Top junior water ski athletes from across the nation have been selected to the American Water Ski Association’s National Junior Water Ski Team for 2021. The 27 selections for the Boys/Girls 2 (11 and under), Boys/Girls 3 (13 and under), Boys/Girls 4 (15 and under) and Boys/Girls 5 (17 and under) divisions were based on performances during the 2020 tournament season.
The team will not represent the United States in any international competitions, but several of the athletes are expected to compete in the 2021 Nautique Junior Masters Water Ski Tournament, 2021 Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships and 2021 IWWF Junior Water Ski World Championships.
Selected to the 2021 National Junior Water Ski Team were (alphabetical order): Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.), BG Bickley (Macon, Ga.), Will Blair (Mooresville, N.C.), Vittorio Bloyer (Lake Elmo, Minn.), Andrew Boskus (Elkins, Ark.), Brooke Boskus (Elkins, Ark.), James Bryans (Acworth, Ga.), Cameron Davis (Oviedo, Fla.), Emma Davis (Oviedo, Fla.), Alyssa Drake (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Damien Eade (Clermont, Fla.), Matthew Greenwood (Little Rock, Ark.), Blaze Grubbs (Rio Linda, Calif.), Elizabeth Hall (Newnan, Ga.), Kennedy Hansen (Milton, Fla.), Samantha Hoops (Coatesville, Ind.), Ty Kosek (Buffalo, Minn.), Reid Meinhardt (Alpena, Mich.), Julie Mishler (Milford, Ind.), Kendra Nathan (Canyon Lake, Calif.), Connor Pauley (Lutz, Fla.), Corbin Pierce (McDonald, Tenn.), Carter Reese (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Ty Robbins (Wexford, Pa.), Chase Sparks (Dallas, Ga.), Jayden Stabel (Chico, Calif.) and Luke Zazadze (Miami Shores, Fla.).
To be eligible for the National Junior Ski Team, a skier must:
1. be a U.S. Citizen,
2. be a member of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports in good standing,
3. competed in the Boys 2, Boys 3, Boys 4, Boys 5, Girls 2, Girls 3, Girls 4 or Girls 5 division in at least (3) separate Class “C” or higher tournaments in the Previous Ski Year, excluding those skiers who have aged up into M1/W1.
1. A team of at least (25) individuals will be selected to be designated as the National Junior Team. This Team is chosen to recognize top performing juniors and will not necessarily represent the U.S. at any time in international competition.
2. “Ranking List Score” shall be the average of the best three slalom, tricks and jump tournament performances (as calculated in the National Rankings List using one score per tournament) in the Previous Ski Year. “Event Score” shall be the Normalized Overall Performance Score (NOPS) for each event, relative to standards for that specific division and event, using a smooth curved mathematical fit to those standards, and as calculated for the National Ranking List for the previous ski year.
3. “Overall Score” shall be the sum of all 3 “Event Scores.” The “2 Event Score” shall be the sum of the skier’s two highest “Event Scores.” The top twenty skiers based on “Overall Score” will be selected first.
4. The 21st through 25th skiers will be selected on the basis of the “2 Event Score.”
5. Any skier whose performance constitutes the highest “Event Score Standard” in any event (Boy or Girl) and is not already included in the 25 selected skiers will be selected as an additional Junior Team member.
By using NOPS scores for the calculations for team selection, we simplify the selection process, make the process more transparent and understandable than the 1,000-point standard that has been used previously. The NOPS score for a skier’s performance can be easily found on the ranking list website. Gender and age division distribution is already accounted for in the normalized NOPS scores, resulting in a team with similar diversity without the need to specify a minimum number for each gender.
As of 2020, there is now only one National Junior Team, expanded to at least 25 members. We will no longer be selecting a 12-member Junior Team and a 24-member Junior Development Team. The total number of juniors on a team is being reduced from at least 36 to at least 25. The members of the National Junior Team are now eligible to be selected for their region’s All- Star Team.