.69 points. Caruso also claimed gold medals in slalom (17.6 wake crossings) and jumping (79 feet), and a silver medal in tricks (5,500 points). Shewmaker earned 1,000 overall points in slalom, tricks and jumping to easily claim the Junior Girls overall title with 3,000 points. She scored 1,900 points in tricks and jumped 24 feet to claim gold medals in each event. She also scored 9.2 wake crossings to earn the silver medal in Junior Girls slalom. Pye scored 2,386.47 overall points to earn a bronze medal in Junior Boys overall in addition to his bronze medal in Junior Boys slalom (16.8 wake crossings). Mahan added to the team's medal haul by claiming a silver medal in Junior Boys jumping. Mahan jumped 72 feet to finish second behind Caruso.
The U.S. Senior Barefoot Water Ski scored 5,311.28 points to finish behind Australia (5,697.66 points) and earn the Senior Worlds silver medal. Members of the U.S. Senior Barefoot Water Ski Team were: Andrea Eggert (Austin, Texas.); William Farrell (West Sacramento, Calif.); Sherri Morse (Redmond, Wash.); and Mike Salber (Winter Garden, Fla.).
In one of the closest overall races in international barefooting history, Farrell claimed the Senior Men's overall title, edging Australia's John Stekelenburg by a mere nine-hundredths of a point. Farrell won gold medals in slalom (17.4 wake crossings) and tricks (7,730 points) to score 2,703.70 overall points. Salber scored 4,250 points in Senior Men's tricks to claim the bronze medal. In Senior Women’s competition, Australia's Gizella Hallasz (3,000 overall points) dominated the event, but two U.S. athletes finished in the top three to claim overall medals. Eggert earned silver medals in jumping (34 feet) and tricks (1,870 points) to secure the Senior Women's overall silver medal (2,313.93 overall points), while Morse claimed a gold medal in slalom (12.8 wake crossings) and bronze medals in jumping (25 feet) and tricks (1,420 points), earning her the Senior Women's overall bronze medal (2,208.85 overall points).
USA Water Ski was formed in 1939 as a non-profit organization promoting water skiing in the United States. USA Water Ski is affiliated with the International Water Ski Federation (world governing body) and is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and Pan-American Sports Organization as the national governing body of competitive water skiing in the United States.
For more information contact:
(863) 324-4341, ext. 123
Scott Atkinson, ext. 122