Pa. academy spins out stars

Action sports

June 21, 2008|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,Sun reporter

When it comes to consistently producing action sports stars, few places can match Camp Woodward.

The academy, just outside State College, Pa., continues to make its presence felt with its army of camp-sponsored athletes poised to again challenge for Dew Cup success this year.

In the BMX Vert competition, part of the AST Dew Tour's Panasonic Open at the Camden Yard Sports Complex, five of the 10 finalists -- including winner and three-time Cup champion Jamie Bestwick -- have ridden at Woodward. The camp, which also has academies in California and Wisconsin, has grown rapidly in size and stature as more and more athletes look to take advantage of its facilities.

"It's the best practice facility anywhere in the world," said Kevin Robinson, who has been riding at Woodward for eight years. "It has every ramp you can possibly imagine. It really helps you safely progress in your sport."

Fellow Woodward rider and BMX Vert finalist Steven McCann agreed and added that the camp has a theme park-like appeal for "groms" (very young riders) who want to follow in their heroes' wheel marks one day.

"It's Disneyland for bicycles, skateboards and roller blades," he said.

Tabron's 900 flair combo draws cheers

Simon Tabron -- who, like Bestwick, is British -- landed a 900 flair combo en route to finishing third yesterday in the BMX Vert competition. The trick, in which Tabron rotated 2 1/2 times on his bike while in midair after whipping the bike around backward, marked the first time he landed it in competition in the United States. The move drew cheers from fans and fellow competitors.

Lasek to lead Go Skateboarding Day event

Today is National Go Skateboarding Day, and to commemorate the event, Dundalk native Bucky Lasek will lead a group of more than 250 young skaters through the streets of Baltimore, from Southern High to the Inner Harbor. The procession, part of Bucky Lasek Day, caps off a busy week for Lasek, who threw out the first pitch at an Orioles game Wednesday.patrick.

gutierrez@baltsun.com

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