The Water Skier - May/June 2010

Student Athlete

Scott N. Atkinson 0000-00-00 00:00:00

Brian Detrick, the National Collegiate Water Ski Association’s 2009 Male Most Outstanding Leader, and the architect behind the St. Mary’s College of California water ski team, discusses what it is like to start a collegiate water ski program Q: What was your reaction when you learned that you were selected the NCWSA’s 2009 Male Outstanding Leader? A: I was very excited. It was a great honor to receive the award since there are so many student athletes to choose from across the country. I appreciated the NCWSA board members, coaches and my peers for recognizing all the time and energy I put into starting the Saint Mary’s College water ski and wakeboard team. Q: Why did you decide to attend St. Mary’s, especially knowing it did not have a water ski team? A: I chose Saint Mary’s strictly for academics. My parents, mainly my mom, did not want me to base my decision on what college to attend just on the basis of the school’s water ski team. My family and I were looking for a complete package that would benefit me in the long run. Q:What motivated you to start the water ski and wakeboard team? A: Wanting to ski in college was my biggest motivation. I wanted to ski not only with everyone I had grown up with on the water, but I also wanted the opportunity to ski with the best collegiate skiers throughout the country. Q:What are you most proud of in the continuous development of the program at St. Mary’s? A: Our team continues to grow at a strong pace. The first two semesters we had three to five members. Then the third semester, we grew to 14 members, and this past semester, fall 2009, we had 25 members. I know it will start to level off here soon because we are such a small school with 2,400 undergraduates. It is a lot of fun working with so many people who have never skied before. Once they get the hang of it, they are setting a new personal best every time they get on the water. Q: What have been your greatest challenges? A: To be honest, I didn’t think it would have been a challenge to start a team. A couple weeks into my freshman year, I found out that I was totally wrong! Starting the team was probably one of my biggest challenges. The athletic department had no prior knowledge of collegiate water skiing. I met with the athletic director explaining every little detail of how collegiate water skiing works. Another challenge has been practice. I take the team back to my home site, Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, California, where we are fortunate to get time on the water Wednesday afternoons and on the weekends. Shortline Lake is approximately an hour-and-a-half away from the St. Mary’s campus. It tends to make it difficult for some members to get out to the site for practice. Q: What motivated you to want to host last year’s NCWSA’s Western Regionals and this year’s All-Stars? A: A lot of the skiers in our region wanted to have the opportunity to have a tournament at Shortline Lake because they have enjoyed past experiences that also included great performances. I didn’t want to do a regular collegiate tournament so I felt the Regionals would be a good start. There were many people who questioned if I would be able to “pull off” a successful tournament because I only had four members on the team when our bid was accepted. I knew I had a lot of support from not only my parents, but also from the rest of the homeowners at Shortline Lake. After we hosted the Regionals, I received a lot of positive feedback not only from the skiers, but also from the parents and current/past NCWSA board members in our region. I wanted to put on a national event to give the athletes a place to ski with a great site, driving and officiating, and knew it would be an awesome opportunity for our new program to receive more recognition. Q: What are the team’s goals for this year? A: Our goal is to qualify for Division 2 Nationals this fall. We came in seventh place out of fourteen teams at last year’s Western Regionals. We are going to have to continue to train hard over the next five to six months in order to obtain our goal! Brian Detrick’s Pbs Slalom: 1-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off Tricks: 2,480 points Jumping: 85 feet SHORTLINES The 16th Collegiate All-Stars Water Ski Championships will be held May 22-23 at Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, Calif. Hosted by St. Mary’s College of California, the event includes the top-10 men and top-10 women from each of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association’s four regions vying for a team title and individual titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall. The Midwest Region is the defending champion…The 32nd Collegiate Water Ski National Championships will be held Oct. 14-16 at the Austin Aquaplex in Buda, Texas. The event will feature 12 teams in Division 1 and 10 teams in Division 2. For more information, visit

Published by USA Water Ski . View All Articles.

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