A Look Back at Nationals 2008

The 2008 National Show Ski Tournament was originally scheduled to take place at Traxler Park in Janesville, Wisconsin, but, due to the high waters that affected the southern part of Wisconsin and much of the mid-west the most prestiguos tournament was moved to Wisconsin Rapids, the same site as the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament.

Having Nationals in Wisconsin Rapids made it almost seem like a second state tournament for Mad-City.  It’s a ski site a lot of us love and the Wisconsin Rapid Aqua Skiers always hosts a very fun tournament and we always seem to have a good time when we visit.

The tournament kicked off Friday morning with individuals taking place and Mad-City had a number of our members competing in the individual competition.  In the individual Swivel Ski Competition, our own Ann Wittenberg took to the water first.

Ann competing in the Swivel Competition

Following Ann for Mad-City was Kristen Armstrong.  Also competing in the swivel competition and she put together a great routine, even poking fun at the fact that she had to move around to find a place to ski.

She began her year skiing for the Tommy Bartlett Ski Show in the Wisconsin Dells, however, due to the flooding and subsequent drainage of Lake Delton, the Tommy Bartlett show was no longer and on the water and she eventually made her way to the Mad-City Ski Team.

Ironically, when she came to Mad-City, Mad-City was also on the move.  Our primary ski site on Lake Monona in Madison had too much water and was “Slow No Wake” so we weren’t able to ski there.  We were able to secure a site on Lake Wisconsin, only to later find out we had to move a couple hundred yards up the shore, and then encountered some blue-green algea forcing to just hold land practices.  In spite of Mother Nature’s effort to keep Kristen off the water, she still put together a routine that was good enough for 1st place in the swivel competition.

Kristen competing in the Swivel Competition

Kristen competing in the Swivel Competition

The next event was the doubles competition.  Mad-City had a couple qualify for this event as well.  Paul O’Connor and Carly Cates competed and did very well for the first trip to Nationals.  They suffered a bit of a snafu with the sound for their short opening dance and skit, but, they took to the water with a sliding dock start.  Unfortunatly, Paul lost a ski on the start, but they skied away and completed their first couple passes before they needed to get Paul’s lost ski.  Here are a couple pictures from their run…

Paul & Carly in Doubles - Notice Just the One Ski

Paul and Carly in Doubles - Notice Just the One Ski

Paul and Carly in Doubles

Paul and Carly in Doubles

After doubles, the final event taking place on Friday was the Team Jump Competition.  Mad-City features a large group of very talented jumpers, however, on that day, it simply was not meant to be.  After waiting through a two-hour delay caused by stormy weather, the Mad-City jump team took to the water and competed and that’s about all we can say about it…

One of the highlights of the act was Rock Cates jump.  Unlike some of the other jumps, he skied away.

Rock in Team Jump

Rock in Team Jump

Mad-Citys Jump Team

Mad-City's Jump Team

After individual’s wrapped up, the team gathered together at a picnic shelter for our normal pre-tournament team meeting.  Our picnic featured some tasty pizza from a local pizza place, a slight change from our pot-luck that we have prior to our State Ski Show weekend, a pot-luck that normally features the Wang families fanstastic turkey sandwhiches.  This meeting allows us one last chance to go through all of the details of our show… our intros, our dances and our comedy skits.

One of the few changes from our State ski show was that we decided to revamp some of the comedy and we completely redid one of our skits.

A week before Nationals, Adam Schaller and Matt Baumler (our announcers) put together a brand new playlist for a new dance they planned to do and sent it to Eric Wedige (me, our sound technician) so their new routine could be put together.  After a long ski practice and late night of editing, I sent them back their new song to dance to.  At the picnic, they performed their new dance in front of a crowd for the very first time and we, the team, loved it.  (Here’s the video of them performing it at Nationals.)  Here are a few pictures from the team picnic.

Team Picnic

Team Picnic

The Kids in the Pick Up Boat

The Kids in the Pick Up Boat

We did take time for our team picture…

The 2008 Mad-City Ski Team

The 2008 Mad-City Ski Team

Finally, after months of preparation, Saturday arrived.  The culmination of almost 10 months of preparation and countless hours of behind the scenes work, we were about to put on the the most important show of the year. We gathered at the ski site early, where some of us grab an early breakfast, while others eat some leftovers from the night before, and others simply pace around the site anxiously.  Finally, show time arrives. Instead of a ton of pictures of every act, here’s a highlight clip of the ski show…

Mad-City 2008 National Highlight Clip

With the show over, now we can all relax.  The rest of the weekend is spent relaxing, watching the other ski teams’ shows and having a good time.  Sunday afternoon finally arrives and the last ski show finishes up.  All the ski teams gather on the beach for the award ceremony.

First up for the awards are some awards from the individuals.  Here is Kristen collecting her trophy for 1st Place in the Swivel Competition.

Kirsten - 1st Place National Swivel Competition

Kirsten - 1st Place National Swivel Competition

After the individual awards are handed out, they start doing the act awards for the tournament and Mad-City collected a few of those…

Mad-City Wins Best Ballet

Mad-City Wins Best Ballet

Mad-City Wins Best Barefoot Act for the Backfoot/Backbreaker Combo

Mad-City Wins Best Barefoot Act for the Backfoot/Backbreaker Combo Act

Best Jump Act - Paul, Tony and Cyndi

Best Jump Act - Tony, Cyndi and Paul

Best Swivel Act - Kristen, Ann, Kristen and Kelsey

Best Swivel Act - Kristen, Kelsey, Kristen and Ann

Mad-City also won manys of the traditional box scores…

Best Pickup Boat Crews

Best Pickup Boat Crews

Best Boat Drivers... and Riders

Best Boat Drivers... and Riders

Best Audio Presentation

Best Sound Crew

Finally, it was time for the overall team awards and Mad-City had a long wait to find out their placement, which is always a very good problem to have.  They work their way from last to first.

Anxiously awaiting, they made their way to the final two teams…and they were both announced simultaniously.

2nd place had 1981.4 points and 1st place had 2069.22 points.

And then they announced that the Rock Aqua Jays took 2nd place meaning that we, Mad-City, had taken 1st place.  Our show directors for 2008, Matt and Kristen run down to accept the award and the team follows them down in a crowd dust.

Mad-City Celebrating 1st Place with a Mad-City Team Woo Ha!!!

Mad-City Celebrating 1st Place with a Mad-City Team Woo Ha!!!

Kristen and Matt Celebrate

Kristen and Matt Celebrate

Mad-City - The 2008 National Show Ski Champions

Mad-City - The 2008 National Show Ski Champions

Much like State weekend, Nationals weekend was very successful for the Mad-City Ski Team.  We took home the awards for Best Ballet, Best Barefoot Act, Best Jump Act, Best Swivel Act, Best Pick Up Boats, Best Tow Boats, and Best Sound Crew, and had the highest scoring act of the tournament with our Comedy Act.  We also had the best showmanship and had the 2nd best pyramid act.

The 2008 National Championship is Mad-City’s 3rd National Championship in a row and 4th in the past 5-years.  We previously won in 2004, 2006, 2007 and now in 2008.

Attached is the Official Scores: 2008 National Results

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