12 / WAKEBOARDER / Centralia, Ill.
Achievements: A seventh-grader at St. Mary's School, Taylor was the 13-and-under champion at the 2009 World Wakeboard Association World Championships, the WWA Wake Park World Championships and the USA Wakeboard U.S. Open. She also won the '08 and '09 WWA nationals in the same division and was the junior girls champion at the USA Wakeboarding National Championships from '05 through '08.
First Steps: Taylor took to the water early on. She started water-skiing at age three and upgraded to a wakeboard by the time she was five. That year she finished second in a six-event statewide competition, trailing only the previous year's champion. "She basically didn't want to water-ski after that," recalls her father, Scott.
Evokes: Women's world champion Dallas Friday in her dedication, and boys' world champ Bob Soven in her single-minded concentration and ability to take direction.
Coach's Comment: "The thing I like the most about her is that for a young rider, her attention span and focus are quite a bit better than most," says Mike Ferraro, Taylor's Orlando-based coach. Of the KGB trick—essentially a spin with a blind landing—that Taylor recently added to her repertoire, Ferraro adds, "In the pro ranks, if you're doing that trick, you're challenging for the podium."
What's Next: Taylor will continue upping the complexity of her routine with the goal of turning pro as early as next year. "We know exactly what the recipe is," says Ferraro. "Keep it fun, keep her healthy."