Everybody in the pool | AspenTimes.com

Everybody in the pool

Nate Peterson

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Upside down in the air with his right hand clutching his skateboard, 10-year-old Colton Mill was the champion.Then he came crashing back to earth.During his final run Saturday at the third High Country Skate Challenge, Mill attempted a rodeo flip over the table top gap that sits in the middle of the main pool at the Aspen Skate Park.

Had he landed the difficult inverted trick, Mill might have finished first in his intermediate division. It wasn’t to be, however. Realizing he didn’t have enough speed, Mill bailed at the last second and slid down the adjoining ramp on his kneepads. Once he reached his feet, the assembled crowd lining the walls of the pool cheered his effort.”I’ve landed it two or three times before,” said Mill, the youngest son of former Olympic skier Andy Mill and tennis great Chris Evert. “It was pretty close.”Mill then shrugged his shoulders, as if to communicate that it wasn’t necessarily important whether he landed the trick.What really mattered is that he was having fun, and that at the urging of his friends, he decided to even attempt it. Robert Reyes knew as much.

The 13-year-old from Montrose bested Mill and eight other intermediate-division skaters with a string of impressive runs during the group’s 15-minute jam session. But the first-place bag of prizes was secondary to a fun day in the pool with friends.”I don’t even know if I won,” Reyes said afterward, before hearing that he had taken first place. “It’s just a lot of fun. This park is really cool.”The contest broke the 37 competitors – ages 6 through 53 – into four divisions based on ability. Most were locals who skate at the Aspen park on a daily basis, although few like Reyes made the trip from out of town.Derek Seurynck, an 18-year-old Basalt local who rides for the Othello’s Sk8 Shop team, took the top prize in the eight-skater advanced division. Other local teams were also well-represented. Reyes and Fred Ables, the runner-up in the intermediate division, also ride for Othello’s. Mill and his oldest brother, Alex, who finished third in the advanced division, both ride for local snowboard/skate shop Polar Revolution.”It’s a pretty fun contest,” said Seurynck, who finished third the previous two years. “I do a lot of international contests that bring out the best skaters in the world. Definitely toned down a whole bunch compared to that. In those, there’s like 200 dudes and they’re from everywhere. This was just good training. Just a lot of fun. I’m pretty stoked to win.”

Seurynck’s big tricks included a number of variations on a crail grab over the tabletop. The grab consists of grabbing the front part of the their board with the back hand. Seurynck also added some carefully placed grinds to go with some airs out of the walls of the pool.”I was pretty stoked on my first run,” Seurynck said. “That was probably my best one. I landed all the tricks that I wanted to do.” In the beginner division, Connor McGillvray took first, while Evan Tooley and Caulter Turchin finished second and third, respectively.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.com

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