Mad-City Ski Teams takes National Title at Hidden Lake

Photo: Nick Deranek
The Mad-City Ski Team (Madison, Wis.) won the national team title at the 45th Indmar Marine Engines Division 1 Show Ski National Championships, presented by Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, Aug. 9-11, at Hidden Lake in Warsaw, Ind. Mad-City earned high-scoring awards for Dock and Equipment Personnel, Towboat Driving, Showmanship, Sound Crew Total and Overall Show on its way to tallying a grand total 1,877.80 points and winning its first national title since 2009 when it closed out a string of four consecutive national titles (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

The tournament featured 14 teams and more than 1,500 athletes. In competitive show skiing, each club has one hour to present a theatrical performance on water skis. Judges score acts by awarding points based on originality, presentation and execution. Elaborate costumes and staging intermix with music and fast action on the water as an announcer leads the audience through the show.

The Aquanuts (Twin Lakes, Wis.) finished second with 1,859.14 points. The Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team (Wonder Lake, Ill.), with 1,833.38 points, the defending national champion Rock Aqua Jays (Janesville, Wis.) with 1,802.56 points, and the Backwater Gamblers (Rock Island, Ill.) with 1,616.70 points rounded out the top-five placements, respectively. Mad-City is the fifth different team – Aquanuts (2015), Wonder Lake (2016), Ski-A-Rees (2017) and Rock Aqua Jays (2018) – to win the national title in the past five years.

The Aquanuts’ Kailey Koehler (Lake Geneva, Wis.) and Ethan Shulda (Twin Lakes, Wis.) won the Willa Cook and Skip Gilkerson awards, respectively. The awards are given to the tournament’s top female and male performers, as voted on by the tournament officials. Koehler won the Willa Cook Award for the second consecutive year, becoming the first athlete to accomplish that feat since the Rock Aqua Jays’ Janie Dibble in 1989 and 1990. Shulda is a first-time recipient of the Skip Gilkerson Award.

In addition to the team competition, athletes competed individually in swivel, strap doubles, freestyle jumping and team jumping. Molly Schaefer (Wausau, Wis.) won the swivel title, scoring 16.48 points; Cory Krivitz (Hartland, Wis.) and Kim Stoner (Hartland, Wis.) won doubles, scoring 16.86 points; the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees (Sarasota, Fla.) won team jumping, scoring 76.60 points; and Garrett Bouley (Bradenton, Fla.) won freestyle jumping, scoring 901.45 points.

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This release was written by the US Water Ski and Wake Sports.