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Annual Award Winners

Barb Diehl Memorial Award
for Showmanship (Female)

2019  Laura Lohrmann

2021  Paige Jacobs

2022  Laura Lohrmann

2023  Nicole Severson

Meredythe Poltrock Memorial Award
for Showmanship (Male)

2019  Matt Kowalczyk

2021  Matt Kowalczyk

2022  James Finet

2023  James Anderson

Margo Rhyan Memorial Award
for Sportsmanship (Female)

2019  Lily Dunklau

2021  Halee Peters

2022  Shawnda Peters & Caitlin Hare

2023  Megan Gostomski

Ronald Wolfe Memorial Award
for Sportsmanship (Male)

2019  Chris Peters

2021  Hunter Peters & Chris Berryhill

2022  Mike Maas

2023  Mike Maas & James Finet

Frank & Alice Hoch Memorial
Award for MVP (Male)

2019  Rick Syverson 

2021  Chris Peters

2022  Eric Gostomski

2023  Rick Syverson

Walter & Elna Koerting Memorial
Award for MVP (Female)

2019  Julie Abramson

2021  Laura Lohrmann

2022  Nicole Tomomitsu

2023  Alyssa Berryhill

Most Improved Male Skier

2019  Jack Jacobs

2021  James Finet

2022  Mike Maas

2023  Jack Jacobs

Most Improved Female Skier

2019  Caitlin Hare

2021  Sara Wolfe

2022  Emma Maas & Nicole Severson

2023  Grace Finet

Most Valuable Junior

2019  Jack Jacobs

2021  Sara Wolfe

2022  Emma Maas

2023  Samantha Neuens & Emma Maas

SWU Award

2019  Leslie Gostomski & Rick Syverson

2021  Leslie Gostomski

2022  Leslie Gostomski

2023  Joellen Berryhill

Barb Diehl Memorial Award for Showmanship

Barb Diehl was a devoted member of the Lauderdale Aqua Skiers who, like most ski team parents handled many behind-the-scenes tasks and held various board positions over the years. But, what she was truly known and remembered for was her passion for Showmanship. She went as far as recruiting senior members, reaching out to other teams and instructors, including Nancy Lynd, Tracy Porter, Skip Gilkerson. She did so not only with the intention of helping the team improve the level of skiing, but also with the goal of improving showmanship... show quality.


Many of us can still hear and see her running up and down the shoreline, cheering “SMILE!” throughout the entire practice. To her, it didn’t matter if it was free-ski or a show run-through, practicing showmanship was as important as practicing skiing! And, as a pick-up boat rider, she often saw the skiers in their worst moments, but she would urge you to buck-up, put on a happy face, smile and wave to the crowd as if to thank them for watching you face-plant — all because WE ARE HAVING FUN and the crowd needs to feel that!


Showmanship is primary, skiing is secondary, SMILING through it all is MANDATORY! She believed that great showmanship groomed great sportsmanship and a positive attitude can make or break everyone’s experience, from the skiers, drivers and dock crew to the entire crowd and the judges. Barb also believed that even the best skiers will fall, but showmanship could save the act and just because you’re not skiing doesn’t mean you’re not still on stage or still putting on a SHOW.


So, when Barb passed and the team wanted to honor her devotion and passion for LAS, it seemed very appropriate that an award for showmanship be given in her name. It's a legacy she’d surely cherish.

Meredyth Poltrock Memorial Award for Showmanship

Meredythe or Merzy as she was always known joined the Minneiska Water Ski Team in 1979.  She joined with her husband Larry when her 2 children, Jennifer and Billy became involved.  She supported the team enthusiastically until she passed away in 2006.  Merzy was the costume lady for many years and loved to sew sequins on just about anything.  She assisted Jane with the sound at times and was always taking pictures of the team.  You never saw her without her camera.  Her granddaughter Catherine has been a member of the team since 2009.

Margo Rhyan Memorial Award for Sportsmanship

Margo Rhyan was one of the founding members of the Lauderdale Lakes Aqua Skiers. Throughout the years, three generations of the Rhyan family skied on the club including her children and her grandchildren.

Between her and Louise Meike they were the first ones to get real costumes done. She was very inspirational, always supportive and model of what a parent should be. She always got things done no matter what. For example when Kathi was not even part of the ski team, she put her in a costume with make up on and made her go around and give out books in Janesville and collect donations. There was no telling her no!

Ronald Wolfe Memorial Award for Sportsmanship

Ron joined the Minneiska Water Ski Team sometime in the early 2000’s and was a constant until his passing in the spring of 2017.  Although he didn’t have any other family involved with the team, he became part of the Minneiska family.  Ron played many roles off the water for Minneiska throughout his years, from ‘sign-man’ to Pick up Boat driver and from Back Drop maker to Safety personnel.  He truly enjoyed all aspects of the team and was an outstanding observer of all things related to the team and show, on and off the water.


Ron was very enthusiastic. Whether it was making the safety team shirts, to cheering on the team whether on the  ground or from the safety boat. He had many visions of what the team could be and where the team could go and was a strong supporter for the merge of Whitewater and Lauderdale.

Frank & Alice Hoch Memorial Award for MVP

Family was very important to the Hochs and they firmly believed ski team was part of family. Frank used to ski in the show with his grandson Marc in a young and old act. They even skied together at the Lambs Farm Tournament. Frank & Alice also always opened house to their ski team friends. Frank always helped with team equipment repairs on just about anything! Alice loved watching shows and helping with costumes at the house. They also let the team store stuff at their lake house.  They both really enjoyed seeing the team having fun and doing something they loved, and they were committed to providing a home to make that possible.

Walter & Elna Koerting Memorial Award for MVP

Wally was always involved in the team, helping out whenever he could, including making props and helping his son Craig with his ideas for the show themes. Elna was a great seamstress, creating costumes and even swimsuits as back then the only matching suits were speedos. She made the suits for the girls to their measurements.

Practice was off their pier on Ridge Road and there was always warm tomato soup for those cold days. She even made terry cloth robes for the skiers so they could warm up on those days.

They were both heavily involved in the team, doing whatever they could to help out.

SWU Award (team vote)

One member that has been an all-around outstanding representative of SWU, giving extra time and effort by going above and beyond without being asked, having the biggest impact on the team as a whole.

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