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Sunday, March 10, 2002 -- McHenry, MD
Menage a Mountain (iPO Event Id#: 4928)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

One more big fat air at Wisp
The conditions were fierce, but what do you expect at an "Extreme Slopestyle" competition? The warning went out early and came often - ride smart and don't do something stupid to get yourself hurt.

The tricks where still big, and everyone finished the day without any major injuries. There was still some carnage, and only two collisions with the safety fencing, and only one broken snowboard. Really just another day at Wisp's Devil's Arena Terrain Park.

Coming out for the show, and providing a lot of support, was the Red Bull "Mobile Energy Team". (Trivia question: In what country was Red Bull first introduced? - see bottom of page for answer.) The "energy" they provided would certainly come in handy as the competitor's run consisted of an icy descent down The Face and then on to the big hits in the terrain park. All added up it was one knee-wrenching, lactic acid burn of a run.

The course seemed even more difficult for the the snowboarders, especially the top section. A sketchy descent down The Face while throwing in a trick or two and not ending up in the trees. Making a final statement for the year, Mark Nestor established himself as the man on the mountain. After wrapping up both the Ford Big Air series title and the Boarder Cross title at last week's finals, he was on top of the podium again in the Pro Snowboarder class at Menage a Mountain.

Race Pic
Board bustin' fun at Wisp
Even though Matt Lucas cracked the nose of his board clean in half on a wicked nose first landing, the Ruff Rider came out with a second place finish. The scoring was based on a combination of amplitude, complexity, execution and overall time.

A surprise showing at third was Patrick Cumashot. Last year Pat spent plenty of time lighting up area parks but has been absent much of this season. He's moved on to another stage, that of the music world, and can now be scene playing gigs in the Morgantown area.

Kudos, too, for Stephen Sander for winning the 18 & Up boarder division. We didn't hear him complaining that he raced in a class by himself, first is first.

Familiar names from the Ford Series were back on the skis to give the Extreme Slope Style a test drive. With both the pro snowboard and pro skier winner taking home $250 in cash, there was plenty of motiviation.

Race Pic
Finding room for the tricks
The run put in by Bobby Gray was sweet. You could hear the judges buzzing after he made it look a little too easy. Making their statements and getting spots beside Bobby on the podium were Nathan Ellis, second, and the "Old School Grandpa" R.C. Tichnell, third.

In the 12-14 age division, Tom Wallisch edged out Taylor Cabe for first. For the 15 & Up class, it was Eric Bietzel taking the win over Bart Shaffer. However Shaffer's "Oscar the Grouch 180", where he unceremoniously crashed after attempting a trash can tap, was a real crowd pleaser.

After getting inside for some free drinks a pizza, it was time for awards. Money, money, money. For a $15 entry fee, no one walked away with less than $25 in cash. I don't know a whole lot about economics, but the smart money tells me I need to start training for next year's competitions at Wisp!

Trivia answer: Austria