University of Colorado graduate Michael Jaquet wishes he could have donned a Buffaloes uniform and competed in sports he was passionate about as a college athlete. But back in 1993, there weren’t many opportunities for a collegiate skateboarder.
Still, Jaquet knew there was a place in college sports for skaters and other less-traditional athletes. He eventually joined CBS College Sports Network and, in spring 2006, founded its Collegiate Nationals in alternative sports, including beach volleyball, boxing and wakeboarding.
And with fond memories of his college days, Jaquet decided to bring this year’s event toBoulder.
The top 15 collegiate wakeboarding teams from across the country gathered at the Boulder Reservoir on Friday for a bracket-style tournament where seven athletes from each team went head-to-head to win their school a spot in today’s semi-finals. The boarders jump, flip and twist on their boards while motorboats pull them around the reservoir.
Suiting up in their wetsuits and exchanging quick comments on the ever-changing weather, the competitors were a little surprised to find themselves in the Rocky Mountain region for the national wakeboarding competition.
The first two years of the event were held in more typical, temperate wakeboarding venues — in California and Texas — but Jaquet thought his college town would be a perfect host.
“Most of these kids are out here to have fun and be somewhere they’ve never been before,” he said. “I guarantee they’re going to have a great time here.”
Organizers also thought that Boulder’s isolated reservoir would provide boarders with the flat water they need to perform their best.