At the 2016 IWSA Fall Banquet held Saturday Night November 5 at the White River Yacht Club the following awards were presented.
Most Improved Skier: Colton Bucher
Genetic testing done on this 3rd grader indicated an inclination to never take a straight line from point A to point B. He’s the last one to come in from the playground when recess ends! One year ago Colton zig zagged through the slalom course at the IN State meet wearing a pair of skis and competing in the Grassroots Division. 1 buoy at 19 MPH was his PB in 2015.
In 2016 and in Boys 1 competition he slalomed to 2nd at the IN State Meet on his home course, and 4th in the Midwest Regionals where he improved his PB to 4 at 25MPH. On a slalom ski, right Colton? Recognized at the Regionals as The Most Improved Boys 1 skier, before season’s end he went on to score a new PB with 2 buoys at 28MPH!
Most Improved Trick Skier: Alexis Mishler
11 year old Alexis entered her first IN State Tournament in 2014, in the Grassroots division, and claimed the Hoosier Buoy Tour title that same year. Encouragement and help from Megan Lambert, Neil Clark, and Scott Tynan set the hook for this Ski-animal!
In 2015 she rode her slalom ski to 1st place finishes at the IN State Tournament, Midwest Regionals, and a 2nd place finish at the Nationals.
This award isn’t about slalom skiing though. Alexis had borrowed a trick ski from Phillipa Shedd at the State meet, scored 80 points, and qualified for Regionals, where she placed 5th. US Nationals officials wanted to see what she could do on a trick, too, so off the trick dock she goes and takes 8th!
2016 competition moved to the Girls 2 division, and at the IN State Tournament she tricked for 660 points, a 725% improvement over the prior year! Keep that rate up, Alexis, and you’ll be scoring….. 34,691.25 points by 2019!!
Most Improved Male Skier – Chris Susott
In the BC period of his water ski history the creature known as Chris Susott was seen slashing through the slalom course during Monday Night Ski League sessions at Fairland Ski Club. Later, he was reported to have traveled to Silent Shores where he skied with members of that tribe. At precisely the very end of the BC period he was admitted to and treated by orthopedic specialists at a health care facility in Michigan. This we know from hospital x-ray records and a smashed bicycle frame and scattered components found at the side of a roadway, all of which have been traced to an accident (Crash i.e. BC = before crash & AC after crash) involving the Susott creature.
Shortly after the end of BC Susott was occupied with physical therapy. Soon after therapy ended he was spotted, again, at Silent Shores. His appearance there marks the beginning of the AC period. Expanding his range and time on the water, the creature made an appearance at the Noah Vieke Clinic, staying a total of 3 days! During the AC period Susott sought counsel from Silent Shores tribe members Tony Lambert and Neil Clark and in 2016 improved from running 15 feet off the slalom line to a tournament PB of 2 at 28 feet off!.
For overcoming adversity and ratcheting up his slalom performance, the Most Improved Male Skier goes to Chris Susott, AC!
Most Valuable Ski Partner – Dee Dee Tucker
Over decades of skiing Dee Dee Tucker has shared her love of water skiing with multiple skiers. Her knowledge of the sport and patience when coaching have helped introduce newbies to the tournament scene. The IWSA received a nomination from a grateful family, suggesting that she be honored as 2016’s Most Valuable Ski Partner.
Recently Dee Dee has provided water ski assistance to the Hoops family, especially Samantha and Kolten. Her encouragement and tips given the Hoops kids have helped Beverly and Kent Hoops add another opportunity for family time together. Supporting family members and having fun? – nothing wrong with that!
A second nomination was received from another ski partner, Shannon Buchanan Chapman. Shannon thanks Dee Dee for sticking by her when she is learning a new trick, admitting that her learning curve is pretty flat! Not confined to only encouraging her when water skiing, Dee Dee has been in Shannon’s camp when celebrating her wedding, and when mourning the loss of a family member. Thanks for what you do, Dee Dee!!
Iron-Woman Skier of the Year – Michelle Bucher
When Michelle Bucher married Brandon she knew that she was destined to spend some time on water skis at the ski lake. An accomplished competitor, Michelle moved beyond fun on the water by assisting with the organization and operation of ski tournaments, including the 2016 IN State Championships at Cindonway Shores. If you attended this year’s State Meet you may have seen a busy Michelle being followed by three little Buchers, each of whom took turns requesting Mom’s undivided attention. Did I forget to mention that Michelle was very pregnant in late July with Bucher Child #4?
Four weeks after delivery Michelle skied into 28 feet off Slalom territory at the Cindonway Shores Labor Day tournament.
For this impressive show of her love for her family, and water skiing, the IWSA honors Michelle Bucher with the Iron Woman Skier of the Year Award!
Barefoot and NOT Pregnant RECOGNITION – Paul Miller
PAUL MILLER - BAREFOOTER OF THE YEAR
Paul did “Footstock” for the first time in August. He came in fourth in the senior men’s division and knocked out other competitors who had competed there for years! He was told that no one comes for the first time and does this. Peter Fleck was his “nurse” (famous barefooter for those who don’t know) for his feet between rounds taping them up.
Paul then entered the “Ski With the Legends” tournament in Florida in October. He came in second in the “figure 8” and knocked out the corld champion David Small He also came in second in the “endurance” section. Needless to say he had a great barefooting year. He was barefooting more than slalom because of a bad shoulder that didn’t hurt when barefooting!
Samantha Hoops - Junior Female Skier of the Year
Samantha Hoops had a fantastic 2016 water ski season. Aside from making new friends and renewing old friendships, her skiing progressed at a very rapid rate. Taking full advantage of the IWSA’s Jr. Clinic that opened the IN State Tournament weekend she finished 2nd in Slalom, 1st in Trick, and 1st Overall, setting a new Girls 1 State Record in Tricks.
At the Midwest Regionals she increased her 2015 Regionals buoy count by 900%, earning her the Region’s Most Improved Slalom Skier for Girls 1. She placed 3rd in Slalom, 3rd in Trick, and 2nd overall.
Samantha made her case for competing in the US Nationals before the Hoops Family Council and they voted in favor of the trip. Arriving with her dad a day early in Idaho allowed for a river rafting adventure with the Mishler Posseʼ as well as several trips to the airport attempting to locate her skis. The skis did finally show up, and Samantha placed 4th in slalom, 3rd in Tricks, and 3rd overall at her first Nationals. At the awards dinner Samantha was surprised to be named the Most Improved Slalom and Most Improved Overall skier in the Girls 1 Division.
Samantha looks forward to adding more “bling” in her bedroom in 2017
Grassroots Skier of the Year – Chloe Chanin
After two years of recreational skiing at Brewski Lake, this year Chloe dedicated herself to running the Slalom course. She entered her first Grassroots tournament at Silent Shores and when she won the big smile on Chloe’s face was the best! She attended the Junior Clinic before the start of the IN State meet and was thrilled to be coached by World Champ Nate and Casey. Even more thrilling was her Slalom victory in the Grassroots Girls division!
A late season training injury kept her sidelined for a while, but she is healing and working toward improving her 2 for 2 record next spring. The skiers of Brewski Lake are pleased to nominate Chloe as the Grassroots Skier of the Year!
Family Skiers of the Year – The Cross Family, Charlie, Jill, and Jeff
When the ice on the lake melts this family starts skiing, and when the ice forms, they take a break! Regulars at all local tournaments, father and son do cross state lines to compete. Members at not one, but two ski clubs, the family recently bought a house on a lake.
It takes three to ski! Congratulations to the Cross Family – Family Skiers of the Year!!
Collegiate Skier of the Year – Clay Kinnick
After learning to water ski Clay gravitated toward Wakeboarding, not skiing again until joining Purdue’s water ski team in 2014 as a sophomore. He learned the Slalom deep water start, followed by Slalom course skiing and Trick skiing. After an attempt at Jump he decided to concentrate that first year on Slalom and Trick!
Sophomore and Junior years were fun, and Clay improved his Trick skiing mostly as he had little off season opportunity to ski the course.
In the fall of 2015 Clay, now a Senior, came into his own in Slalom and Trick, becoming one of the top men skiers on the Purdue team. PB’s in Slalom - 4.5 buoys at 32 MPH - and Trick - 540 points in the single pass format – accompanied his first scoring Jumps including a 52 foot PB!
Clay competed in two tournaments this past summer, including the 2016 IN State Championships. We honor Clay’s performance as a collegiate skier, and welcome him into his post-graduate life as a tournament skier!
Volunteer of the Year – Nate Smith
Slalom World Record Holder and Champion, Nate Smith, could be excused for leaving IN in his rear view mirror as he heads south for training with and competing against other elite skiers.
Instead he returns when his schedule allows, showing his support for Indiana skiing and skiers. Nate skied at the Boondocks class C tournament, spending quality time with skiers, especially the kids who seek him out.
He voluntarily coached with Casey Contos at the Jr Clinic preceding the State Tournament, and entertained the multitude of junior skiers that came flocking to his State Tournament digs.
Though sidelined from skiing himself with an injury, he drove one-footed to Kansas for the Midwest Regionals in his motor home. From the shore Nate watched and offered encouragement to every Indiana Water Skier, especially the Junior skiers. The following week he flew to Idaho and did it all over again.
His humbleness and willingness to help is a gift that he has shared with all of us. Indiana is not only proud to be home to the world’s best slalom skier, but also proud to be home for an outstanding individual who answers to the name, “Nate Smith”. Congratulations for being the IWSA Volunteer of the Year!
Officials of the Year – The Pattersons, Patty and Mike
Patty Patterson – excellent Trick Skier. 40 seconds over the two trick passes. Also Slaloms, adequately. Maybe two or three passes if she doesn’t fall. More critically…Hours as the person on the radio and at the computer keyboard, gathering, recording, or dispensing scores and other data. She starts work in a fog – not hers.. the weather’s – and finishes with the sun setting in the west. Does she ever not have a role in running a tournament that you attend?
Mike Patterson – excellent Trick and Slalom Skier. Possesses critical expertise as a driver, boat systems tuner and trouble-shooter, judge, rule interpreter, ski lake developer, and ski course installation and management guru. Works the same hours as Patty.
Together they are, most importantly, a handsome couple with a very good sense of humor and extremely pleasant demeanor, Mike’s twisted view on certain things aside. At our Indiana Ski meets they provide invaluable skills and knowledge for tournament sponsors. For the skiers they provide the confidence that the meet will run efficiently, fairly, and will offer the best opportunity for competitors to measure their skill.
Female Skier of the Year – Julie Mishler
Julie owns the distinction of being the Highest Ranking Female Indiana Skier on National Ranking Lists! Julie swept Indiana State Tournament titles, Midwest Regional, and was only ½ buoy from first at the 2016 US Nationals, scoring ½ at 28 feet off!
At season’s end Julie was skiing into 28 feet off the Slalom line, promising to make next year’s Girls 1 Slalom Nationals more interesting.
Male Skier of the Year – Casey Contos
Highlights from Casey’s 2016 season include:
Set a new Men 2 Midwest Regional Slalom record at 4 ½ buoys at 38 feet off
At the US Nationals Casey, seeded #2, won the Slalom title, his 3rd Nationals Slalom title.
Received an invitation to compete in his first US Open
Competed in tricks and jump for the first time since college, and won Men 2 Overall at the IN State Tournament.
Captained team “See You Nater!” which won the inaugural team slalom competition held at the conclusion of the State Tournament
Had the pleasure of coaching a group of Juniors with Nate on Friday before the 2016 IN State Tournament.
IWSA News Blog
We will continue to bring you updated information and news as the 2016 season continues!