UF Wakeboard Team Hosts USA Wakeboard Southeast regionals

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Students stood side by side on two docks; some of them slumped forward, looking at the lake.

Sometimes they broke out in cheers, other times in a chorus of “oohs.”

The students watched their peers glide on wakeboards and maneuver technical flips and turns in the air as a yellow motorboat tugged them through the water.

The University of Florida wakeboard team hosted the USA Wakeboard Southeast Regionals at Lake Wauburg’s South Shore on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The competition was the final qualifier for nationals, which will take place in spring, and included five of the eight schools invited.

According to the UF Wakeboarding Club, seven UF students will compete at nationals: Heather Bouchard, Will Green, Jon Kistemaker, Marcus Knox, Alex Montgomery, Dixie Smith and Freddie Wayne.

Among the eight schools, UF won overall with 660 points followed by Florida State University with 540 points and the University of Georgia with 405 points.

The competition included four divisions for men, two divisions for women and wakeskate to total an overall score for each school’s team.

“I wish I was cool enough to do what they do,” said Gaby Greenleaf, 18, a UF telecommunications student.

Despite the competition, there was an air of celebration with free food, giveaways and music. During a break session, competitors and attendants came together and danced to music played by the Dalton Stanley Band.

The competition was not just for fun, but also brought more attention to women who participate in water sports.

UF biology major Heather Bouchard, 18, placed first in the women’s B division.

“I’m from Massachusetts where I was really into snowboarding,” Bouchard said. “My parents were big water-skiers, so once I moved here I tried wakeboarding and fell in love with it.”

She said she couldn’t have done it without the help of Dixie Smith who took her under her wing.

Smith, 20, is the president of the UF Wakeboarding Club. The third-year biology student got involved after learning about the club through the RecSports Extravaganza.

Although she only began participating in wakeboarding two years ago, Smith placed second in women’s A division, falling short from FSU student, Amber Rohlman, who placed first.

“The club taught me everything,” Smith said.

Smith wants to be a positive role model and prove students can take something on and still be successful in school. One day, she hopes to compete outside the collegiate league.

“When you land something, it’s really rewarding,” Smith said. “It makes it all worth it, especially as a female because the expectations are unfortunately really low.”

One of Smith’s goals is to help women progress in sports. To get more girls out in the water, she started Wahines of the Waves (WOW), an all-girls club involved in wakeboarding, surfing and skating.

“This sport can be discouraging because you get hit really hard, but you have to keep pushing,” she said. “You fall and fall, but you have to get back up.”

Results:

Team Scores

1.) UF – 660 Points

2.) FSU – 540 Points

3.) UGA – 405

4.) FGCU – 385

5.) Rollins – 100

Individual Final Scores for Women’s B

1.) Heather Bouchard – UF

2.) Kathleen Shing – FSU

3.) Katrina Peterson – FGCU

Individual Final Scores for Women’s A

1.) Amber Rohlman – FSU

2.) Dixie Smith – UF

3.) Allie Dennis – UGA

Individual Final Scores for Wakeskate

1.) Marcus Knox – UF

2.) Jhett Urie – FSU

3.) Brian Davidson – UGA

Individual Final Scores for Men’s D

1.) Alex Montgomery – UF

2.) Gordon Folkes – FSU

3.) Jacob Colquitt – UGA

Individual Final Scores for Men’s C

1.) Jon Kistemaker – UF

2.) Tyler Sacone – FSU

3.)Brian Davidson – UGA

Individual Final Scores for Men’s B

1.) Will Green – UF

2.) Pate Duddleston – UGA

3.) Casey Houghey – FSU

Individual Final Scores for Men’s A

1.) Demian Adam – Rollins

2.) Freddie Wayne – UF

3.) Jon Hunt – UGA

Florida State University competitor Jhett Urie keeps his board over the water just before reaching the Lake Wauburg South Shore pier at the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition. The University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team hosted the competition Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla.

Jhett Urie swims to shore after finishing his turn. Urie placed second in the wakeskate division Sunday, October 26, 2014, at the USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition held at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla.

Sami Kattan, 25, releases a drone to record video of the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Lake Wauburg South Shore in Gainesville, Fla. The University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team placed first out of eight teams.

Gordon Folkes participates in the Men’s D division for the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla. The University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team hosted the event.

Spectators stand on the dock to watch competitors at the south shore of Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla., during the USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition on Sunday, October 26, 2014. The University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team hosted the event.

Jon Kistemaker competes Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla., in the Men’s C division of the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition. Kistemakeris is a University of Florida student and former president of the UF Wakeboard Club.

Jon Kistemaker, the third competitor of the Men’s C division, celebrated his successful final trick in the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition. The University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team hosted the competition Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla.

Danielle Grossman, 21, and Luke Epstein, 23, attend the USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition on Sunday, October 26, 2014, to enjoy the weather and cheer on a friend on the University of Florida Wakeboarding Club team. The UF team hosted the competiton at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla.

Dixie Smith, 20, is thrown in the air by her teammates in celebration during a break on Sunday, October 26, 2014. Smith placed second for the Women’s A division in the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla.

Dixie Smith, a competitor for the Women’s A Division, dances at the South Shore of Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla., during a group photo at the 2014 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional Competition held Sunday, October 26, 2014. UF’s Wakeboarding Club team placed first among eight teams in the overall competition.

James Ort, 23, dances to “Wagon Wheel,” performed by the Dalton Stanley Band. Spectators gathered during a break to celebrate the day with students from eight colleges at Lake Wauburg in Gainesville, Fla., on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

About Paola Asencio

Paola is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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