ULM ski team pulls out the tricks at the Bayou Classic - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

ULM ski team pulls out the tricks at the Bayou Classic

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MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News)- Skiers like Nikita Papalul are throwing their hardest tricks in hopes of impressing judges at ULM's annual Bayou Classic ski tournament.

"You know we aren't just getting their to ski for fun we actually work and try to improve our scores so its not as easy as it seems" says Papalul.

With skiers like Papalul, the men's and women's team at ULM is made up of some of the best talent coming from all over the world from Belarus to England.

But they all come together for one thing the love of skiing.

And for this team, the Bayou Classic is just preparation for October when they defend their national championship title.

"To set up our strongest team, and two weeks after regional's we are going to have nations which is the most exciting for the whole team. Everyone is very motivated and working hard" says Papalul.

The skiers compete in three different events slalom, trick skiing and jumping.

Each event earns points, which are combined to name the winning team.

In this weekend's competition, seven teams showed up, including ULM's instate rival the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 "We are looking at how we sit against Lafayette. We know that Lafayette have recruited heavily this summer" says Oliver.

But unlike Lafayette, Monroe is the only team in the National Collegiate Water Ski Association with a body of water right on campus, which team captain Will Oliver thinks gives them a competitive edge and may be why ULM has 24 national titles.

"We are lucky that we have the bayou right on campus which is I believe why people come to Monroe over Lafayette" says Oliver.

Even with the best recruits and a national championship program the boys say sometimes even the best of the best wipe out.

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