UCSD CLUB SPORTS

    BADMINTON

    In only its second year as a club sport at UCSD, the badminton club team established itself as a force in more than the world of collegiate badminton.

    This season saw UCSD end its year in a first-place tie with co-champion UC Irvine, with both schools finishing with a 4-1 record. The two teams share the title, but UC Irvine has a higher seed than UCSD based on the strength of Irvine’s sweep in the badminton postseason tournament. UCSD’s attempt to steal the crown from UC Irvine fell short this year, but UCSD is pleased with the improvement.

    Last year, UCSD tied for first with UC Irvine and UCLA, but the disorganization and informality of the newly formed league cast doubt on its placement. This year, in the midst of a more organized league, UCSD again found itself legitimately at the top, with no questions as to the veracity of its standing.

    A large part of UCSD’s success this year came courtesy of Dede Davis, who earned the most match and team points of any other UCSD badminton athlete this year.

    The team also attributes much of its improved performance to the addition of coach Mike Walker. Not only has Walker worked on improving the UCSD athletes’ technique, he has also attracted a much broader base of student interest by turning the team into a much more official and professionally run organization.

    As badminton’s popularity begins to spread across the West Coast, UCSD hopes to see an all-state championships organized by next season.

    WATERSKI

    The UCSD waterski team finished its 2002 campaign with five tournament wins, four second-place finishes and one fourth-place finish. However, the sole fourth-place finish came at the worst time, when UCSD was foiled by champions Arizona State in the regionals and ended just one spot short of traveling to the nationals while the top three teams in the regionals advance. On the women’s waterski side, UCSD missed nationals by just one skier, showing how close UCSD came to advancing.

    Senior Tom Stout led UCSD with a phenomenal senior year and was an integral part of UCSD’s high rankings. His most notable accomplishment was his demolishing of the UCSD waterski jump record with a jump of 107 feet.

    The team also managed to qualify three skiers for the Western Region All-Star team in addition to taking first place at the UC Santa Barbara Paradise Cup for the second year in a row.

    Both the men’s and the women’s teams will be seeking strong performances from their underclassmen in the upcoming year to retain the glimpses of the promising future UCSD showed this year.

    Sophomores Tim O’Dell and Steve Simpson stepped up this season, and their performances show that the loss of five seniors from the team may not spell disaster next season.

    Sophomore Katie Ambrose looks to shine next year for the women’s squad after posting a solid waterski competition across the board by placing in the top five in all but one tournament this year.

    COMPETITION DANCE

    The 18-member competition dance jazz team took serious steps towards making itself a solid name on the national level this year. The team, competing without the coaches and choreographers that most of its competitors had, ranked repeatedly at its national competitions.

    At the USA Nationals in Las Vegas, the women took sixth place out of 13 teams — an amazing feat for a team that didn’t even make it to the finals for nationals last year and that is choreographed and coached solely by students.

    In its first appearance at the United Dance Association West Coast Dance Championships, UCSD took home second place. The team also grabbed first place at the COA West Open Championships in its first visit at the event.

    In addition to the busy competition schedule, the team also makes frequent appearances at UCSD sporting events, Greek events and events such as the upcoming Sun God festival.

    — Compiled by Isaac Pearlman

    Sports Editor

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