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Sophomore Brooke Grisham talks about hoping to qualify for the US National Waterski Championship.

Sophomore+Brooke+Grisham+skis+at+the+US+National+Waterski+Championship.+During+this+set%2C+she+scored+a+new+personal+best.
Sophomore Brooke Grisham skis at the US National Waterski Championship. During this set, she scored a new personal best.

Sophomore Brooke Grisham skis at the US National Waterski Championship. During this set, she scored a new personal best.

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Sophomore Brooke Grisham skis at the US National Waterski Championship. During this set, she scored a new personal best.

Brooke Grisham, Reporter

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Sophomore Brooke Grisham skis at the US National Waterski Championship. During this set, she scored a new personal best.

Here I am at regionals, hanging out with my friends. This is my last chance to make it to nationals, and to be honest by now, I’ve lost most hope. A small part of me thinks I can still make it, that I can jump far enough. I have been practicing all summer just so that I can ski at nationals. If I make it, it’ll be my first year to make it this far. It’s almost my turn, and as I prepare I watch the girls jumping before me. As they go off the ramp I begin to think if I will make it past 57 feet.

Last weekend at state I jumped about 47 feet, just 10 feet away from qualifying for nationals. Although at the time 47 feet was my personal best, I couldn’t help but be sad that I didn’t qualify. I’ve been working hard all summer, and out of everyone I had the furthest to go just to qualify at nationals. I only have one chance to make it, and I really don’t know if I can. Now, all I can think about is doing my best. I’m kind of nervous because everyone is watching me, my coaches I’ve grown close to, my friends who will support me, and my family. I’m on the water, and as the boat turns around, I prepare myself for the impact of the ramp.

My speed is 30 miles per hour, and my boat is at narrow split, which is quite a ways from the jump ramp. Slowly, I cross the wake and wait for the buoys. One one-thousand, two two-thousand, cut for the ramp! I cut hard, and I’m on the ramp, I’m in the air, and I land. It didn’t feel right, but at least I landed. I’m being pulled past the ramp when I hear a familiar whistle. I look toward the shore and see Cole and Erin, my coaches. Cole makes the motion for me to be strong and keep my handle down. I shake my head to let him know I saw, and head down to the end of the lake. We’re turning once again and I tell myself to keep my handle down this time, maybe that’s why it didn’t feel right the first time. I give the boat crew a thumbs up letting them know to speed up to 32 miles per hour. I feel the speed change and get into position. Once again I pull outside the wake and wait for the buoys. I count and cut for the ramp. When I come off the ramp I keep my handle down, but then I get on my heels too much, so much that I can’t ride this one away.

I’m floating in the water with my skis on, and give to boat crew a hand so that they know I’m okay. I look towards shore, and Cole and Erin are still there. They can tell I’m mad, but they help me out and tell me what to do on my final jump. As the boat pulls me up, I’m still upset, but I have one final chance to make it to nationals, and I will not let one awful jump stop me from succeeding one last time.

At my final turnaround I start telling myself I can do it, and telling myself what I need to do. Knees bent, handle down, stay on my toes, look up, and when I’m on the jump, give myself that final kick which will get me to nationals, it has to. When I come up to the buoys I count my last time, one one-thousand, two two-thousand. I’m pulling for the ramp, and in that moment I stop worrying about making it to nationals, and I jump like it is the last time I’ll ever get to. I finally make it to the ramp, and I do everything I told myself to. I give myself that extra kick while I’m on the ramp, and I feel good. I know I can ride this jump away, and I do. I’m pulling out for the dock, and I wonder what my distance was.

I take off my skis, and pack them up. Soon, after I put my skis up, Cole and Erin come towards me and congratulate me. I did it, I jumped 57 feet that score is what I needed to qualify for nationals in jump. As I’m walking down the berm, I see my parents walking to me. My dad is so proud of me and I know it, but then he tells me that my overall score is so good, I qualified for nationals in all three events. Slalom, trick, and jump. To think I had the furthest to go for qualifying, and then I go and qualify in all three events, it was like a dream come true, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

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