McCullough Makes a Splash in Her Pro Tour Debut

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McCullough Makes a Splash in Her Pro Tour Debut

Knoxville, Tenn. – The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour rolled in to Knoxville today to kick off its two-day season finale at Volunteer Landing. While most of the sport’s top pros were in Knoxville to wrap up the five-city tour; one newcomer however, was there to start her pro career.

Invited to compete in the season-ending contest as a wildcard, 13-year-old Taylor McCullough made her Pro Tour debut today in the Pro Women’s division.

McCullough, who’s a four-time wakeboarding national champion in the 13 and under Girls division, wanted to use her opportunity in Knoxville to gauge her skills against the world’s top pro female riders.

“I was really nervous this morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said McCullough. “There are so many talented riders here. It’s a little overwhelming.”

But the Centralia, Ill. native managed to overcome her nerves during the Pro Women’s division semifinals today, laying down an impressive stand-up run that included a massive Scarecrow, Heel-side 540 and an Indy Tantrum, among many other stylish tricks.

Despite being the lowest ranked rider of the division, McCullough’s run ended up winning her heat today to beat out top seed Amber Wing and advance to tomorrow’s Pro Women’s division finals.

“I’m really excited to make it to finals,” said McCullough. “Winning my heat today definitely gives me confidence going into tomorrow.”

Should McCullough win the Pro Women’s division six-woman final tomorrow, she will tie wakeboarding legend Dallas Friday as the youngest rider to win a Pro Tour stop.

The Pro Women’s division finals are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

In addition to today’s preliminary rounds, the Pro Tour hosted the Rockstar Energy Drink Big-Air Kicker contest and the Overton’s Double Up Contest. Australia’s Dean Smith took home the $1,000 prize in the Big-Air contest after landing a Hootchie to Backside 360 off the kicker. Wakeboarding icon Parks Bonifay also picked up $1,000 in the Double Up contest for landing a Double Half Cab Roll.

Tomorrow’s finale will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate: $13 (adult); $5 (ages 6-12); free (ages 5 and under).

Saturday, August 27 Results:

Pro Women
Semifinal Round – Heat #1
1    Raimi Merritt    USA    68.33
2    Melissa Marquardt    USA    60.00
3    Miku Asai    JPN    50.00
4    Alexa Score    USA    36.67

Pro Women
Semifinal Round – Heat #2
1    Nicola Butler    GBR    75.00
2    Emily Durham    USA    66.67
3    Hayley Smith    AUS    50.00
4    Corrie Dyer    USA    40.00

Pro Women
Semifinal Round – Heat #3
1 Taylor McCullough    USA    70.00
2    Tarah Mikacich    USA    55.00
3    Amber Wing    AUS    46.67
4    Anna Hajek    USA    41.67
5 Christy Hutchins    USA    35.00

Jr. Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round – Heat #1
1    Freddie Wayne    USA    92.50
2    Kyle Evans    USA    92.25
3    Yancey Crew    USA    85.25
4    Gus Shuler    USA    24.50

Jr. Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round – Heat #2
1    Dylan Prideaux    AUS    100.00
2    Gordon Harrison    USA    90.00
3    Joey Buss    USA    62.00

Jr. Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round – Heat #3
1    Robby Holihan    USA    91.25
2    Mike Dowdy    USA    89.25
3    Joshua Twelker    USA    87.25
4    Colby Bernier    USA    72.25
Jr. Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round – Heat #4
1    Daniel Powers    USA    97.75
2    Tony Iacconi    AUS    92.25
3    Gunnar Shuler    USA    75.75
4    Morgan Pedersen    USA    74.25

Jr. Pro Men
Quarterfinal Round – Heat #5
1    Shota Tezuka    JPN    100.00
2    Marc Kroon    NED    86.25
3    Keenan Allen    USA    82.25
4    Landon Kasey    USA    71.50

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #1
1    Shaun Murray    USA    71.67
2    Andrew Adkison    USA    66.67
3    Stephen Pierce    USA    41.67
4    Ben Perry    USA    21.67

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #2
1    Dean Smith    AUS    73.33
2    AJ Racinelli    USA    61.67
3    Matt Sims    USA    43.33

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #3
1    Shawn Watson    USA    68.33
2    Kyle Rattray    CAN    60.00
3    Tony Carroll    USA    53.33

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #4
1    Adam Errington    USA    71.67
2    Shane Bonifay    USA    61.67
3    Olivier Derome    CAN    56.67

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #5
1    Aaron Rathy    CAN    76.67
2    Austin Hair    USA    68.33
3    Zane Schwenk    USA    50.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #6
1    Rusty Malinoski    CAN    75.00
2    Jimmy LaRiche    USA    63.33
3    Dante Digangi    USA    35.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #7
1    Steel Lafferty    USA    75.00
2    JD Webb    USA    63.33
3    Phillip Aslinger    USA    53.33

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #8
1    Bob Soven    USA    83.33
2    Danny Thollander    USA    55.00
3    Chad Sharpe    CAN    50.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #9
1    Harley Clifford    AUS    78.33
2    Joey Bradley    USA    70.00
3    Jason Bannatyne    CAN    60.00

Pro Men
Qualifying Round– Heat #10
1    Phillip Soven    USA    80.00
2    Kirby Liesmann    USA    60.00
3    Danny Burnstein    USA    58.33