Bull making more big waves

Article Source: North Bay Nugget

Jaimee Bull began this year’s waterski season with the same competitive flare that earned her North Bay’s 2017 Jack Burrows Memorial Award for Sports Achievement.

Bull, now competing in the Open Women Division, opened 2018 with a second-place finish at her first tournament and then last weekend, tied her personal best for a third-place finish behind two world champions.

Her training started March 22 at the Jack Travers Ski School near Orlando, Florida. At Sunset Lakes, she settled for silver behind former champion Whitney McClintock. Last weekend at the Isles of Lake Hancock Invitational, she was third (despite a personal best 3 buoys at 10.75 metres) with McClintock second. Beating them both was World Champion Regina Jaques.

Last year, as a 17-year-old in the Junior Women Division, she recorded her most successful season beginning with a World Championship gold medal won in Santiago, Chile.

Her season actually began in late 2016 as she trained for the Junior Worlds set for South America in January 2017. This meant that despite some significant snowfalls, she had to continue training well into November 2016 on Trout Lake before heading to Florida in December for some fine tuning. The cold weather training paid off as she defeated top ranked Brooke Baldwin from the USA for the Gold.  She was also part in the six-person Canadian group that defeated the USA for the Team Championship.

After a couple months of rest, she returned to the Jack Travers Ski School in Florida to train for the upcoming season, primarily for the Junior Masters tournament held annually in Callaway Gardens Georgia. This three-month training session, her longest ever, also paid dividends. In April and May, she set two Canadian Junior Women’s Slalom records breaking her previous record set in 2016. Jaimee also skied in her first Pro event against the top women in the world, finishing fourth at the Swiss Pro tournament held near Orlando. This Florida trip culminated in her first place finish at the Junior Masters.

Bull then returned home to finish Grade 11 at Chippewa Secondary School and continue her training on Trout Lake. A quick trip to Seattle resulted in a first-place finish at the Hill-Top Lake Pro-Am tournament where she completed the 11.25 m line length (38 off) in all four rounds of the tournament. She also won the Junior Women’s division at the Eastern Canadian Championships in early August and then headed west to ski in the Canadian Open Pro Tournament in Edmonton where she took on the top pros in the world finishing third.

Bull has been a member of the Junior Canadian National Waterski Team for a few years, but with her successes early in 2017, her status was elevated to the Senior National Elite Team.

She stayed in Edmonton for a few days to train with the National Team before heading to the Canadian National Waterski Championships where she won the Junior Women’s title and placed second to McClintock in the Open Category.

It wasn’t long before she joined the Canadian Team in Spain to prepare for the Open World Championships to be held in Paris, France in early September. At Worlds, facing the best 50 slalomers in the world, she finished fourth after the preliminary round and then won bronze.

Bull returned to Chippewa to begin her Grade 12 year and her last high school basketball season. She continued to train on Trout Lake when she could. Her competitive ski season finished with a fifth-place finish at the Malibu Open Pro in Charleston South Carolina in early October.

To cap off the 2017 season, Bull was named the 2017 Junior Water Ski Athlete of the Year by Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada.

Bull will be honoured with the Burrows Memorial Award for Sports Achievement at the 38th Annual North Bay Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner May 5 at the Best Western.

Bull, however, won’t be able to attend as she continues to train in Florida for upcoming tournaments, including the Swiss Pro Tournament in Clermont, Florida and the US Masters Tournament at Callaway Gardens, Georgia. It will be her first time competing in the Pro Division at the US Masters, as only the top seven slalom skiers on the World Elite list are invited to this tournament with Bull securing the last spot.

Contact: ddale@postmedia.com

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