Seattle, WA - Great riding and skiing, tremendous riding, team spirit, pro exhibitions, and fun are the primary descriptors of the 2010 INT US Championships. The INT League set forth last January to host a national event unlike any other amateur contest; they successfully achieved their goal with the support of national sponsors, volunteers, and INT coordinators.
The 12th annual US Championships hosted with the Mission Inn Resort was held October 13-16th at Sunset Lakes in Groveland, Florida, home of the Jack Travers Ski School. The setting was perfect: two private ski lakes and exceptional weather provided phenomenal conditions for riders and skiers to post personal-best scores. State teams decorated their tents, wore team t-shirts and cheered on their teammates from the center aisle of the lakes where they had a perfect view of the slalom and wakeboard lake.
Competitors had two rounds of competition to post their best score. The top three in each division were invited to compete in the final round on Saturday for the title of US Champion.
The event featured skiers and riders from the age of 5 to 71 year old Team Ohio skier, Roger Goings, skiing Slalom Advanced. The youngest competitor was Kyle Budzinski competing in Kneeboard Mini Outlaw.
On the slalom lake, Adam Cord and Adam Caldwell battled it out at 38’off for the Super Open title. It was a close race with Cord sweeping the first round and Caldwell the second. Caldwell came out victorious in the finals with a score of 1.25 at 38’. The Jr. Expert Division also featured some intense competition. New England skier James Marsh is new to the slalom game, but has been blessed with some great coaching and time on the water. In the other corner, Hope Brummitt has been charging the slalom course for quite some time with the support of her committed parents. Both performed very well on the water and displayed excellent sportsmanship.
On the wakeboard lake, the future of our sport was present and riding hard. Thirteen Mini Outlaw, ten Junior Entro, and fifteen Jr. Novice riders took to the water. In INT’s semi-pro division, Wakeboard Open, Tony Carroll placed third, Kyle Events placed second, and Arkansas team rider Clay Fraley was crowned champion. Riding at the top of their game in Outlaw, Skyler Dulster placed third, Kyle Deubner placed second, and taking home the gold was Gage Thompson. From the tower, Andrew Adkison expressed how impressed he was with the quality of riding taking place.
One wakeboard Men’s Entro rider said this about his experience at the US Championships after recovering from two hip replacements: “In 2010 my goal was to make nationals, make the podium, accomplish the goal! I will say that INT has allowed me to walk the walk when it comes to my motto! ‘Do not be a visitor, do not be an exhibitor, be a Competitor.’ My first ride was a personal best for me (still ways to go), placing second was awesome; so with all this I say, ‘Thank you to the Stocks family and all that are involved with INT!’”
This event would not be possible without the support of INT’s partners. Tige Boat’s took home the trophy for Best of Booth. Tige gave away 1000 snow cones and 800 bags of popcorn. The Tige booth also featured a dunk tank where kids dunked Daniel Watkins and other pro athletes. The Supra booth had an intense corn hole competition going on. Competitors took home t-shirts from the MasterCraft, Nautique and Malibu booths. There were great deals in the Radar, Ronix, Hyperlite, HO, CWB and Connelly Booths. In the O’Brien booth, the legend of slalom skiing, Andy Mapple helped skiers set up their new Elite skis.
The shopping was superb under the 200 foot long sponsor tent. Michael Hay’s Jewelry made it sparkle all week with his unique line of watersports jewelry. Underground Products had their clothing line available with fall fashion threads. Grindwater had some great deals on life vests and wake surf boards.
The world’s top athletes came to do exhibitions and sign autographs. The crowd roared with excitement when Dave Briscoe and Zane Schwenk kicked off the event barefooting to the National Anthem during the opening ceremony. Slalom Skiers Thomas Degasperi, Will Asher, Rhoni Barton, Nicole Arthur, and Jon Travers all skied exhibitions. Steel Lafferty, Andrew Adkison, Rusty Malinoski, Shawn Murry, Danny Harf, Phil Soven, Bob Soven, Daniel Watkins, and Nick Weiniker put on a great show on the wakeboard lake.
The event concluded with an awards dinner and banquet at the Mission Inn Resort where the top three in each division were awarded handcrafted trophies created by Dorcey’s Action Sports Furniture. Team New England won the Team Challenge Award for the state team with the most podium finishes. The Team Spirit Award went to Arkansas for their team camaraderie and winning spirit.
Two $1000 scholarships were awarded to participants Samantha Stackpole, 7th grade, from Dow, IL, and Patrick Clinton from Hopkinton, MA, in the high school category. Taylor Davis was awarded an Exceptional Performance award for his excellent skiing; Taylor started in 2nd class and ran 3 at 34mph, 15’ off in the first round to bump into 1st class. Helping riders and skiers improve and learn is primary to INT on the water and in the classroom.
Some amazing prizes were raffled away, including skis, wakeboards, wake skates and a surfboard from O’Brien, Radar, Ronix and Protec Helmets. Grindwater raffled a wake surf board to one very excited young man. The Wake Camp gave away three $500 scholarships to their wake camps. One lucky competitor won a 7-day trip to Gordon Rathburn’s Acapulco Ski School. Another won a week at Jack’s Ski School at Sunset Lakes. One New England competitor found the winning ticket on her seat for a handcrafted Dorcey’s Original Coffee table.
“We’re so proud of everyone who came and left it all on the water!” says INT founder Rick Stocks. Everyone left a champion though some took home a trophy. The support from team mates and family was inspiring and unique in water sports competition. Overall the week was an experience to be remembered!
For more information about the INT US Championships, please visit the INT website at intleague.com.
The INT League hosts amateur waterski, wakeboard, kneeboard, and wake skate tournaments nationwide. INT aspires to grow participation and consistency in towed water sports by actively promoting, organizing, and supporting, fun competitive events by welcoming all ages and ability levels. For more information please see the INT website at intleague.com.