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LAKE WYLIE --
While most people consider hitting the lake in the summer for recreation, local water skiers Claire Frase and Jaclyn Whitt consider it all business.
Frase of Tega Cay and Whitt of Clover are two of 15 skiers who will compete in the Division I National Show Ski Championships Friday-Sunday, Aug. 10-12, in Janesville, Wis.
Both teens are members of the Carolina Show Ski team, based out of Tega Cay, and qualified by performing well in June at the Southern Regionals in Tampa, Fla.
They are just two of three skiers from the South to qualify, and will be judged through technical merit and artistic presentation. The teens will be competing in the open swivel portion of the show against 13 other qualifiers from across the country.
Frase has been skiing since she could walk. Now 16, she has been skiing for 14 years.
A rising junior at Fort Mill High, Frase, who also plays lacrosse, said she enjoys the level of competition waterskiing presents. Like most skiers, Frase first put on a pair of skis just for fun.
“I thought it was a lot of fun,” she said. “It was something you do in your free time, and it’s not something everyone else does. It is a unique sport.”
Once she grew old enough to start competing, a fire was lit. She has been competing for the past decade.
“I like the competition,” she said. “But I really like to win.”
Frase won the open swivel division in June at the Southern Regionals. This will be her fourth time at nationals. The highest she has ever finished was fourth.
“This competition is as big as it gets,” she said.
Whitt, 19, hasn’t been skiing as long as Frase, but got into the sport after seeing the Carolina Show Ski team during a Fourth of July performance.
“When I saw it, I was 10 years old, and I wanted to get more involved,” Whitt said.
Like Frase, Whitt, a Clover High graduate, started out skiing recreationally, but by age 14 wanted to start competing.
“I started out with the team, but then it turned into something more to do individually,” she said. “I like the performance part of it and entertaining people.”
Follow the results online by visiting usawaterski.org.