A group of area water skiers has recently won the team title at the 19th annual Division 2 Show Ski National Championships, Aug. 3-4, at Kwahamot Bay in Tomahawk, Wis.
On top of being named the best of the nine teams in attendance, the Hartwick Huskys walked away with the best pyramid of the tournament and Faith Hunt was awarded Division 2 Outstanding Female Performer.
Tanya Burnett, a member of the Hartwick Huskys Board of Directors, said that in competitive show skiing, each club has one hour to present a theatrical performance on water skis. Judges score the acts by awarding points based on originality, presentation and execution. Elaborate costumes and staging intermix with music and fast action on the water as an announcer leads the audience through the show, she said.
The Hartwick Huskys are about as diverse a ski team as they come — with 61 adults and 54 kids with ages ranging from seven to 49. While only 54 actually ski, the rest serve as support staff driving boats, pulling pins and spotting skiers, staffing the docks, maintaining the equipment, running the sound and of course, performing the various skits on the beach throughout the show. The kids and families on the team come from more than six school districts including Western Dubuque, Maquoketa Valley, West Delaware, Cedar Rapids, Ankeny, Waterloo and Central City.
Although the Huskys are no strangers to winning national titles (in fact, this is their fourth), this year’s event turned out to be one of the closest finishes in the tournament’s history. The Huskys tallied a grand total of 1,237.67 points and edged the second-place Ski Broncs (Loves Park, Ill.) by less than four points (1,233.97 points) and the third-place Brown’s Lake Aquaducks (Burlington, Wisc.) by a little more than five points (1,232.3 points).
Now that the Huskys have won twice in a row, they will be moving to Division 1 to compete against larger teams.
In Evansdale July 27-29, the Huskys also brought home the Division 2 Midwest Regional Championship title in the Midwest Regional Tournament. The team was awarded highest points in Ballet, Pyramid, Jump, Tow Boat, Pick up Boat, Sound Crew, and Dock and Equipment Crew. They have won the Midwest Regional Championships in 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Also during the Midwest Regionals, Natalie Ulrichs completed in the Swivel 180 individual competition and was awarded third place in the competition.
The Hartwick Huskys will present their 2019 show “Dukes of Delaware County,” co-directed by Mitch Tanner and Faith Hunt, for the final time this season at the year-end community celebration Jam at Schram Saturday, Aug.17 with shows at 2 and 5 p.m. The Husky Junior Development team will perform between shows.
Burnett said there is no admission cost for Huskys shows and guests are welcome to bring a chair, blanket or utilize the bleachers.