CYPRESS, Texas (October 15, 2015) – The Rollins men's and women's water ski teams will go in search of a national championship this weekend as they compete in the 37th Annual Collegiate Water Ski National Championships that will run from Oct. 15-17 here at the Lakes of Cypress Hill.
The Tars enter this year's NCWSA National Championships ranked No. 6 nationally as a team in the latest NCWSA poll.
At the Eastern Regional Championships on Sept. 26-27 in Greenwood, S.C., Rollins earned a ticket to the National Championships for the seventh-straight season, finishing third. The women’s squad finished third while the men finished fifth in their respective divisions. Alabama won the event, followed by Rollins’ arch-rival Florida Southern in second. Clemson and Auburn rounded out the top-five.
The Tars women were led by Jennifer Tee’s fourth place overall finish. She finished 11th in jumps, 14th in slalom and 15th in tricks. Chantel Singer won tricks in dominating fashion, posting a score of 3,810, and took fifth in slalom. Aliya Mctavish finished ninth in tricks and tied for 12th in slalom while senior Gabi Viljoen took 11th in tricks. Alexa Armour placed 12th in both tricks and jumps with newcomer Danielle Johnson taking 15th in jumps.
The men’s team was led by Miks Cinis’ eighth place overall finish as he finished 12th in tricks, 14th in slalom and 18th in jumps. Senior Matthew Bengston finished right behind Cinis in ninth place overall, taking eighth in jumps, tied for 16th in slalom and tied for 19th in tricks.
This year's Collegiate National Championships, which is hosted by the National Collegiate Water Ski Association, will feature a total of 24 of the top water ski teams in the country divided into two divisions - 12 teams in Division I and 12 more teams in Division II. National team champions will be declared in both divisions, while individual medals in slalom, tricks and jumping will be awarded based on athletes' placements within their respective division. Overall titles will be awarded in each division to athletes competing in all three events (slalom, tricks and jumps).
Rollins will be joined in the Division I competition by No. 1 ranked Florida Southern, No. 3 ranked Alabama, No. 9 ranked Cincinnati, No. 11 ranked Grand Valley State, No. 13 ranked Iowa State University, No. 5 ranked Kansas, No. 2 ranked Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 4 ranked Louisiana-Monroe, No. 8 ranked Michigan State, No. 7 ranked Ohio State and No. 10 ranked San Diego State. At the 2014 Collegiate Water Ski Nationals, Louisiana-Monroe won the Division I title for the 26th time in the history of the event.
The 12 teams competing in the Division II competition are No. 21 ranked Arizona State, No. 23 ranked Auburn, No. 27 ranked Cal State-Chico, No. 19 ranked Clemson, No. 16 ranked UC-Davis, No. 15 ranked Miami (Ohio), No. 14 Michigan, No. 35 ranked Texas, No. 22 ranked Texas A&M, No. 25 ranked Texas State, No. 18 Western Washington and No. 12 Wisconsin. Clemson claimed the Division II national title a year ago.
Last season, the Tars finished fifth at the 2014 NCWSA National Championships at Tri-Lakes in Zachary, La., as they scored 8,245 points in the 12-team Division I field. The Rollins women finished fifth overall with 5,225 points, hghlighted by Erika Lang's first place finish in the tricks competition, and the Tars men placed seventh overall with 3,020 points. Joshua Briant led the men’s squad with a fourth place overall finish (1520) after finishing 12th in slalom, second in tricks, and 11th in jumps.
The NCWSA, a sport discipline organization of USA Water Ski, is comprised of more than 50 collegiate water ski teams from four regions. Intercollegiate water ski competition began under the NCWSA in 1979. The NCWSA's major tournaments include the Nationals and the Collegiate All-Stars Water Ski Championships.