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Wakepoint LBJ celebrating champions

Eight-time wakeboarding world champion Harley Clifford

Eight-time wakeboarding world champion Harley Clifford will join Marble Falls High School senior Kason O’Riley, Burnet High School sophomore Hudson Bennett, and Llano High School senior Case Kuykendall for the Celebration of Champions at Wakepoint LBJ in Kingsland on Saturday, May 22. Courtesy photo

Eight-time wakeboarding world champion and X Games gold medalist Harley Clifford is joining three local high school standouts for a Celebration of Champions at Wakepoint LBJ on Saturday, May 22.

Along with Clifford, people can meet Marble Falls High School senior Kason O’Riley, Llano High School senior Case Kuykendall, and Burnet High School sophomore Hudson Bennett from 10 a.m. to noon at Wakepoint LBJ, 14757 RR 1431 East in Kingsland. 

O’Riley captured the Class 5A state title in the high jump on May 7, and Bennett won gold in the 3,200 meters and bronze in the 1,600 meters at the Class 4A state meet May 6. Kuykendall was the starting quarterback for the Llano football team that reached the state semifinals in 2020.

As well as being a world champion, Clifford is an instructor with WaterWorks LBJ, a water sports academy where students learn how to wakeboard.

“Each kid will talk five to 10 minutes about their specialty sport and future plans,” said Sara Johnston, a spokeswoman for the event. “Harley will talk about his background, his history, and how he got into wakeboarding. We’re going to have them sign autographs. It’s an opportunity to meet the kids and congratulate them.”

Johnston said the four want to share with other young athletes how they prepare for competitions, how they train, and other aspects of their sports.

“I hope (attendees) come away with an understanding of what it takes to get to that point,” she said. “It takes hard work and determination to go pro. Harley left his family at 14 to go work on his professional career. He has an understanding of what it takes to get there, the skills it takes, and the sacrifice.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com