Women’s water ski wins Nationals

    For the UCSD women’s water ski team, winning is a breeze.

    The women’s team won first place in its first Division II National Collegiate Water Ski Association Championship in a record landslide. Kansas, the second-place team, managed 2,855 points, 590 points short of the Tritons’ 3,445 final score, a record NCWSA margin.

    Sophomore team captains Lindsay Baxter and Stephannie Spann led their team over eight others at the three-day competition to seven All-American performances. While none of the women won gold medals in any event, their combined efforts and points helped them win in team categories of slalom, trick, jump and overall.

    Spann scored the highest of five Tritons in the jump category, with 305 total points, which warranted her a tie for fourth place. Sophomores Baxter, Mindy Bendheim and Christy Getzlaff and freshman Ashleigh Grant also placed in the category, propelling UCSD to a first-place total of 1,055 points in the team jump category.

    The Tritons won the slalom team event behind Brittany Cornelius’ fourth-place finish. Her 320-point effort combined with Getzlaff, Bendheim, senior Tracie Spies’ points and a personal best for Spann to sweep UCSD past the Jayhawks. Cornelius and Getzlaff earned a pair of Division II All-American titles for their performances.

    The final event of the championship saw the Tritons women winning the most medals of any of their previous categories. Four UCSD women won medals out of five possible in the event, including Spann’s silver-medal performance. She was joined by teammates Getzlaff, Baxter and sophomore Laura Harich, who came in fourth place and a tie for fifth place, respectively.

    Kansas’ Amy Bing won a silver medal overall, leading the Jayhawks to their second-place finish. Spann finished in fourth place overall as the highest placing Triton.

    The Triton men, however, did not have as much luck as the women, finishing in seventh place in the field. UCSD placed highest in the men’s trick category, finishing in fifth place. However, their efforts were not enough to win in their third appearance in three years at nationals. Meanwhile, the men of Texas State won their first team title with 3,375 points, trailed by Texas A&M with 3,225 points.

    The combined team scores were not as lopsided as the women’s competition, as there was only a 95-point margin between UCSD and first-place Texas State. The Aggies finished with 5,615 combined team points, only 20 points above Kansas and 95 above UCSD.

    UCSD will look for payback against San Diego State at its next event, the Dustin Newell Memorial Octoberfest on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 at Hidden Anchorage in Mission Bay. The Aztecs beat the Tritons by 115 points in the 2003 Western Collegiate Water Ski Association Regional event, putting them into the Division II Nationals.

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