Pros Hit the Water at the 2011 Nautique WWA Nationals

Pros Hit the Water at the 2011 Nautique WWA Nationals

Minneapolis, Minn. – The largest water-sport contest in the United States continued today in downtown Minneapolis, as the 2011 Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink hosted preliminary rounds for its pro divisions. Riders in the Pro Men, Pro Women and Pro Wakeskate categories spent the day battling it out on the Mississippi River for the few remaining spots in tomorrow's final rounds of action.

First off the dock today was the Pro Wakeskate division, where eight competitors squared off in two heats of four during today’s semifinal round. Among the eight competing pros was the division’s 2010 runner-up Grant Roberts, who posted a 76.67 to win his heat and advance to tomorrow’s finals.

“I got lucky; the water was super rollie and it took a lot of people down,” Roberts joked about his heat today. “The water has been pretty rough to everyone, but I managed to land a couple of 3’s and a Big Spin today, and made it through to the finals.”

Roberts hopes his luck won’t run out during tomorrow’s finals, as he’ll be competing against Brian Grubb, Stuart Shinn and Reed Hansen – all former national champions.

“The final heat is going to be crazy,” said Roberts. “All these guys are really talented. I just hope the water conditions help level the playing field.”

The 21-year-old Discovery Bay, Calif. native will look to win his first Pro Wakeskate national title during tomorrow’s finals, scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

In the Pro Men’s division, local rider Colin Ryan turned heads today, when the St. Paul, Minn. resident placed third in his six-man quarterfinal heat – good enough to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals. The part-time pro wakeboarder and full-time anesthesiology certification student credits his success today to his approach.

“I have a lot of respect for these guys; they’re the best in the world,” said Ryan. “But since I just wakeboard part time, I really have nothing to lose. I just lay it all on the line, go big and see what happens.”

Ryan’s family and friends will be on site tomorrow to watch him compete in the Pro Men semifinals, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Should Ryan win the national title tomorrow, he will become the first Minnesota native to win the Pro Men’s division national title.

In the Pro Women’s division, all eyes were on Alexa Score to see if the Spicer, Minn. native could advance to the final round of the competition in her home state. But the rough water conditions that have plagued the competition took Score down early, eliminating her from the finals.

“The water conditions were pretty rough and I just don’t have the experience yet to handle that, like some of the other girls do,” said Score, who turned pro earlier this year. “But I had a lot of local support and I hope even more people come out to watch the rest of the competition tomorrow.”

The only pro division to crown a national champion today was the Pro Women's Wakeskate category, when Jen GilanFarr took first place in today's finals to win her fourth national title.

The Nautique WWA Nationals will conclude tomorrow, July 31, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.

The 2011 Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is free to the public during all five days of competition. For those who cannot attend the event in person, just “like” the King of Wake’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/prowakeboardtour) to watch all the live streaming footage.

The 2011 Nautique WWA Nationals will also air on the VERSUS television network at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Saturday, July 30 – Day 4 of 5 Results:

Pro Women Wakeskate Division

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Jen GilanFarr    100.00

Boys Beginner Division

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Mitch Allen    73.33

2    Bryson Hancock    56.67

3    Michael Buss    43.33

Jr. Women Division

Final Round – Heat #1

1    Tori Koch    76.67

2    Katelyn Fenner    66.67

3    Gianna Dinatale    53.33

4    Rachel Orgill    31.67

Pro Women Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #1

1    Melissa Marquardt    71.67

2    Hayley Smith    56.67

3    Shawna Hoffman    45.00

4    Emily Durham    33.33

Pro Women Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #2

1    Nicola Butler    78.33

2    Raimi Merritt    66.67

3    Meagan Ethell    53.33

4    Alexa Score    38.33

Pro Women Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #3

1    Amber Wing    75.00

2    Anna Hajek    63.33

3    Tarah Mikacich    43.33

Pro Wakeskate Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #1

1    Grant Roberts    76.67

2    Stuart Shinn    65.00

3    Danny Hampson    50.00

4    Brandon Thomas    30.00

Pro Wakeskate Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #2

1    Brian Grubb    73.33

2    Reed Hansen    53.33

3    George Daniels    51.67

4    Matt Hayden    36.67

Boys Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #1

1    Zach Brown    80.00

2    Nicholas Brown    61.67

3    Tyler Higham    43.33

4    Jamie McCauley    20.00

Boys Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #2

1    Mac Schramm    71.67

2    Jason Soven    66.83

3    James Loisel    63.33

4    Merrett Fay    48.33

Boys Division

Semifinal Round – Heat #1

1    Landon Kasey    75.00

2    Mitch Kappler    58.33

3    Ben Watts    40.00

Pro Men Division

Quarterfinal Round – Heat #1

1    Aaron Rathy    78.33

2    J.D. Webb    68.33

3    Kyle Rattray    63.33

4    Steel Lafferty    59.83

5    Shawn Watson    55.00

6    Adam Wensink    41.67

Pro Men Division

Quarterfinal Round – Heat #2

1    Jimmy LaRiche    63.33

2    Rusty Malinoski    57.50

3    Colin Ryan    52.50

4    Shaun Murray    51.67

5    Erik Ruck    40.00

6    Nick Jones    26.67

Pro Men Division

Quarterfinal Round – Heat #3

1    Bob Soven    91.67

2    Olivier Derome    80.00

3    Tony Carroll    71.67

4    Andrew Shearer    60.00

5    Phillip Aslinger    50.00

6    Jason Bannatyne    36.67

Pro Men Division

Quarterfinal Round – Heat #4

1    Harley Clifford    87.67

2    Andrew Adkison    71.67

3    Austin Hair    65.00

4    Kirby Liesmann    58.33

5    Clayton Underwood    41.67

6    Jimmy Trask    33.33

Pro Men Division

Quarterfinal Round – Heat #5

1    Phillip Soven    86.67

2    Dean Smith    76.67

3    Joey Bradley    70.00

4    Danny Thollander    63.33

5    Adam Errington    59.00