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Saturday, March 6, 2004 -- McHenry, MD
Ford Built Tough Snow Series- Big Air Finals (iPO Event Id#: 5904)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Wisp Ford Series
Getting high at Wisp
The Ford Built Tough Series Big Air events at Wisp concluded with it's finals at the Savage II Terrain Park. The mounds were big, the table tops marked, and the landings were as soft as they could be. Why? Well let's just say that the spring rains came a bit early, but the harsh winds made it all that more challenging and these competitors always seem to be up for a hefty challenge.

The skiers started things off, and although the weather refused to provide us with blue skies for a backdrop, the rain softened the landings of the three large mounds. With a few signature moves, the 12 and under skiers were hucking their way to the clouds. After it was all said and done, Zach Fratz came out on top with the most points for the younger skier's group. The Warnick Dou, Tom and Ben, rounded out 2nd and 3rd respectivley.

Pulling the perfect "Mute"
The 12 and over ski group had a few more contenders, so scoring was tight. There were a few "Mutes" (Right hand grabs the left ski and pulls it in to make a nice cross) , a few "Indys" (Cross skis and grab under ski boot), and lots of big air of course. Tom Walish crossed his skis for the "big one" to snag first place for the Big Boyz. Patrick Drumm followed for second, and Mark Collins grabbed third. (Check out the The Tricktionary for more grabs and lingo.)

Collins actually landed hard on his shoulder/wrist off the 3rd table top. We were told that his shoulder actually popped out of place, but did this stop him? Nope. This 22 year old trickster just popped it back in and headed up the tow for the next go round. Who says twenty two's too old to learn new tricks? Not us...

Riding the Slick Rail
The 12 and under boarders were scoring some big points on the board. Chad Miller hucked his way to first. Then Trey took second, and Cooper Thomas, sporting his red and white bottomed board, took third.

The bigger boyz had plenty of front and back grabs, some 180's, 360's, and even a flip or two. The bigger the air, the more complicated the trick, the better the score of course. This field of competitors was the largest and the most competitive of the day. Fifteen year old Cody Boan showed this reporter and the judges the bottom of his board for some sick air, and sailed into first place. Jeff Wright scored a close second, while Ryan McNerney rounded out the top spots for third.

Making a nice front grab
At the end, there was a surprise "Rail Riding" event. This gave jumpers the chance to show off some of their new signature moves, or just switch it up a bit. Some spun, others slid, and one person even decided to jump the entire thing. Greg (event judge and rep) smirked and said, "Now how the heck do you score that?"

For the Record... The rain and wind whipped through the terrain park during much of the competition, but it never seemed to bother any of the participants or the judges who cracked jokes and said, "We can't have a big air unless it's raining!" Thumbs up to everyone who had a hand in this growing series, and thanks to Ford for sponsoring the Ford Built Tough Snow Series this year. Special thanks also goes out to the guys who put on this event. They work hard, they enjoy it, and they really respect the jumpers who come out to strut their stuff at the terrain park. Give them a pat on the back the next time you see 'em. If you missed it this year, then grab your friends and sign up next year. They'll be waiting for at the Wisp Ski School Desk.