Mocs Remain Second at NCWSA National Championships; Morgan Wins National Title in Women's Jumps

Lauren Morgan captured her third NCWSA national championship in the women's jumps on Friday with a leap of 153 feet.
Lauren Morgan captured her third NCWSA national championship in the women's jumps on Friday with a leap of 153 feet.

CYPRESS, Texas - After the second day of action here Friday at the 37th Collegiate Water Ski Association National Championships at the Lakes at Cypress Hill, top-ranked Florida Southern remained in second place in the combined team standings with 8,225 points and sits 485 points behind first place Louisiana-Lafayette, who has scored a total of 8,710 points after two days of competition. 

Three-time defending NCWSA National Champion Louisiana-Monroe is a distant third as they have tallied 7,835 points, while Eastern Regional champion Alabama is fourth as they have scored a total of 7,200 points. 

On Friday, the men's teams completed the fifth and final rotation in the slalom after it was postponed on Thursday due to darkness and then competed in the tricks, while the women's teams participated in the jumps. 

The Moccasin men completed the final rotation in the slalom on Friday in second place as senior Thibault Dailand (Orthez, France) finished second overall with a score of 2.00 buoys at 41 feet off. Dailand entered the NCWSA National Championships ranked No. 2 in the slalom. ULM's Frederick Winter won the national title in the slalom in the final rotation as he recorded 2.50 buoys at 41 feet off.  

In addition to Dailand, senior K.C. Wilson (Winter Springs, Fla.), who captured back-to-back titles in the slalom in 2012 and 2013 and was ranked No. 1 in the event entering the national championships, placed third with a score of 1.00 buoys at 41 feet off, while sophomore Cole McCormick (Dundee, Fla.) placed seventh with a score of 4.00 buoys at 38 feet off and junior Brett Walker (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) tied for 14th with 2.00 buoys at 38 feet off and junior Yiannis Nathanail (Voula, Greece) was tied for 23rd with a score of 1.50 buoys at 35 feet off. 

The Moccasin enter Saturday's final day of action sitting in second place overall in the men's team competition after placing third in the tricks on Friday. The Mocs have scored a total of 4,200 points and is 105 points behind ULL, who has tallied 4,305 points after placing first in both the slalom and tricks.  

Leading the way for the Mocs in tricks was Dailand as he placed fifth overall with a score of 4,690 points. In addition to Dailand, McCormick placed eighth with 3,100 points, while freshman Ryan Harris (Nicholasville, Ky.) was 10th with 2,620 points and Wilson was 14th with 2,000 points. 

Rollins' Joshua Briant was the winner and the national champion in the men's tricks with a score of 6,370 points. ULM's Danylo Filchenko was second with 5,550 points and ULM's Brody Newton was third with 4,870 points. In fact, ULM had its top four finishers place in the Top 13 of the tricks to place second in the event. 

Meanwhile, in the women's team competition, the Mocs, who were second in the slalom on Thursday's first day of action, finished third in the jumps as they scored 1,920 points to remain in second place overall with a two-day total of 4,025 points and are just 380 points behind Louisiana-Lafayette, who as won both the slalom and tricks and have scored a total of 4,405 points to sit atop the leaderboard.

Despite finishing third overall in the jumps, senior Lauren Morgan (Odessa, Fla.) closed her collegiate career with a national championship as she recorded a first place jump of 153 feet to win by six feet over runner-up and defending national champion Giannina Bonnemann of ULL, who recorded a leap of 147 feet. It was the third national title for Morgan in the jumps as she also captured the title as a freshman in 2011 with an NCWSA record leap of 157 feet and as a sophomore in 2012 with a leap of 145 feet.  

In addition to Morgan, junior Ellie Rae Horton (Moorpark, Calif.) placed ninth with a jump of 115 feet, while senior Evelyn Gielis (Belsele, Belgium) was 12th with a jump of 112 feet and freshman Nicola Horwood (Victoria, British Columbia) was 18th with a jump of 101 feet. Sophomore Kendall Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill.) was 25th with a jump of 70 feet. 

ULL's Taryn Grant was third in the jump with a leap of 145 feet and ULM's Aliaksandr Danisheuskay was fourth with a jump of 141 feet.

The third and final day of competition will consist of tricks and jumps for the teams as the women will compete in the tricks and the men will participate in the jumps.