Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Air and high amps at “Almost Annual” skate jam

Skateboard talent on display at Coles Park


By JIM SLANETZ

Skateboarder Ben Verge gives the Guy Coles Skate Park crowd a thrill during Saturday’s “Almost Annual” contest. Photo by Willy Cook

Fun was had by all at The Board Bin's eighth "Almost Annual" skateboard contest Saturday, Aug. 22 at Guy Coles Skatepark in Ketchum. Over 45 competitors enjoyed a warm August day and lots of action.

Organizer and emcee Andy Gilbert said, "It's amazing to see the progression in the level of riding, especially in the kids who are at the park everyday."

Here are some highlights:

Girls' 12-and-under: In form that would have won last year's contest, Molly Whittington placed third. Skyler Lakey, dropping in all over the park, skated to a strong second but it wasn't enough to overcome the big shoes of Aspyn Bowles—who skated the bowls like her life depended on it. Results (best of 2 heats): 1—Aspyn Bowles 87. 2—Skyler Lakey 73. 3—Molly Whittington 60.

Boys' 8-and-under: Last year's winner Jedson Waters took first, but not without heat from Wyatt Minor who was skating on fire. Luke Rizzo put in some solid riding for third. Results: 1—Jedson Waters 85. 2—Wyatt Minor 81. 3—Luke Rizzo 62. 4—Ethan Marx 54.

Boys' 9-11: Stacked with park regulars who skate nearly every day, the class was competitive. But the smooth style, consistency and technical skills of Alex Lafleur were too much for the rest of the field.

Skating with speed and power, Clyde Montgomery placed second. Brody Buchwalter stuck a Big 180 Air over the transition for third place. Tied for fourth were Miles Jones and Robbie Bowles.

Results: 1—Alex Lafleur 85. 2—Clyde Montgomery 80. 3—Brody Buchwalter 76. 4 (tie)—Robbie Bowles and Miles Jones 74. Also: Frenchie 70, Eli Roberts 67, Spencer Wright 65 and Breandan Reilly 64.

Boys' 12-14: Also filled with talent was this class, won by the ever-amazing skating talent of Ben Parker. Wyatt Caccia showed creative style for second. Mikey Levy amped things up to 11 for a solid third. Not going unnoticed was the street skating of Shane Reilly.

Boys' 15-17: Francisco Molina and Eric Romo mixed up a batch of street and vert in a battle for second, Romo edging Molina for silver. Neither could top the switch stance riding of Gene Fairbrother, who tore up the whole park for first place. Results: 1—Gene Fairbrother 76. 2—Eric Romo 65. 3—Francisco Molina 65. Also: Dalton Lords 64 and Alec Jones 60.

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Men's 18-25: The amazing technical feats of Quinn Baser edged out the "Go Big or Go Home" riding of Colter Brehmer. Jens Peterson pumped and jumped to third place. Results: 1—Quinn Baser 91. 2—Colter Brehmer 88. 3—Jens Peterson 83. Also: Mal Prior 74 and Chris Hengel 72.

Men's 26-and-up: AKA the "Old Man" category, with last year's winner Dan Tillman of California showing he hasn't lost his skills for first place. Tai Roberts buttoned up second, and, on hiatus from his illustrious modeling career, Ben Verge posed his way to third. Also impressive were the skating and creating of Andy Gilbert, Dave Kelso and Zeb "DJ Spooky Tooth" Stroebel-Haft. Results: 1—Dan Tillman 82. 2—Tai Roberts 73. 3—Ben Verge 71. Also: Zeb 70, Dave 66, Andy 65 and Zach Venzon 64.

The Eye Candy division: Top riders in each age group were invited to skate in one of two Open Jam sessions. Ben Parker weaved his way to top honors in 14-and-under, while Quinn Baser crashed through and over crosstown traffic to win the 15-and-up Jam.

Colter Brehmer won "Best Crash of the Day," with honorable mention going to Dave Kelso. "Best Trick" was a Frontside Air and Backside Ollie Over the Couch in the Deep End, by Ben Parker.

Locals at Grand Nationals

Wood River Valley skateboarders Ben Parker and Wyatt Caccia were right in the thick of things when the 2009 Grand Nationals of the Concrete Rodeo tour were staged Aug. 15 at South Jordan Skate Park, Utah.

Parker (64.6) and Caccia (60.3) placed 3-4 in the 13-14 age group, very close to first-place Jade Pierce (66.6) of Boise and second-place Tyson Bowerbank (64.6). Pierce and Bowerbank made it all the way to the 16-skater Jousting finals, Bowerbank finally coming out on top. Abby Zsarnay of Santa Paula, Ca., a 13-14 age grouper, won women's Jousting.

Woodside Elementary School second-grader Jedson Waters, 7, won the 3-8 age group by a wide margin, seven points, at Grand Nationals with a 61.3. Waters made it to the Round of 16 Joust, where he lost in the first round to Pierce.




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