Photos: Aaron Lu and Travis Towsley
The second annual Sean Jordan Open just wrapped up in Big Boulder, PA.
A field of approximately 30 riders in the open category, and four young guns, aged 13-15, competing as groms, descended upon Lake Harmony this weekend to compete in this year's SJO. Just after 10 in the morning the group, which included the likes of Sam Zahner, Kirk Scully and last year’s winner Casey Arnold, assembled at the top of the course to get briefed on how the day would play out. As everyone made their way up the lift from their last practice runs, Sean took a moment to chat with the competitors. He asks the guys how they like the course, gives some casual advice and then we’re ready. “Are we good to go here Scof’” he asks. Connor Scofield checks his display. “Yeah, you’re looking cute,” he replies. "Alright," says Sean, "Get out there, kill it, and remember to have fun."
Qualifiers were marked by flat light, and the guys had some difficulty finding speed for the tight jump section. Nipples set the tone with the first run of the day by getting two thirds of the way through a double backflip before connecting suddenly and violently with the knuckle. Arnold was undeterred and threw right side dubs on both of his runs. When the dust settled, 12 riders remained.
Advancing to finals:
Whereas qualifiers were a matter of persevering through tough conditions, finals were an all-out assault. With Doug Bishop on the mic getting the crowd loose, the riders threw down in a last push for the $5000 first prize. Alex Keimel went misty 450 out of the up-flat, before going switch on, 4 out of the closeout. Jake Muller got dub ten on the third jump, John Steltzer did the day’s only double grab, a tail to truck driver on the final jump. After the judges met to work out the scores, Sean returned to the bottom of the course to announce the winners.
1st Place: Nick Sodl 2nd Place: Antonio Frankelli 3rd Place: Ty Grazio
1st Place: Ryan Stevenson 2nd Place: Jake Muller 3rd Place: Kevin "Old Man Winter" Thomas
The judges confirmed: Good tricks, clean tricks, perfect style and big amplitude. That's what wins a slopestyle competition. You had better keep your eye out for Ryan Stevenson. At 14 years old he went from the grom category to the top of the open podium. He's ready to explode in the competition scene, this is only the beginning.
Huge thanks to Under Armour, Rockstar Energy and Oakley and especially to Big Boulder Parks for putting on such a successful event.