PANASONIC OPEN NOTEBOOK

Weather Brings Athletes, Spectators Closer Together

Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler signs autographs for fans during a practice session. Preliminary rounds were delayed by rain and wind.
Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler signs autographs for fans during a practice session. Preliminary rounds were delayed by rain and wind. (By Pouya Dianat -- The Washington Post)

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By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 22, 2007

BALTIMORE, June 21 -- Just in case action sport athletes weren't accessible enough, Mother Nature decided to give fans a helping hand.

The wind kicked up and the rain came down on the Dew Tour's Panasonic Open at Camden Yards Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon, pushing back the start times of numerous events and closing down the skateboard park preliminary with four riders unable to complete the first run for both heats.

Athletes and spectators alike ran beneath highway overpasses for cover, where young fans who initially were upset to see the events postponed found themselves face to face and sopping wet next to the very people they came to see. The result was a prime autograph-seeking opportunity.

The skateboard park event was the only preliminary to wrap up on Thursday, and Dundalk native Mathieu Therres was the last rider to make the final cut, finishing 12th with a first run of 79.75. Two-time Dew Cup winner Ryan Sheckler and Jereme Rogers, last year's runner-up, advanced to the final, taking third and seventh, respectively, in the preliminaries.

"I was pretty pleased with my run," Therres said "I didn't fall, I nailed every trick I wanted to nail and it put me up in eighth [at the time], so we'll see how the rain does. I don't know what will happen."

Rescheduling

Because of the weather, BMX dirt preliminaries will take place before gates open Friday and BMX vert preliminaries will run from 10 p.m. until midnight.

The skateboard park finals have been moved to Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and BMX dirt finals will run 8-9:30 p.m. Friday.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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