Nine More Scooter Semifinalists Set for Salt Lake
By Charley Daniels
Sixteen world-class scooter athletes absolutely sent it on Monday, battling strong winds to lay down the first official runs of the 2017 Nitro World Games in a qualifier that played out more like a final. When the dust settled, nine more Scooter Best Tricks semifinalists were bound for Salt Lake City with hopes of making the finals, which will take place on June 24 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Cody Flom landed at least two World Firsts in four runs to finish at the top of the leaderboard. Chris Farris also stuck a World First to punch his ticket. The remaining qualifiers are Tyler Chaffin, Will Barlow, Roomet Saalik, Tim Kohler, Clayton Lindley, Jamie Hull, and Wyatt Brown. Tickets for the 2017 Nitro World Games are on sale now.
The original scooter format called for every rider to take three runs, two of which counted toward their final score. Due to the high winds, several riders came up short and bottomed out on the knuckle of the lander, and the athletes faced long delays between runs while organizers waited for breaks in the wind. It was decided to give every athlete a fourth run to help offset the difficult conditions. On his first run, Flom landed a World First frontflip triple whip rewind to kickless double whip. On his second run, he landed a World First frontflip no-hander to inward, and on his final run he landed a frontflip double finger whip, which had the experts divided on whether it's a World First, though everyone agreed it deserved a huge score. We'll have to wait for the final word on whether it's been done before.
Farris landed a World First double backflip barspin to no-hander on his first run. Chaffin finished near the top with a score anchored by a triple frontflip on his third run. In all, at least three riders attempted triple backflips as well, though the winds made it difficult to time the rotations. Barlow landed one on his third run after a bruising wreck attempting one on his second. Hull attempted a double front double whip on each of his first three runs, just missing every time due to being hampered by the wind. On his fourth run he showed his skills by landing a super clean double front no-hander, good for enough points to earn him eighth place.
Capron Funk, the 2016 Scooter Best Tricks champion, has been invited directly to the 2017 finals, while Jordan Clark and Corey Funk, who finished second and third, have been invited directly to the semifinals. The competition committee also selected Dakota Schuetz and Ryan Williams as pre-qualified semifinalists. Two more wildcard slots are yet to be determined before the list of scooter athletes headed to Salt Lake City is fully set.