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Stars come out in finals

Schmidt stands out for Costa Mesa Middle School in National Scholastic Skateboarding League finals.

April 19, 2012|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • Costa Mesa Middle School's Michael Schmidt won the street finals during the National Scholastic Skateboarding League Finals at the Vans Skatepark in Orange Wednesday.
Costa Mesa Middle School's Michael Schmidt won… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

ORANGE — With his backspins, big jumps off of the sides of the wooden ramps and attacks of large rails Wednesday night at Vans Skatepark, Huntington Beach sophomore skateboarder Chris Chavaria took home a shiny medal.

Wearing a helmet, T-shirt and shorts, Chavaria rode his trusty skateboard to a narrow victory in the street finals of the National Scholastic Skateboarding League indoors at The Outlets at Orange.

The 16-year-old from Garden Grove rode nearly all sides of a large course that included big ramps, rails, wooden boxes and several jumps.

Only 10 points separated the top three in the final standings. Oiler teammate Aaron Kim scored 285 points, while Franky Villani of Costa Mesa High was third with 279 points. Both Kim and Villani also made it to the 10-man bowl finals, with Kim finishing ninth (231 points) and Villani 10th (228).

"It was just my positive [attitude], my happiness and my backspins," Chavaria said of how he won the finals. "It was very tough. Everyone was killing it out there. This was my second win in the street competition. It feels great."

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Gage Boan of Edison High won another close competition, beating Tylor Hollenbeck of El Toro in the high school bowl competition, 261-255. After he was done skating, Boan wore a top hat, appropriate for being king of the bowl.

"Throughout the season, Tyler and I have pushed each other," Boan said. "We get a lot of energy from the contest. You go way higher than you normally would. My best trick was a back flipside, where you turn 180 degrees to the board side."

In middle school contests, Costa Mesa Middle School's Michael Schmidt was the star. He won the street finals over Mateo Rael, 282-281, and was second to Colby Franz of Sowers Middle School of Huntington Beach, 279-266.

Each skateboarder was given two runs and three judges each gave them points up to 100. Only their best runs were counted.

As for the league, which finished its second season, it has gone from four teams to 23. League president Katrina Foley said the NSSL has had inquiries about adding teams in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Inland Empire and perhaps teams in Colorado, New York, Florida and Chicago.

"It's gone beyond what anyone expected," Foley said. "More kids skateboard than play soccer. Eighty percent of the kids in our league have a 2.5 GPA or above. We have pro skateboarders coaching, pros that're judging. We need volunteer coaches and the league pays $500 per season."

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