The stage was set. The Warhawks of University of Louisiana Monroe had a huge lead headed into the final tour stop of the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour. They had easily won all 3 of the previous tour stops and had just been amassing a huge lead. But there was only 1 thing in their way; the defending tour champions, the Bayou Bengals of LSU. Finals were even in LSU’s own backyard! The world renowned Bennett’s Ski School is located a whole 15 minutes from campus on the out skirts of Baton Rouge. It was destined to be a dog fight all the way to Nick Vicarri’s run to end the day with sun setting in the distance.
It started off as a beautiful morning on the bayou; the high was 74 that day with clear skies projected all day long. The Fleur De Ski comp hosted by the ULL water ski got off to an early start on Lake 2 with the first slalom run at about 7:25 am. Most of the Mississippi State guys were doing the 3 event tournament along with the LCWT tournament and were struggling to get past the night before and stay up right on a slalom ski. With registration ending at noon there were 64 riders set to ride. LSU came to play with 28 riders and was determined to at least scare ULM.
The beginners division got off to a good start for LSU with 12 riders competing for that division. The Tigers also swept the division with Jordan Hughes in 1st place, Miles Watts in 2nd, and Holden Marceaux in 3rd. The next division was the one bright spot for ULM. Kalynn Oswalt, 2012 the Alt Games Women’s A runner up, placed 1st for ULM in Women’s division. She was followed by Louisiana Tech’s Tiffany Shetters and Mississippi State’s Emily Clark.
In intermediate, LSU hit another grand slam by sweeping the podium. LSU president Brannon Lauber took 1st with a super stylish run and his now trademarked tumble turn. He was followed by team mates Scott Beyt and Daniel Kopsco in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The advanced division got tricky though. The judges spent a solid 30 minutes deciding. Finally Chief Judge Ory Comeaux and Layton Olano had it sorted out after a heated round of rock, paper, scissors. It was all LSU again! David Curtis took 1st by going big on everything. He was accompanied on the podium by fellow team members Kyle Jordan in 2nd and Zach Sheets in third.
The open division was almost a one man show. Nick Vicarri was going for 1st place for the second time that day. ULM’s Cody Townsend and Trevor Duncan were the only others in the division. Everyone knew the Cody had the tricks but lacked the consistency lately to take down Nick. Trevor in only his second ride in the open division lacked the tricks threw down a solid run that ended up being easily enough to take 2nd. But it was all LSU in this one too as Nick took 1st over Trevor in 2nd and Cody in 3rd.
At the end of the day, everyone knew it was a landslide of a win for LSU. The Tigers had nearly doubled ULM’s score for the day. ULM had taken distant 2nd and Mississippi State was an even further 3rd. The big question of the day however was had LSU been able to cover the gap and win the whole tour. After reexamining all the scores from not only that day, but also the previous 3 stops at Lafayette, Shreveport, and Monroe, it was announced the next day….. 30 points….. 7557.5 to 7527.5…. ULM had held on and done just enough at the last stop to walk away as the 2013 Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour Champs! So congratulations to the Warhawk Wake team from ULM on their second tour title!
As our 3rd season with the LCWT came to a close, we looked back on what these guys had accomplished. The tour had held the largest college wakeboard competition to date at Shreveport in October with 122 riders, grown to 12 schools from across the south central US, and vastly expanded the sport in the region. We hope to grow even more and see everyone as we expand our events into Texas and Mississippi next season! Huge thanks to Ory Comeaux, Megan Louviere, Enrique Martinez, and all the others that are too many to be listed. Thank you for the support and help and running this tour and making it such a success.
We also can’t forget our sponsors! Please support those who support us! Backside FIVE Clothing Company, Dupe Flip Flops, Slingshot Sports, Jet Pilot, Bennett’s Ski School, B&L Marine, Swamp Sports Board Shop, and Cajun X Cables.