By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

CWU Set to Make Waves at Nationals

By CHELSEA BRONN, staff reporter


After taking fourth place at nationals in 2012, the Central Washington University wakeboard team plans to sweep the competition this year and walk away with the ultimate achievement: a national championship.

Nationals will be held in Shreveport, La., Memorial Day weekend, and is sponsored by Jack in the Box.

The semi-finals and finals of the competition will be aired on CBS a month after the US wakeboard collegiate nationals has taken place.

The wakeboard team was invited to the nationals after placing third in collegiate regionals last October. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the nation, including Divsion I schools.

“We definitely have something to prove,” Club  President Eddie Roberts said.

Central’s team consists of about 30 male riders and 10 female riders, all ranging in different skill levels.

There are four levels of competition: beginner, intermediate, advanced and open. The difference in these levels is based on how many tricks can be performed, which is ranked as A, B, C and D.

A is the team’s best open-rider, B is second-best, etc. An unlimited amount of tricks can be performed at any level for the national competition. For the women’s team, there are both A and B level-riders, respectively, as well as one wake skater.

There are no age restrictions or mandatory skill requirements to join, but to keep up their elite level, the team practices almost every weekend. The Wildcats have the oppertunity to practice at several locations including Lake Sammamish, Vantage, a private lake in Selah, while they also have Radar Lake in Redmond.

Another way the Wildcats build themselves up for nationals is by participating in the Spring Classic, a wakeboard competition held in Toledo on April 20.

This competition allows riders to warm up for the national competition.

“I have just been working out and trying to get as much riding time in before the contest,” senior wakeboard team member Thomas Olson said.

The Spring Classic is open to any competitior in the Northwest, rather than being limited to collegiate riders.

“It’s pretty cool to represent the university to a totally different crowd that’s not necessarily a collegiate crowd, but a big group of wake boarders from all over the northwest,” Roberts said.

“There’s a very diverse crowd in wake boarding and they are all good people and fun people,” said club Vice President Mike Day.

People who have witnessed Central’s wakeboard team in competition are pleasantly surprised to see the size of the team and how successful they have been.

“I’m looking forward to having the most solid team we have ever had going into nationals,” Olson said. “We have great riders and even great backup riders, all striving to do really well.”

The Wildcats still want to maintain success and part of that comes from being able to travel to competitions. Fundraising is a key element for them to make it to Louisiana.

A film starring the CWU wake team will premiere at the outdoor Spring Symposium on April 18 at the SURC. Tickets will be sold at the wakeboard club’s booth or $5 at the door.

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