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Ole Miss Wakeboarding Team Invited to Compete at Nationals

By Kennedy McJunkin
HottyToddy.com contributor
kamcjunk@go.olemiss.edu

(From left to right) Bryce Collins, 2nd in intermediate, Callie Watson, 2nd in women’s, Johnny Newcomb, 2nd in wake-skate, and Austin Archer, 3rd in wake-skate at Bennett’s Ski School Competition. Photo curtesy of Bryce Collins.

The Wakeboarding Rebels, “Wake Rebs”, will head to Hangar 9 Wake Park in Houston August 24 to compete in the 2018 USA Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals competition.

Orly Comeaux, co-organizer and safety coordinator for the 2018 USA Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals, said this competition determines who has the best collegiate wakeboard team in the nation.
Teams from Tennessee, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana have been invited to compete at this year’s nationals. Teams compete against others in their tours twice a semester to earn performance points. All collegiate wake teams across America are ranked from their tour competition points, and the top 16 schools are invited to send their top six riders to compete in nationals.
Ole Miss is a part of the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour, which has 11 other wake teams in their conference including LSU, Mississippi State, and Baylor University.
“The competitions are fun…we are just one big family,” said Ole Miss Wakeboarding Captain Callie Watson. “We only see each other twice a semester, so we aren’t just hanging with Ole Miss people. It’s with all the schools.”
In previous tour competitions, the male team riders are divided into three divisions of beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Women are in one single division. Each division has a set capital on tricks:

  • Beginner allows one invert and a 180 spin
  • Intermediate allows 3 inverts and a 360 spin
  • Advanced has no “caps.”

(Note: An invert is any move where the board is above the hips and the rider is upside down.)
For scoring, teams accumulate points per rider in each competition that goes toward an overall ranking.
“We’re lucky enough to have several riders that are very good, so if we all ride to our potential then we usually end up placing about every time,” Watson said.
Watson placed first in the women’s division at the last tour competition in Monroe, Louisiana this May. Watson was the only “Wake Reb” able to attend the competition.
The team expects to have a full roster for nationals. Unlike tour competitions, nationals have no divisions and no trick caps, so riders can throw any inverts or spins. The competition riders will be pulled by a boat across the water and each get two falls.
“We don’t get warm up rides, so you do what you know you can land first,” said Watson. “After that, you shoot for the moon and hope you land something cool!”
Watson is one of the only women in the Louisiana Tour that has an invert, which is a back-roll across the water. 
“It’s what people know me for just because most girls won’t do it,” Watson said. “If I landed all my other stuff I’ll throw that as a Hail-Mary and hope I land it.”
Ole Miss wakeboarder Bryce Collins competes at an advanced level and placed second in the intermediate division at Bennett’s Ski School competition this past March. He said he thinks the team will do well this year at nationals and is most excited about seeing familiar faces.
New this year, spectators can see the riders’ full competition runs and wakeboard themselves on the cable park system that pulls riders across the water without using a boat.
“This will give everyone the chance to watch all the action from the shore of the lake, as well as catch a set on the cables if they want to,” Comeaux said.


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