At the 2015 Water Ski World Championships, the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team won the overall team silver medal and five U.S. water ski athletes combined to win five individual gold medals and a bronze medal in respective events at the 34th Water Ski World Championships, Nov. 17-22, at the Boca Laguna Ski Club. The United States, seeking to win the gold medal for the second consecutive and 27th time in the history of the biennial event, tallied 8,044.94 points to earn the silver medal. Canada scored 8,260.98 points to win the gold medal for the first time since 2009 and France earned the bronze medal with 7,646.87 points. Athletes from 30 countries participated in the tournament.
Members of the 2015 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team were: Scot Ellis (Auburndale, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.), Alex Lauretano (Windermere, Fla.), Adam Pickos (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) and Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.). Jeff Surdej (Wilmington, Ill.) was the coach, Jody Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) served as team captain, and Dr. Brad Harman (Alvarado, Texas) was the team physician.
Nate Smith, the top seed for the finals, scored 2-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off to secure his second consecutive world slalom gold medal. U.S. athletes Chris Parrish (Orlando, Fla.), Cale Burdick (Brighton, Mich.) and Jon Travers (Groveland, Fla.) placed seventh, eighth and 12th, respectively.
Congratulations to Nate Smith and Cale Burdick, not bad for "Team Indiana!" Interesting to note that both Cale and Nate began their skiing careers at Champion Lake in McCordsville, Indiana. Cale is a Michigan resident but still has strong ties to Indiana.
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