By Deanna Dean
It’s long overdue to report the results of the 2020 Southern Regional Barefoot Championships. Thanks to a vote by the skiers, additional volunteers who stepped up the 2020 Regionals were held in an adjusted format at beautiful and recently renovated Lake Grew, in Polk County Florida.
It was an excellent turn out of several ski families dedicated to working to make all their time on the water pay off this summer. And pay off it did with PB’s galore.
Here is the list of skiers that recorded a personal best: Connor Pauley, Kevin Garrity, John Garrity, Noah Kinnaman, Jake Snider, Cameron Patton and Todd Fipps in tricks which included a massive backwards flying dock start. We had some impressive scores including senior woman’s Carol Jackson that exceeded 1,200 points in tricks, which made the top 12 unisex trick score ranking for the day.
The big news in the personal best category was Ellis Osborn. Osborn shown below sporting his hardware in a 2019 had an excellent event posting scores that propelled him into the Men’s open division. Congratulations Ellis Osborn, welcome to open!
Our Junior USA skiers already in the open division included 2019 national ABC award winner Brett Swanbom. Brett is rapidly advancing in all 3 events and easily swept the Region’s Open Pro mens tricks title. Swanbom tricked the best USA score for the day. Also 2018 Jr. world Slalom gold medalist Brice Storman posted high scores winning open pro in the event. In addition treating the spectators to some incredible tricks, Team USA’s Mikey Caruso boosted a 23.5 jump, the longest of the day.
International pro’s from the world barefoot center, Ash Stebbeings and Ben Groen who doubled as the officials took to the water as well, posting the top two trick scores of the competition.
Tremendous thanks to all the athletes and families that pulled together to make this even possible including: World Barefoot Center Pros Ash Stebbeings & Ben Groen– officiating, Bob & Brett Swanbom – jump equipment and set up, Bruce Walters- boat master, Char Portman- safety. Don & Arlene Stoppe plus Alyx Matheny & Tony Craugh– pitching in for everything as usual, and the Caruso Family site set up & announcing.
In addition to the event, the site hosted the 2020 virtual junior worlds. Osborn, Storman and Swanbom competed for their chance to earn medals for the 2020 championships. USA Jr. Coach Jason Lee was on hand to help each Jr. perform their best. Each athlete performed their events on video camera which was sealed and then to be adjudicated by an independent world judging panel.
Very special thanks goes to Lynn Novakofski who documented some amazing moments on camera, see the full gallery here.