Aqua Jays win state tournament
Dates: July 15-18.
Location: Lake Wazeecha, Wisconsin Rapids.
Results: The Rock Aqua Jays of Janesville won, for the first time since 2005, with 1,992 points, followed by the Webfooters of Fremont, Ill., with 1,736; Badgerland of Oconomowoc with 1,642; Mad City, 1,496; Waterbugs, 1,475; Beaverland, 1,412; Aqua Nuts, 1,386; Aqua Ducks, 1,373; Chetek Hydroflites, 1,349; Shermalot, 1,325; Waterboard Warriors, 1,268; Lauderdale, 1,228; Ski Sprites, 1,037; Minneiska of Whitewater, 1,006; Aqua Skiers, 783.
Susie Schlicker of Whitewater’s Minneiska team was named outstanding female skier of the tournament. Jamie Kumlien, the Rock Aqua Jays’ premier barefooter, was named outstanding male skier.
The Aqua Jays won in the barefoot, jump, dock & equipment, pickup boat, towboat and sound crew categories.
The Aqua Jays’ Kumlien Kids won for most unique act, their barefoot whirlpool. The Webfooters won for best comedy act. The Aqua Nuts won the ballet line.
Hosts: Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers.
Tournament highlight: Possibly for the first time in the 44-year history of the state tournament, the Rock Aqua Jays won the sportsmanship award, said President Joel Shapiro. Shapiro did not know why they won, but he said they loaned a key, hard-to-find spare part for a boat motor to another team, and team members were friendly and supportive of other teams during their shows.
Quote of the day: “I think we’re on the verge of, hopefully, doing something very, very special,” said show co-director Dave Rezin, referring to the fact that the Aqua Jays have won the first two major tournaments of the season and could win the triple crown by winning the national tournament, which is Aug. 13-15 in Janesville’s Traxler Park.
How they did it: The whole team traveled to the tournament site to practice and work out some bugs one week before the tournament. “That shows more than anything how committed this team is, from our youngest skiers to oldest skiers,” Rezin said.