| TahoeDailyTribune.com

Nine-year-old Stateline resident Austin Norton is now among the top 10 water skiers in the nation for his age.

Norton finished ninth overall at the 2002 West Marine U.S. Open Water Ski Championships earlier this month in Sante Fe, Texas. The U.S. Open is considered one of the most prestigious water skiing competitions in the nation by USA Water Ski, the national water ski governing body in the U.S.

Norton scored five buoys at 28 miles per hour 15 feet off Aug. 13 at Lago Santa Fe, a small community about 30 miles southeast of Houston. The score was three buoys short of his tournament best.

Norton finished ninth in trick, 18th in slalom and ninth overall in the boys under 10 years old division.

After placing fifth at the American Water Ski Association Western Regionals,

Norton qualified for the U.S. Open by finishing fifth in the Western Regionals at Cheyenne Lake in Newberry Springs, Calif., in late July, the last spot to qualify.

Norton’s father Marks said he skis four days a week in the summer with the Diablo Water Ski Club in the Sacramento Delta.

He returns to Zephyr Cove Elementary next week, and will return to the Heavenly Ski Foundation’s ski program in the Swiss Alps late next month.

“Most the kids that level are skiing year round,” Mark said.

Photo cutline: Austin Norton gets stretches out during the Western Regional Championships July 23 at Cheyenne Lake in Newberry Springs, Calif. His fifth-place finish qualified him for the U.S. Open Water Ski Championships, where he took ninth in the nation in the under 10 division.

Photo credit: Provided to the Tribune

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