Meet brings out skaters

Posted Nov. 10, 2006
Kelly Rivas
Sliding down the highest rail in the skate park at Pomona’s Palomares Park, Jerry Zamudio, 14, and others practice tricks during a break between events. The city of Pomona hosted its fourth annual skateboard competition on Saturday with age groups starting at age 4.

The chance to ride railings, perform olies and other skate tricks drew crowds as a community of young people dressed in skate shoes and jeans came out on Saturday to compete at the Palomares Skate Park in Pomona.

Children of all ages participated, while those younger than 18 were required to wear helmets and pads.

Leslie Connors, a saleswoman and “skate mom,” said it was her son’s idea to come to the competition.

Connors’ son, Ryan, ended up taking second place in the 4-8 age division because of his double ollie, ollie to hip and a back 180 during his last five seconds.

“My child lives to skate and I think this is one of the best sports a kid can do,” Connors said. “It’s ... artistic and teaches a lot of discipline. I would never see myself skating because I am too old and I want to live without a body cast.”

The skateboard competitors lined up to register at about 11 a.m., but the actual competition did not start until 1 p.m.

About 300 people showed their support at the event.

Friends and family of the competitors watched their favorite skater from the red gate.

Rockstar Energy Drink, Twelve T-Shirt Shop and Power 106 FM were some of the event’s many sponsors.

Rockstar gave away free chilled energy drinks, and sold T-shirts and sweatshirts for a low price. Power 106 FM played music while giving away T-shirts, posters and stickers.

The event was put on by the city of Pomona’s Community Services Department.

Tricia Manzo, the special events coordinator for Pomona, said the event has been going on for four years and it takes about six months to prepare for it.

Participants were divided into four age groups; 4-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds, 13-17 year olds, and 18 and over.

The participants were judged on difficulty, amplitude, creativity and the number of tricks they completed.

They were also looking for the skaters to be consistent with their moves.

Participants had one minute to show their best skate skills and when that minute was over an alarm went off.

Time started when the skater stepped on the park.

The names of the moves competitors performed were announced as the competition went on.

Skaters were practicing for the competition days before the event.

“I wish I could’ve landed my whole line because I did come out here to practice for three days straight trying to get it right,” said Blazie Douglas, the third place winner in the 13-17-years-old division.

The event was a positive experience even though the crowd was not very rowdy.

The skaters were very supportive of each other and the more experienced and older skaters were like mentors to the little ones.

There were many hard falls and trips throughout the competition and the skaters got right back up without showing a hint of pain on their faces.

One competitor even performed while smoking a cigarette.

The two judges were semi-professional skaters and were provided by Utility Board Shop, Manzo said.

During the competition everyone was invited to participate in a raffle while the judges were making their decisions.

Raffle prizes included T- shirts, helmets and gift certificates, and winners of the competition received all that and framed certificates, skateboards and skate decks.

Although there were 50 participants, none were female.

“I had at least thought there would be one or two girls,because I know there are girls who skate,” said Lanesha Miller, a sophomore at Cal State San Bernardino.

“I think some girls should’ve came out to show that guys aren’t the only ones that can do this. Girls can too.”

Telon Weathington can be reached at tweathington@ulv.edu.

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