A "magical" weekend concluded with a rare accomplishment for Angier native April Coble Eller last month.
The retired professional athlete was one of seven inductees honored as part of the most recent USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation Hall of Fame ceremony held in Davenport, Florida.
“All the hard work paid off ... to have this closure as a professional is a dream come true," Coble Eller said in a recent phone interview with The Daily Record.
The 27-year veteran has had a laundry list of accolades that includes championships at the state, national and world levels of competition.
Entering the professional ranks at 18 years old, Coble Eller has won USA Water Ski Athlete of the Year twice and was also named to the N.C. Water Ski Hall of Fame in 2018.
"I love competition," Coble Eller said, noting her background in basketball and track in school.
"It was a full-time job. I had to watch what I ate, how I slept and how I trained."
She added that her mother, Shirley Coble, who is also an inductee of the N.C Water Ski Hall of Fame, played a huge part in generating a love for the sport at an early age.
"Mom has been my role model my whole life... if it wasn’t for my parents and my husband, I wouldn’t have been here. It takes a team,” she said.
Now, the 48-year-old head instructor says she can "relax a little" and focus on teaching at Coble Water Ski and Wakeboard Camp in Lillington while also spending more time with her two kids, Kamryn and Landis.
She still plans to coach at the national level, however, and will lead the U.S. world junior team this August in Destin, Florida.
Donnell Coley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-230-2040.