JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- USA Water Ski has selected Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.) and Neilly Ross (Winter Garden, Fla.) as its Male Athlete of the Month and Female Athlete of the Month, respectively, for June. The Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team (Janesville, Wis.) was selected USA Water Ski's Team of the Month. Smith, Ross and the Rock Aqua Jays are now eligible for the United States Olympic Committee's Athlete and Team of the Month honors.
Smith captured his first professional title on June 22, winning men's slalom at the 2011 Militia Sac-Town Gold Rush in Elk Grove, Calif. Smith was the only men's competitor to run 41 off in the three-round, cash-prize tournament. He clinched the title with back-to-back efforts into 43 off, finishing with scores of ?-buoy at 43 feet off and 1 buoy at 43 feet off. The current men's world slalom record is 2 buoys at 43 feet off. Smith also set a pending U.S. Men 1 (ages 18-24) national slalom record of 1 buoy at 43 feet off at the Buoy Busters 1 tournament on June 4 in Maiden, N.C. If approved by the American Water Ski Association's Technical Committee, the score will surpass the record of 5 buoys at 41 feet off currently co-held by Smith (2010) and Chris Parrish (2001).
Ross set three Girls 1 (ages 9 and under) national records in June. She set a Girls 1 national slalom record at the 2011 Cory Pickos Superstars on June 4 at Shortline Lakes in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Ross scored 2 buoys at 35 feet off to eclipse the record of 1-1/4 buoys at 35 feet off set by current women's world slalom record holder Regina Jaquess in 1994. Ross also set two Girls 1 national tricks records in June. At the Isles Tricky Swerve on June 11 in Winter Garden, Fla., Ross scored 5,320 points. The record surpasses the current record of 4,610 points set by Brooke Baldwin in 2010. At the Ski Texas 2 Spring Fling on June 19 in Rosharon, Texas, Ross scored a pending national record of 5,420 points.
The Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team won the 2011 Mercury Marine Open Water Ski Tournament, June 25-26, at Traxler Park in Janesville, Wis. The Rock Aqua Jays scored a grand total of 2,154 points after earning top team scores in every awards category - Dock & Equipment Personnel, Pick-Up Boat Crews, Towboat Driving, Showmanship, Sound Crew Total, Overall Show, High Individual Club Act, Ballet, Jump and Barefoot. The Rock Aqua Jays won by more than 390 points over their closest competitor in the 13-team field. The Mercury Marine Open Water Ski Show Tournament is a gauge of where teams - many of which will compete in the Show Ski National Championships later in the summer - are at with their shows early in the season.