LINZ, Austria – The 2007 Water Ski World Championships continued Friday with preliminary-round action in men's and women's jumping and tricks. The biennial event, which includes athletes from more than 40 countries, began Tuesday and runs through Sunday. The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team is attempting to win its fourth consecutive world team title at the biennial event. For results throughout the event, click here.
Members of the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team are: Rhoni Barton-Bischoff (Orlando, Fla.), April Coble-Eller (Lillington, N.C.), Regina Jaquess (Suwanee, Ga.), Mandy Nightingale (Sapulpa, Okla.), Cory Pickos (Orlando, Fla.) and Jimmy Siemers (Round Rock, Texas). Mike Meek (Albany, Ohio) is the coach of the U.S. Team and Frank Harrison (Rancho Mirage, Calif.) is the team leader.
Friday's action included the completion of the preliminary rounds of men's and women's jumping and tricks. Jaquess and Barton-Bischoff each advanced to Sunday's finals of women's jumping. Jaquess leaped 162 feet to earn the No. 5 seed, while Barton-Bischoff earned the 12th seed with a 155-foot jump.
Siemers and Pickos will compete in men's tricks on Friday along with U.S. independent Russell Gay; Jaquess, Barton-Bischoff and Nightingale will compete in women's tricks; and Siemers will compete in men's jumping along with U.S. independents Freddy Krueger, Scot Ellis and Ryan Fitts.
For results throughout the tournament, click here.
On Thursday, Coble-Eller and Jaquess each advanced to the finals of women's slalom. Coble-Eller scored 1-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off to earn the top seed for Saturday's finals, while Jaquess scored 3 buoys at 38 feet off to earn the No. 6 seed. U.S. independents Karen Truelove and Natalie Hamrick also advanced to the finals. Truelove scored 4-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off to earn the No. 3 seed, while Hamrick scored 4 buoys at 38 feet off to earn the No. 4 seed.
In men's slalom action, U.S. independent athletes Marcus Brown, Jason Paredes, Jeff Rodgers and Chris Rossi each scored 2 buoys at 41 feet off to advance to Saturday's finals. Fellow U.S. independent athlete Chris Parrish also advanced, scoring 3-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.
The finals for men's and women's slalom and tricks are scheduled for Saturday. The finals for men's and women's jumping are slated for Sunday. The top-12 placements from the preliminary rounds advance to the finals.
Kristi Overton-Johnson, who announced two weeks before the tournament that she was coming out of retirement to compete in women's slalom at the Worlds, scored 5 buoys at 32 feet off and finished in 42nd place in the preliminary round. Overton-Johnson, who retired in 2005, qualified as an independent competitor for the Worlds by way of being the current women's world slalom record holder.
For more information visit USA WaterSki: www.usawaterski.org
Results will be posted on the official Waterski World Championships website: www.waterskiwm.com
Details of the World Championships will also be posted on the International Water Ski website: www.iwsf.com