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Saturday, March 13, 1999 -- Snowshoe
Boardercross Brawl

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Results]

Put down the stopwatches, it's about getting to the bottom first
When you think of a "brawl", the thought of an ugly fight might come to mind. Snowshoe's Boardercross Brawl was nothing of the sort. The term "brawl" used here is more along the lines of Webster's 3rd definition: "slang. a large, noisy party."

On Saturday, March 13, dozens of boarders took to Silver Creek's Ruckus Ridge terrain park to party "brawl" style. It was a fantastic day with excellent snow from some recent storms, combined with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures.

Four year old Layla Detko makes it look easy
The course was a fast run beginning with several banked curves before taking the riders over the first big table top. As soon as the riders touched back with the snow, it was a sweeping right, then a sweeping left turn before they were sent off the inside edge of the second table top's ramp. This proved to be a tricky gate on the course, as many riders did variations on the "butt check" (as in your rear-end checking the snow conditions) trying to land the awkward, left-turning jump. Once headed in the right direction again, it was one more sweeping right, then a fairly straight shot to the finish over a few more bumps and jumps.

Boardercross is a unique downhill event where racers compete head-to-head in groups of up to six. The object is to be the first to the bottom of the hill while negotiating all the gates and your fellow competitors. In a process of elimination, the top finishers in the early heats compete against other winners to eventually narrow the field down to the final four. The final four race to determine the top overall winner. All this "brawling" was happening on Snowshoe's slopes without referees, because it is up to the individual racers to use the honor system and determining the winners in each race.

Whitney McVey and Jamie Keith flying high
As they battle ensued throughout the afternoon, the best of the bunch began to emerge. In the Women's 17 and Under division, it was Whitney McVey taking the win over Jamie Keith, Katie Clendenin, and Erin Fotta in the final. In the Women's 18 and Over division, Eli Mills beat up the competition in a win over Heather Hoyle, Sean Korte, and Cathy Brosee.

In the Men's division, the 7-12 year-olds saw Bobby Minghini taking the win over Thurston Willis and the 13-16 year-olds saw the always dominant Adam Cumashot take the win over Mike Valach. When it was all said and done in the 17-20 group, Judd Eilers was able to out duel Eric Porter, Billy Perkins and Ryan Fitzsimmons for the win.

Eli Mills showing 1st place form as she prepares to launch
The day's biggest class was the Men's 21-30 with 26 competitors. The final four came down to Andy McDaniel, Kris Wise, Justin Fleming and Richard Rominger. It appeared that it may be a battle between Andy and Justin as they both had won all three of their qualifying heats. However, a poor run at the top of the course put Justin out of contention and Andy was able to beat out Richard and Kris for the win. Finally, the "old men's" class consisting of the 31 and over bunch had Mike "Swifty" Messenger streak to victory over Dave Copeland, Paul Scrutton and Brad Short.

After the big fight on the slopes, it was time to hit the lodge for the post-race indoor "brawl". It was every bit the large, noisy party as trophies and awards were passed out, pizza and beverages were served, and the always generous random prizes were given away. With three snowboards and a wealth of other goods handed out, it was hard to find any beaten warriors from this "Boardercross Brawl".