Ready to take on the World: Meet the 2018 USA Barefoot Team

The USA has an amazing line-up of the best barefoot water skiers ever… poised to bring home the gold in Canada August 11-18, 2018.  The best coaches, the best skiers… Go USA!

Be sure to watch all the action on the LiveStream here.

Here’s a quick rundown of our amazing group of athletes:

U.S. Elite Barefoot Team – Coach: Dale Stevensimages-1

Keith St. Onge, Winter Haven, Florida,    “The King” 19 National Overall Champion Titles and Multiple World Titles… need we say more? K-S-O could spell trouble for the rest of the world especially in Wake Slalom where he is unbelievable.  And we mean, Un-freakin-Believable. We love to watch KSO ski… and WIN!

IMG_1422JacksonGerard, Babson Park, Florida      “The Phenom” is 15-years-old, has been barefooting about five years, and is already leaving his coaches in the dust in the Tricks event.

Jackson recently set not one, but two, Open Mens World Records at the 2018 U.S. Barefoot Nationals.  Could this be time for a changing of the guard in the Mens Event?

002Lexi McCauley, Louisville, Ohio, “The Warrior” is already making history and could quite possibly the best American woman to barefoot water ski… Evah!  A student of Ash Stebbeings, this 17-year-old loves to barefoot water ski and its shows.  She is self-driven and one incredible sportswoman… always the first to support and lift up her competitors.

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Brody Meskers, Chetek, Wisconsin, “Bam” has waterskiing in his blood!

Brody grew up in small town Wisconsin and skied for the Chetek Hydroflites water ski show team with his parents Rick and Tracey and little brother Ryker.  Brody has many National titles and is no newbie at the World level.

 

img_5778.jpgJason Lee, Winter Haven, Florida, “The Sensei” This former Junior World Champion is now leading the Junior Team all while barefooting at the highest level on the US Elite Team.

This Father of two has now become the father of the next generation of barefoot water skiers.  We can’t wait to see the next chapter in the “Book of Lee.”

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Alex Youngblood, Highland, Michigan, “The Rock Star” When this young woman learns a new trick, you can hear her whoop and see her beaming smile several states away!  She represents the next generation of women in our sport and we have loved to watch her grow up on the water!  Most of all we just love to watch her tear it up!

 

Michael Caruso, Delray Beach, Florida, “The Comeback Kid” was a Junior World Champion before he fell off the barefoot scene.  Now he’s back, focused on his jumping and some pretty freaking awesome wake slalom.  We love having Mikey back for good!

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Landen Ehlers, Austin, Texas, “The Big Dawg” has surface turns that look like they are in slow-motion… and a drive to make barefooting great again.

This Scion of the Austin Barefoot Ski Club leads the Band of Ehlers to Canada… with a travel trailer and a heart the size of Texas!

 

U.S. Junior Barefoot Team – Coach: Jason Lee

Lexi McCauley, Louisville, Ohio, “The Warrior” is pulling double duty on the Elite and Junior Team.  She is looking to repeat her Gold Medal Sweep of Team, Tricks, Slalom, jump and the Overall in 2016.  She could be about to turn her way past her personal best of 7800 points in tricks!

Jackson Gerard, Babson Park, Florida,“The Phenom” is level-headed and hungry to repeat as Junior Overall Champion.  His tricks are legendary and at another level in the Junior Competition.  He could be about to put on clinic for the young men.IMG_8345

Alex Youngblood, Highland, Michigan, “The Rock Star” Her motto is EAT, SLEEP, FEET and she loves barefoot water skiing!  She finished second behind Lexi in all events in the last world championships… but the two “Lex’s” will work together to create a win-win situation!

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Brice Storman, Tampa, Florida,  “Stormin’ Storman” is an Open Pro Barefooter ready to surprise the juniors in Canada. He has quietly worked his way to the top of American Barefooting.  He may seem young, but this guy has the heart of a champion and this could be his time!

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Ryleigh Stenson, Buffalo, Minnesota, “Chosen Frozen” This Minnesota girl plays hockey like Gretzky and comes from a barefooting family.  Ryleigh has progressed tremendously in the past year and has room to grow!  Already tricking in Open Womens, this Junior is poised to make a name for herself in Canada!

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Brett Swanbom, Land-o-Lakes, Florida “Slalom Swanbom”  is the prince of wake slalom but is turning and burning his way through tricks and jump!  We know he is ready and waiting for his turn to shine!  Don’t count out the young man who skis on Don Mixon’s lake!  Good Karma there!

 

 

U.S. Senior Team – Coach: Jerry Kanawyer

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Jason Lee, Winter Haven, Florida, “The Sensei” has his hand in every 2018 U.S. Team and is expected to also kick butt at the senior level!  Barefooting Super Clean and Super Strong we look to Jason to make history as part of every team!

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Rachel Normand, Tega Cay, North Carolina,“Powerful Grace” She’s a multiple World Champion, in The USA Water Ski Hall of Fame and one incredible competitor.  She is so graceful when she skis you forget she is kicking your butt.  Look for her to set some world records with a sweet smile… all while supporting her competitors on the dock!

img_6140-e1525741167314.jpgChris McWatters, Winter Haven, Florida, “McFierce” This trauma nurse is on stand-by to help his competitors after he leaves them in his wake.

We love Chris for his dedication and drive.  We can’t wait to see him do what he can do and, well, surprise everyone with his amazing barefoot waterskiing!

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Teri Jones, Windermere, Florida, “The Champion” The 2016 Senior Womens World Overall Champion, retired and then decided to come back in 2018 to win it again.  She’s competing at top form and focused on demolishing the women anyway she knows how.  Go Teri!
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Dan Baumgartner, Wisconsin, “Dan the Man” spent a couple years healing his body and now he is ready physically and mentally to take on the world.

His jumping and tricks are outta sight but don’t count him out in any event.

Who is Who?

 

Joe Lovato, Tigard, Oregon, “Big Daddy” is about to become a father for the first time and ready to leave a legacy in barefoot water skiing! Wake Slalom is his thing… but look for him in tricks and jump!

 

We also have a large group of Independent American Skiers:

Junior Development Team –  Megan Adams, Orval Cyr, Samantha Eaton, Ellis Osborn and Michael Sousa  These are the junior independents ready to make their mark on barefoot water skiing!  This is only the beginning for this fearsome five-some!

Independents– Manager Paul Adams  – Blake Ehlers, Lauren Ehlers, William Farrell, Eric Friedle, Betsy Gilman, Doug Jordan, Jerry Kanawyer, Rich Kaufman, Mark McCauley, Chad Sullivan, and Logan Walter.

GO Team USA!

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