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(Winter Haven, FL) - The USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation is giving away thousands of dollars in scholarships to young water sports athletes from across the country.


These particular scholarships are awarded annually at the U.S. National Water Ski Championships to the overall winners of each of the Boys and Girls Divisions. The Scholarships will be held in escrow by the foundation until these young people attend the college or university of their choice.

Boys 1 Scholarship Winner Bode Bulfer

Bode Bulfer from Northfield, Minnesota won the Boys 1 National Overall Points award at the Goode U.S. National Water Ski Championships and has been awarded the Jim Grew Boys 1 Scholarship sponsored by Jim Grew in the amount of $2,000. The 2021 National Tournament was Bode's third time competing at Nationals but the very first time he has won a medal and won the gold in every Boys 1 event.

Girls 1 Scholarship Winner Grace Lohr

Grace Lohr from Orlando, Florida won the Girls 1 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Jim Grew Girls 1 Scholarship sponsored by Jim Grew in the amount of $2,000. Grace is a fourth-generation National Water Ski Champion who started water skiing when she was just 20 months old.

Brian Walsh & Boys 2 Scholarship Winner Ty Robbins

Ty Robbins from Wexford, Pennsylvania won the Boys 2 National Overall Points and has been awarded the Walsh Family Boys 2 Scholarship sponsored by the Walsh Family in the amount of $2,000. Ty set a new Boys 2 National Jump Record of 112 feet in June and in July he set a new Boys 2 Slalom Record of 4 at 35 off.

Rachel May & Girls 2 Scholarship Winner Alexia Abelson

Alexia “Lexi” Abelson from Gilbert, Arizona won the Girls 2 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Walter May Girls 2 Scholarship sponsored by Rachel May in the amount of $2,000. Lexi represented the USA as an independent at the under 17 world championships this year. Her goal is to learn more flips and to trick 5200+ next year.

Boys 3 Scholarship Winner Jake Abelson & Steve Grubbs

Jake Abelson from Gilbert, Arizona won the Boys 3 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Dutch Brothers Coffee Boys 3 Scholarship sponsored by Steve Grubbs in the amount of $1000. Jake recently represented the USA at the under 17 and under 21 World Championships where the US Team won Gold in both competitions.


Girls 3 Scholarship Winner Julie Mishler

Julie Mishler from Syracuse, Indiana won the Girls 3 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Gus Johnson Girls 3 Scholarship sponsored by Kelly Li Johnson in the amount of $1000. Julie was named to the 2020-2021 US Junior National Water Ski Team.



Boys 4 Scholarship Winner Ty Kosek

Ty Kosek from Buffalo, Minnesota won the Boys 4 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Dr. JD Morgan Boys 4 Scholarship sponsored by Dr. Mike Morgan in the amount of $1000. Ty is a junior in high school and is also a swimmer and a football player.


Jody Johnson & Girls 4 Scholarship Winner Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth “Liz” Hall from Newnan, Georgia won the Girls 4 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Linda Giddens Girls 4 Scholarship sponsored by Jody Johnson in the amount of $1,000. Liz also excels in tennis and swimming and wants to have a career designing prosthetics.

Boys 5 Scholarship Winner Blaze Grubbs

Blaze Grubbs from Carmichael, California won the Boys 5 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Dr. JD Morgan Boys 5 Scholarship sponsored by Dr. Mike Morgan in the amount of $1,000. In addition to water skiing, Blaze is a straight-A student, plays high school basketball, and is a private pilot.

Jody Johnson & Girls 5 Scholarship Winner Alyssa Drake

Alyssa “Aly” Drake from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin won the Girls 5 National Overall Points award and has been awarded the Linda Giddens Girls 5 Scholarship sponsored by Jody Johnson in the amount of $1,000. Aly trains in Orlando, Florida, and volunteers at a Horse Therapy Barn called Freedom Ride. She’s not sure where she will go to college but she says it will definitely have a water ski team.


Established in 1968, the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation preserves and celebrates the history of all towed water sports and promotes these sports through our Scholarship Programs and the Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame.


For more information on scholarships go to our website: https://www.usa-wwf.org/ or email scholarshipadmin@waterskihalloffame.com




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Updated: 4 days ago

The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce the 2022 inductees to the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. Tara Hamilton-Wynne and Zane Schwenk will be formally enshrined at the 39th Annual USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

Tara Hamilton-Wynne helped push the sport of wakeboarding into the future. Raised in Lantana, Florida Tara's parents were avid three-event water skiers and Tara did her fair share of water skiing and kneeboarding, but nothing really clicked until she took a ride one day with Darin Shapiro. At age 14 she started wakeboarding. At age 15, she was the world champion. Going "Big" took on a whole new meaning with Tara. She went on to three more world championships and dominating in the X-Games. Tara exposed the sport of wakeboarding to a whole new audience with breakthrough sponsors and mainstream media articles. She was even a character in a video game produced by ActiVision for Playstation and XBox.



Zane Schwenk is an athlete, entertainer, and water sports ambassador who has inspired thousands of people to get on the water. Described as someone who "Bleeds towed water sports," Schwenk has spent much of his life doing what he loves... and spreading the love through the initiative he helped start: "Pass the Handle." Schwenk is well-known as a pro tour wakeboarder who medaled in the X Games and won the 2000 America's Cup but he also barefoots, slaloms, jumps, trick skis, hydrofoils, shoe skis and is a legend in freestyle jumping. Schwenk is the only person to land a double front flip ski jumping... ever. If you can do it behind a boat, Schwenk can do it better than most. In 1999, he was named "World's Greatest Water Skier" at Cypress Gardens, in a kind of decathlon of water sports. Schwenk was also a driving force in the boating industry, instrumental in designing the very first wakeboard boat with MasterCraft and he holds patents along with MasterCraft for surf systems and towers. But what makes really makes Zane a champion is his drive to give back to water sports. "Teaching people to wakeboard, water ski, wake surf... that's my legacy... and that means more than winning anything," says Schwenk. Huge Congratulations to Zane and Tara and we can't wait to celebrate with them in March!


Established in 1968, the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation preserves and celebrates the history of all towed water sports and promotes these sports through our Scholarship Programs and the Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame. In 2022, we will be marking the 100th Anniversary of Water Skiing with special events, including the Hall of Fame in March... details to be released soon.



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The Iowa State University Water Ski Club has been named as the recipient of the 2021 USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation Michael Gerkin Equipment Grant.

"We are incredibly grateful for this award and want to thank everyone," says Iowa State University Water Ski Club Vice President Sydnee Keener.

The $1500 Grant was established in honor of Michael Gerken, a member of the Iowa State University water ski team, whose life exemplified the principles of good sportsmanship and fairness, competition, and courage. Its goal is to provide young student-athletes of limited financial means the opportunity to purchase water ski equipment to continue to compete in water skiing in addition to their college studies. The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation is proud to award the $1500 Michael Gerkin Equipment Grant to a student from Michael's Alma Mater.


You can help support our mission to support student-athletes by joining or donating to the foundation HERE.



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