The Burton Qualifiers amateur contest series just went off at Mountain Creek, New Jersey. The morning after Friday the 13th, riders were loose and ready to do whatever it took to take home a piece of the tour's $20k prize purse.
Mountain Creek is known for its impressive array of park features, making the most out of pure East Coast conditions with properly built and well maintained jumps and rails. The Mountain Creek terrain park staff decided to get fancy with the course by building a six-foot quarterpipe at the bottom, crowned with a five foot hitching post, corrugated tube, and the Anon Optics extension.
The 15 & Under division took to the course with confidence, knowing they could lay down their best on the wide range of features. A box line offered safety beside the more advanced down-flat-down and round bar, which led into a high ollie bar and a plaza-like rail setup that included every assortment of rail you could imagine.
Will Healy was the undisputed first place winner for the 15 & Under division, laying it down across the course with total proficiency and style. He could have given the Open division podium a run for his money, and walked away with $300 for his win. Closely behind was Shane Weis, who never let up on an onslaught of maneuvers all over the course, including up on top of the 11-foot hitching post. He walked away with $200 for 2nd and a broken wrist. Heal up Shane! In 3rd it was the consistency and confidence of Jack Mitchell that earned him the $100 and bragging rights.
A foreboding doom metal soundtrack blared over the loudspeakers as the Open division took the course - a fitting mood for what would become a heavy session. Spectators lined the side of the course and the deck of the quarterpipe, bringing them up close and personal with the riders, who attacked the course like it was the last time they'd ride before the dawn of the apocalypse.
The announcer had hardly said "go" when riders were already spinning 270s onto the first tier of rails. Snow started to fall, and mayhem ensued. The day went to the hungriest, Travis Henderson, who blew out his shoulder during practice, but held it together and went full send for the contest. He walked away with a fat check for $800. Consistency amidst chaos earned Zach Mathes a spot in the highly contested 2nd place for $400. In 3rd, Tim Major came all the way from Vermont to claim his seat on the podium and a check for $200.
In the end, the top six from each division earned themselves a spot at the Burton Qualifiers finals event at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. For full tour info head to BurtonQualifiers.com.