Thursday I got to the venue around 10:30am and went to watch BMX park practice once again, the wind again was not co-operating so they shut down Dirt and BMX Supercross practice for the time being. Therefore the only things going on were BMX Vert and Park practice. It seemed like every single rider was out there practicing, but even I after watching Park practice the whole day yesterday was not really feeling it too much, that and most of the riders had just gotten into San Jose the night before so most were still feeling out the course, so I decided to wander the venue a little bit I still hadn't found out how to get to the Dirt or FMX Venue but before I had a chance to do that, I walked into the Media Center and a few of the girls were working on getting the "Hurricane Relief Autograph Signings" together but they were having a hard time getting the athletes to sign up, so knowing that I had a connection to Ryan Guettler, they asked me if I could get him because as they put it, "If we have Guettler we don't need anyone else" so taking a look at the signing times and Guettler's schedule I found out he could do the Friday, went and talked to him and *poof* he signed up to do it.
I went and told the Media girls and they were all on cloud nine, that made my day right there, plus it's for a GREAT cause!! (to figure out how to help right now head on over to http://www.dewactionsportstour.com and click on "EBAY Auction" and that will take you to Ebay where you can bid on NUMEROUS signed items from all the athletes with 100% of the proceeds going to help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina) I ended up chilling in the media center for a bit helping them get the signs and what not set up for the signing, then they wanted help going around talking to the athletes so I went with them to help them, since they didn't know a lot of the athletes names. The funniest part of all this, was no one would go up to Dave Mirra, so Erin and I just walked up to him and asked him, haha I don't know maybe its cuz I'm beginning to be around these guys so much but their "celebrity" status is wearing down and they are just becoming another human to me, who knows. And personally, I'm still going to be able to sleep at night if Dave Mirra thinks I'm weird, I don't really care.
After that, we headed up to the Festival Village which allowed me a chance to figure out how to get to the Dirt and FMX Venues. Without having to ask someone and look stupid, gotta love that. By then though it was almost 2:30 and Vert Prelims were going to start, so I headed back to the Media Center to grab the start lists for the competition and when I walked in there Chad Kagy was standing right there and said HI to me, and although he had to be at the Vert ramp like then he actually talked to me for a couple minutes, that also made my day, he is such a sweet heart it's not even funny, but he had to rush, literally, to the Vert ramp to get his pads on and what not so I headed over to watch the prelims.
Highlights from Prelims for both runs included Harrington pulling an awesome superman seat grab, no hander and a barspin, barspin to ice pick and a tail whip to earn himself a score of 78.75. Tom Haugen pulled a tail whip, barspin, double bar spin, another double barspin to tire-tap barspin earning himself a high score of 82.00. Jay Miron pulled a tail whip, tail whip, 360, 540, superman, tail whip, ice pick, nose pick and in his second run he pulled a.flair! Which I guess he hadn't pulled in a long time which earned him his high score of 84.75. John Parker pulled tail whip, attempted a flair but fell, got up and pulled a no-hander, barspin, and in his second run pulled a tail whip 360, and downside tail whip which got him a score of 87.25. I missed Chad Kag's first and part of his second runs but in his second he pulled a nice double tail whip over the channel, which got him a score of 90.25. Rounding out the first heat of prelims was Jamie Bestwick who pulled a flair over the channel, double tail whip, flair, opposite flair, ally-oop 540, and another 540 which got him a score of 94.75.
Highlights for both runs from the second heat of prelims included Dennis McCoy pulling a flair over the channel, 540, peg grind earning himself a score of 87.00 as he didn't take his second run. Dave Mirra pulled an opposite 1-footed X-Up Flair and a regular flair, tail whip flair and tail whip which got him a score of 83. 50. There was some controversy because his second run was basically as everyone put it a *one* trick run and came in with a score of 86 something which would have put him in a tie for 6th, but it ended up his score was entered incorrectly and as a result he missed making the finals by one spot. Kevin Robinson pulled a flair, opposite flair, peg grind and more flairs which earned him a score of 86.75. When the prelims were all said and done those making it into the finals were from 10th to 1st:
Mike Mancuso (84.75), Jay Miron (84.75), Jimmy Walker (85.75), Tom Stober (86.00), Simon Tabron (86.75), Kevin Robinson (86.75, Dennis McCoy (87.00), John Parker (87.25), Chad Kagy (90.25) and Jamie Bestwick (94.75).Dirt Prelims were suppose to have gone on at this time but the wind still was not co-operating so they got bumped to 9pm tonight, and then later that night they got bumped to 10am the next morning. So Dirt would happen the following day bright and early, with practice starting at 9am. Also before Vert Finals went down, Jay Miron and John Parker, went to go sign autographs at the Hurricane Relief Signing Booth, it was cool of them to donate their time!
Finals would go down at 8pm that night inside the HP Pavilion. Highlights from Run 1 of the finals included Miron pulling a tail whip 540 who was the first rider to ever pull that trick successfully to earn himself a score of 86.50. Mancuso pulled a no handed flair in his run to help himself to a score of 84.75. Walker pulled an awesome flair, bar spin, superman, no handed flair, 2 flairs in a row, tail whip, flair over channel and another bar spin to get himself a score of 87.00. Simon Tabron pulled multiple bar spin variations, 360 something, no handed 540, tail whip and flair earning a score of 89.75. Dennis McCoy pulled a 540 barspin to help himself to a score of 88.50. John Parker for his first run pulled a superman, tail whip, 540, flair, double tail whip getting himself a score of 89.25. Kagy pulled a barspin, barspin taiwlhip (he's the only rider pulling that trick right now), double tail whip, flair and peg grind earning himself a score of 87.50. Rounding out run 1 was Bestwick who pulled a 540 alley-op, flair, some foot flair combo, opposite flair, can-can look back alley-op and a downside tail whip flair to get himself a score of 94.50.
Starting their second runs was Mancuso who pulled a 540 tail whip in his run to help himself to a score of 86.25. Walker included a flair and tail whip in his second run to get a score of 87.50. Tom Stober for his second run pulled a flair and fell on a double tail whip attempt to get himself a score of 84.25. Kevin Robinson's second run was sensational and included a flair over the channel but he fell hard during his second run and ended up knocking himself out for a good period of time. The medical staff of course was right there and so was Bestwick, Kagy and Ryan Nyquist, who all kept yelling at Kevin to stay awake, but Kevin was taken out on a stretcher and reportedly life-vaced (ie helicopter) to a local hospital for further examination. The following day though he was okay enough to fly home and by Sunday when I talked to Kagy, he was at home resting and his wife Robin was taking care of him, its sooo good to hear a happy outcome of one of the scariest falls I've ever witnessed. Back to the action at hand, Dennis McCoy came out for his second run and pulled a 540, flair over the channel to earn himself a score of 87.50. Parker's second run was a turndown, barspin, table-top, tail whip, another tail whip, and superman all of which helped him to a score of 87.50. Kagy's second run included a double tail whip over the channel, flair over channel, double bar spin to get a score of 89.50. Bestwick, already having the win, for his second run just went out and had some fun pulling the biggest airs of the night and an opposite flair and tail whip before calling it quits. When it was all said and done the results were:
10th to 1st: Stober (85.50), Mancusco (86.25), Walker (87.50), Miron (88.50), DMC (88.50), Parker (89.25), Kagy (89.50), Tabron (89.75), K-Rob (91.25) and Bestwick (94.50).