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Milton's Kennedy Hansen claims fourth straight Junior U.S. Open water ski title

Eric Wallace
Pensacola News Journal

Milton water ski phenom Kennedy Hansen further added to her decorated resume in June with a fourth consecutive victory at the Junior U.S. Open in the overall competition (3,000.0 points).

Hansen also claimed titles in slalom (3 buoys at 38 feet off) and jump (120 feet). She suffered an uncharacteristic fall in the tricks competition, though she still managed to place on the podium.

Kennedy Hansen, then 15, of Milton poses after taking the overall first prize in the U17 division at the 2018 Pan Am Championships in Chile.

The 20th Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships were held from June 20-21 in Mainz, Kansas.

Hansen's score of 3,000.0 points in the overall competition was the best possible score and was shared by two other winners in the boys and women's competitions. According to Hansen's family, only one other athlete is known to have won four overall titles at the Junior U.S. Open.

2020 is Hansen’s final season of competition at the junior level before aging into women’s events next season.

Hansen has trained over the years at the Pickos Water Ski School in Santa Rosa Beach. Pickos is a USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Famer after a competition career that included 24 world records, the first of which came when he was 13.

Hansen is a rising senior at Milton High School. In addition to water ski competition, Hansen has previously competed with Milton’s girls soccer program.

Eric J. Wallace can be reached at ejwallace@pnj.com or 850-525-5087.