The University of Louisiana Monroe Water Ski team will host the National Collegiate Water Ski All Stars tournament on May 12-13, 2018, on historic Bayou DeSiard.
The tournament features the 10 best men and women skiers from across the U.S. in each of the events of slalom, trick and jump. Instead of competing as individual schools, the teams are composed of skiers based on their region.
The event will start at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, but spectators are encouraged to arrive around 2 p.m.
Bayou DeSiard was the site of the first-ever Water Ski Collegiate Nationals in 1979. The team also hosted the nationals tournament in 1983, 1990 and 1998, along with numerous regional tournaments over the 40-year history of the team. The All Stars is the first national-level water ski tournament hosted in Monroe in 20 years.
“The team really wanted to bring a national collegiate water ski tournament back to the bayou, but nationals now requires a site with two lakes, and we only have one,” explains team coach Joey McNamara. “All Stars is the closest thing we can do to bring nationals back to Monroe.”
ULM team members will compete for the South Central Region with skiers from LSU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Oklahoma State, University of Arkansas, University of Texas, Baylor and even the team’s rival, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The South Central region will compete against the other three regions, West, Midwest and Eastern region. The Midwest has won the tournament for the last four years with the South Central placing second last year.
“All Stars is a great format that gives our team members an opportunity to give back the sport we all love, but share our hometown of Monroe with the rest of the water ski world,” says McNamara.
“Many of our ULM skiers grew up skiing with these skiers from other schools or we have met them at tournaments,” explains McNamara. “We all learned to separate what happens on the water with what happens off. Tournaments like All Stars remind us why we do what we do and it's a great opportunity to share the historic Bayou DeSiard with a generation that hasn’t gotten to experience it.” For more information, please contact Joey McNamara or check out the event page,www.bit.ly/allstars_fbevent