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Sunday, January 7, 2001 -- Snowshoe, WV
Psychocross Mountain Championships
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [2000 Coverage] [1999 Coverage]

For professional quality photos from all Snowshoe Mountain events see Reflections of Snowshoe, on the mountain at the Shaver's Center, or visit them on the web.

The chase is on...

Excellent weather and ideal conditions brought out a great crowd for the Psychocross Mountain Championships and the crowning of the 2001 "King of the Hill". With Airwalk, Balzout and Snowshoe Mountain going all out, the only thing better than the boardercross (or psychocross) was all the schwag passed out to the winners and to all the participants. We'll get back to all that a little later.

It starts with the hard work of Event Coordinator Pete Moran and Snowboard Programs Manager Bryan Marshall. Then, when Theo Bliagous and Mike Thompson put the finishing touches on Silver Creek's Mountaineer Terrain Park, the 2001 Psychocross course "has everything."

Out of the start it was straight into a quick series of three nice table tops. If you survived these jumps, next was a couple of flat turns through the gates and over a step-down that took you right into three sweet high-banked turns. To finish things out was a another big step-down and then some rollers to get you to the finish. The general consensus was that this was the best course ever for the Psychocross Championships.

Gettin' a little psycho
Just after noon DJ Judd, visiting from Roanoke, VA, started pumping out the sounds as the first competitors took the course. With Alan Dever taking MC duties at the mic, it all got underway with the 12 and Under class. Then it moved up through the ranks to the 21 and Over men and women, beginning as skiers against skiers and boarders against boarders. With the top two finishers from each heat of four moving on to the next round, it was just a process of elimination to determine the winners.

When the powder cleared from the final class runs, the under-represented women snowboarders crowned Kristina McDonald the 21-Up champion while Jess Urbano took home top honors in the 17-20 group.

On two-planks, it was all guys, and busting their way to first place finishes was Aaron Cumashot (Volant, Dolomite) in the 21-Up, Travis McKay (Spy, C&R Sports) in the 17-20 and Mike Valach (Volant) in the 13-16.

Great racing? You can bank on it!
Back on the single board, the always impressive Jarod Minghini (Burton, Backhill, Spy, Rt. 66) took top honors in the 12-Under. Moving up the brackets, it was Thurston Willis (Elk River Touring) in the 13-16, Adam Cumashot (Ride, Iris) in the 17-20, and Doug Mercer in the highly competitive 21-Up crowd.

After all this, the only thing left to settle was the "King of the Mountain", the overall fastest from all the class winners. The flat run-out at the start may have given a slight edge to the skiers with their ability to skate for early momentum. If so, they sure took advantage as the two-boards consistently proved faster than one. In the end it was skier Travis McKay bringing home the goods, including a nice new snowboard, and the title of 2001 King of the Mountain.

Enjoying the fun at the Mountaineer Terrain Park
The fun wasn't over after all the racing. The awards ceremony was the place to be that afternoon. There was a wealth of trophies given to the winners while everyone enjoyed tons of free pizza and beverages. And, those who had not recieved their bad-ass Psychocross hooded sweatshirt grabbed up the last of them. Then there were the prizes, Airwalk boots, shoes and gear; Balzout clothing and accessories; and so much more. The great thing is that everyone was eligible for prizes. Sure, the winners got theirs, but many went to random winners along with stickers, beanies, caps, leashes and the like just tossed out to the crowd.

So, the moral of the story? When Snowshoe, Airwalk and Balzout put on a show, you don't want to miss it! You don't have to be a superstar on skis or a board. We really can't say it better than "King" Travis, "It would've been just as much fun if I came in last."