ASU Wins Collegiate Nationals – Colby Bernier and Chelsea Clark take individual titles
After four years Collegiate Nationals using their new format, four different teams have all held top honors, as well as four different Men and Women. The pooled format has proven to be more competitive and difficult to dominate than the previous head-to-head bracket format. While a few teams have been perennial podium earners, making that complete team has always been a challenge.
ASU’s story isn’t just of their first National Championship team, but one where when the format for this event started, ASU didn’t even have a team. Within only four years ASU went from nonexistent to national champions. “It was such an amazing feeling watching all of the Wake Devils ride at Nationals!” says Ryan Platt (ASU- Sr.), ASU team founder and president who rode Men’s A but just missed finals. Platt “felt confident in [his] team and knew [they] had the ability”.
The ability of all the riders this year, not just ASU had stepped up across the field. Riders from all divisions were hitting bigger tricks than the years before. Men’s C winner Ried Paxton (Ok. St. -Sr.) was doing every trick ten or more feet to the flats, including heelside frontside 540s, and elephants.
But the highlights came in the top men’s division. Men’s A saw the closest, and arguably most talented finals in the last few years. First off the dock was Adam Holdsworth (Tenn – GS) in his first debut collegiate national appearance. Holdsworth didn’t hold anything back, packing into his first pass a big batwing, Hs late roll to blind, and a perfect nose grab crow mobe. Adam put the pressure on and the other riders had a hard time staying collected. Colby Bernier (Jacksonville St. – So) came out last and fired off a few of his own tricks. Starting off with a Nose grab moby dick, and a melan pete rose; Colby sealed the deal with a massive indy glide and switch tootsie in his second pass.
The women’s division was full of heavy hits as well. Chelsea Clark (ASU – Sr) watched all the girls ahead of her come out and stick backrolls, tantrums, and backside 180s, but she was there to show that she and her fellow wake devils belonged on top of that podium. Clark was launching across the wake with her switch and regular 180s followed closely by her heelside backroll, frontroll, and tantrum. Even with her title locked up she went for a hs 360, missing the handle, to just glide back into the water.
Platt of ASU said he “never would’ve guessed we would have won nationals when [he] started the team”. He’s sure that with all the interest they’ve generated in the past four years that ASU will be “a strong force in collegiate wakeboarding for a long time”. The level of riding at colleges is getting better year after year, and new teams are popping up all over the place. So only time will tell if they can keep the momentum alive.
For full weekend results click here.
USA Wakeboard would like to thank all of the sponsors that helped make this event possible.
Shreveport- Bossier Sports Commission,
Shreveport Parks and Recreation,
Margaritaville hotel and casino,
Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour,
Backside 5 clothing,