Cowger claims championship

Science teacher takes first in national water ski competition

provided by Deana Cowger

Slicing through the water, her ski sends spray to the sides.
Gripping the rope, she leans back, passes the buoy and makes her way through the boat’s wake.
Back and forth she goes, with each pass of a buoy, the boat goes faster, and gradually the rope gets shorter.
It’s a skill honed with hundreds of hundreds of hours of practice.
It’s a skill that recently earned science teacher Deana Cowger the Women’s III Slalom national championship in the 77th GOODE Water Ski Nationals at the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches and Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, FL.

provided by Deana Cowger
Water skiing since she was a small girl, science teacher Deana Cowger competed in the USA Water Ski Nationals was at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, FL in August.
Competing in the Women’s III Slalom event. Cowger took first place and the corresponding national title.

“I always had the goal of winning Nationals one day,” Cowger said via email. “It eluded me for several years as I placed 2nd in 2015, 3rd in 2018. It was a humbling experience for me this year to see my focus and determination finally pay off.”

Starting out on a kneeboard when she was only three years old, Cowger has been water skiing for more than 20 years.

“I have always water skied, ever since I was a little kid,” she said. “As a family, we went to the lake all the time during the summer, so I started out on a kneeboard when I was about three years old and I started skiing on two skis when I was about five and then a slalom ski when I was about thirteen.”

Eventually Cowger would ski on the collegiate level in the slalom event.

“It’s not a NCAA sport, so colleges that have collegiate teams it’s usually under the intramural sports program. In competitive water skiing there are three events, slalom, trick, and jump,” she said. “And my main focus is slalom but I can trick and jump, I just don’t practice enough so I compete in slalom. I’ve been doing it in college so I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years.”

Water skiing for the vast majority of her life, Cowger never grows tired of being on the water.

“You always want to get more. You can never beat yourself, well you can beat yourself but it never ends,” she said. “You always want to try to get a higher boat speed or when you’re doing line link you always want to get to the next line length, and you always want to try to get to the next buoy. So it’s always like ‘Oh I made it, I made three buoys on that one, I know I can get four on the next one, and that’s what drives you to keep going.”