National champ: LaGrange High grad Greg Terry wins national skiing title

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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LaGrange High graduate Greg Terry is a national champion. Few can claim the title, but earlier this month Terry saw one of his lifelong dreams become his reality.

“When I got out of the water and got the score I needed to win, there was a lot of emotions all at once but mainly excitement,” Terry said. “I knew I had won, but it took a few seconds to really process that I was national champion.”

Terry claimed the national championship in the 17u slalom event at the GOODE Water Ski National Championships at West Palm Beach (Aug 9-12). 

This was his seventh and final appearance at this event, making his first-place finish all the more sweeter. 

“This was my seventh attempt at nationals,” Terry said. “It felt like a lot of hard work finally paying off.”

Terry had a third place finish to his name coming into this year’s tournament, but that was the closest he got to a national title before this summer. 

Terry was full of confidence going into the tournament.

“I was top seed heading into nationals, so felt confident going into it,” Terry said. “When you actually get out there and you’re just sitting on the water before your go, you start to feel some nervous confidence.”

It was a hugely successful summer for Terry, who also claimed his 13th and 14th state titles to go along with his second regional championship.

“Winning regionals was pretty nice,” Terry said. “It was in Tuscaloosa on a lake that I ski at all time time.”

Now, he is hoping to parlay this individual success to team success. Terry has just started class at the University of Alabama and will be a member of the ski team there. He has no major goals in his first season as a member of the Crimson Tide, he just wants to enjoy the moment.

“Really, I just want to try and find my place on the team and have fun with it,” Terry said. “We have a tournament in Auburn about three weeks from now, so that is when the season starts.”

College will offer a different sort of challenge for Terry as it is a team sports and not an individual one. 

Terry has now aged out of the junior classification. Next summer, Terry might just find himself competing at professional events for the first time.

“I can still go to regionals and nationals, but now, I will probably try my hands at some professional tournaments if I can get into them.”

It was not so very long ago that Terry was right here in LaGrange, applying his craft at all the local lakes. While he no longer walks the halls of LaGrange High, Terry is still a Granger through and through.