Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Water skier Poulsen is golden around the buoys

In regional slalom

Showing once again that she's a quick learner, Ketchum water skier Alison Poulsen zoomed to a first-place finish in slalom at the 13-state Western Regional Championships held July 24-29 in California.

Poulsen, 44, won the 15-skier Women's 3 class and beat nearly all women competitors during the American Water Ski Association event staged on the waters of Wet Set Village near NewBerry Springs, Ca. July 29.

It's only her third year skiing competition but Poulsen has already been to last year's U.S. National Water Skiing Championships in West Palm Beach, Fla. last August, where she placed 17th in her 35-44 age group. In her first big meet, she placed third in western regionals at Portland, Ore. in 2005.

Poulsen plans to return to U.S. nationals in slalom Aug. 14-18 at Bakersfield, Ca.

Also competing at Wet Set Village in Men's Class 4 slalom regionals were locals Gary Storey, 50 (tied for 17th) and Mike Hanley, 52 (52nd).

Last weekend, the Black Butte Ranch Classic was held for 35 to 40 competitors north of Shoshone and Poulsen won the women's division, although she said she didn't ski her best. Storey, Hanley and John Urban also competed, Urban winning his class, while Matt Murphy did slalom, tricks and jumping.

"It was amazing skiing," said Poulsen about Black Butte.

Poulsen said slalom contests take place through a course consisting of six buoys. They are all about rope length, meaning whoever can make it around the most buoys on the shortest rope is the winner.

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