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Valley Teen Gets Jump On The Competition

Thu., July 17, 1997, midnight

The other half of the ski-jumping Britton family has surpassed one goal. Now he’s established another.

Trevor Britton, 16, leaving next week for regional water skiing competition at Windsor, Colo., set an eight-state Rocky Mountain Region record when he jumped 141 feet in a meet last week in Helena.

That’s three feet better than he had jumped earlier in the tournament and 14 feet farther than his previous best.

“My goal at the beginning of the year was to beat the record of 135 feet,” said Britton, who will be a junior at West Valley High School this fall. “My new goal is to reach the 150s.”

Britton’s older sister, Bonny, water skis well enough competitively to have earned financial aid to Arizona State University.

“But Trevor is definitely better,” said their dad, Terry.

“Boys competition is way tougher.”

Last year Trevor Britton finished 17th nationally in jumping in Boys 3 for ages 13-16.

Already qualified to return, next week at regionals he’ll attempt to also qualify for the national competition in slalom.

He needs to negotiate four buoys with 32-feet taken off a 75-foot rope. So far he’s done two buoys.

“I tried to qualify (for regionals) in tricks, but didn’t,” he said. “(Anyway) jumping is what I’m best at and is what I like the best.”

Britton called it a “rush” approaching the ramp at approximately 50 miles per hour and slamming into a jump.

“All of a sudden you’re in the air and everything is quiet and peaceful before you hit the water,” he said.

The impact of landing isn’t hard, unless you fall.

“Then it knocks the wind out of you,” Britton said.

The secret of success is a jumper’s body position in the turn and cut to the ramp which determines position while in the air.

“You have to be over the skis and stay pretty much centered over the toes,” said Britton.

Britton has spent the summer at Moose Country Water Ski Camp in Rexford, Mont.

Fred Weber, whom Britton’s dad says is one of the top three jump coaches in the country, is training three national-level competitors, Britton included.

For the past two years Britton has also helped coach and drive boat for younger campers.

With weight-lifting work he’s grown to 170 pounds, which he says has helped him in his quest for greater distance.

Regional competition is July 21-26. Nationals are Aug. 11-16 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Then, Britton will begin a three-sport regimen of football, wrestling and track and field at West Valley High. He’s a defensive back-running back in football, was a top-six Frontier League district finisher at 148 pounds in wrestling and a 400-meter finalist in the district track meet.

“During football I have to miss practice before school starts for nationals, but wrestling and track don’t conflict too much,” Britton said.

They’re a way to keep fit until the next water-skiing season begins.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos

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