For some people, the lake is a place to relax. But for others, water skiing turns the lake into a life-changing experience.
The water ski team is a member of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association. It competes against other teams from schools such as the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University and Louisiana State University.
Last season, the team made it back to Nationals for the first time since 2015.
This is the second time Sarah Stevenson, sophomore and vice president of the team, has attended Nationals in her college career.
“(We) killed it,” Stevenson said. “Taking home second place in Division II and (we) did so with only three female jumpers, typically you have five.”
Stevenson said the team has developed significantly since she has been involved. A few skiers she has taught are even surpassing her own skills. Stevenson said she is motivated by her teammates to get better.
Cori Picazo, senior and president of the team, said new members already have promising talent based on what she has seen in the practices.
Rachel Walgenbach, sophomore and treasurer of the club, said the water ski team makes an impact on all members.
“I started my freshman year in January,” Walgenbach said. “It was freezing, but I stuck around. Water skiing has encouraged me to be a more active participant in sports.”
Stevenson added that she has made lifelong friendships with people from all around the world through the sport.
“We are a family,” Stevenson said. “Everyone in skiing, whether it’s (National Collegiate Water Ski Association) or (American Water Ski Association). It’s a really cool network of people that have a common desire and passion for water skiing.”
Some members of the club said that they see a future in water skiing, to compete or as a hobby.
“I will continue to water ski until I am no longer physically capable,” Stevenson said.
Picazo and her teammates hope to encourage others to get involved with water skiing.
“It’s addictive,” Stevenson said. “Once you start to get a taste for the water you can’t get away from it and find yourself itching to get out even on cold or rainy days.”
The water ski team believes it is heading the right direction this year, with lots of new members and practices throughout the week. The team continues to show that water skiing does not just have to be a hobby, it can also be a sport.