Jacqui leaps to a bronze medal
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IT takes a lot of guts to come out when the contest is on the line and produce a personal best to get among the medals.
Close to medal considerations but not a serious threat, Boambee's Jacqui McDonald pulled one mighty rabbit out of the hat to claim an under 14 jumps bronze medal at the recent waterski national chanpionships held in Adelaide.
With a previous personal best jump of 13.5m, McDonald smashed that with her last jump to catapult herself onto the medal dais by clearing 14.3m.
To make the Toormina High student's story even more unique is that when she was preparing for her final run she had no idea of her standing among the field.
"I didn't realise where I was coming because they were reading out all the names from last to first and before they got to the end the computers froze," McDonald explained.
"I was totally surprised with finishing third because I didn't think I'd get anything."
It's a modest expectation considering that McDonald entered the national championships by winning the jump state title in Canberra at the end of March.
At only 12 years of age, McDonald shows tremendous courage each time she approaches the ramp at close to 45km per hour but her achievements deserve more credit than some give her credit for considering that she doesn't get to train as often as most of the other girls she competes against at state and national level.
"I try to get down to the Bellinger River every weekend but I'm not in the water every day while other girls train every day and get to jump every day," she said.
"I only get to go over a jump two times a month if I'm lucky."
Next on the young water-skier's agenda is three of the six events that make up part of the Malibu series.
Two of these events will be held at the Stony Park facility in Telegraph Point and she will also travel to Newcastle to show her wares in three disciplines of jump, slalom and trick.
Maybe McDonald will again wow judges with her last minute heroics.