Morning Star Staff
A Vernon wakeboarder is making his mark nationally.
Reece Hawthorne, 15, a Fulton Secondary student, brought back home hardware from the national finals at Albert Dyck Lake in Abbotsford.
Hawthorne began nationals in boat wake boarding (being pulled by a boat) and finished third in heat, moving on to the quarterfinals. He was placed with the top riders across Canada in the junior men’s (14-18) division.
Hawthorne was fourth in his quarterfinal, missing the finals as he had to place in the top-two. He finished the year 10th in Canada for junior men and second in the country for his age group (born in 2000).
In amateur boat wake skating (which sees a competitor behind a boat but not attached to the board), Hawthorne ended up third in Canada and first in his age group.
“After my heat of six, I finished third which put me in a good spot for the finals,” said Hawthorne. “I was able to watch the previous riders in the finals and I knew I had to give it my all.
“I landed most of the run I had in mind and didn’t know if it was enough (to finish on the podium) but, sure enough, it was.”
To finish off nationals, Hawthorne competed in the cable event, looking to just have some fun as he only learned the discipline this summer.
After landing a pretty solid run, finishing third in heat (out of six), Hawthorne qualified for the final, where they took the top-six riders.
“I was happy making it to the finals alone,” he said. “I ended up finishing fifth in Canada for junior men.”
Hawthorne expressed huge thanks to his family, sponsors (Board Sports Canada, Liquid Force Wake, and Spy Optics), and all the coaches from the B.C. team.