Dew Tour Notebook
Going Big While Going Home
Sunday, June 22, 2008
BALTIMORE, June 21 -- Clad in the personalized Orioles jersey he received from his hometown team, an excited Bucky Lasek prepared to drop into the vert ramp during last night's finals hearing the adulation of the crowd around him.
Too anxious to put on a show during his first run, the Dundalk native crashed. "I think I made myself a little too excited," Lasek said. But when it came time for his second try in the best-of-three runs competition, Lasek put together a flawless performance on the day Baltimore declared "Go Skateboarding and Bucky Lasek Day."
Lasek, 35, strung together seven 540s, a boneless frontside 540 and a switch rodeo for a 93.75 score and celebrated his newly established lead by giving high-fives to every fan who could squeeze themselves against the guard railing. His run held up against second-place Pierre-Luc Gagnon's 93.50 giving Lasek the win in the AST Dew Tour's Panasonic Open, which he lobbied to bring to the Camden Yards Sports Complex.
"Originally, in practice, I thought my line was going to be too hard," Lasek said of the winning session. "But every time a doubt would come into my mind I would just push it aside and think: 'This is my home town. This is where it's going to happen.' "
Last year, during the tour's first-ever visit to Baltimore, Lasek had an injured right knee that left him unable to skate at the high level he's accustomed to. But he received redemption this time around, even though the win came without defending Dew Cup Champion Shaun White in the lineup. "I know Shaun's not here," Lasek said. "But it means a lot to me to come to my home town and put it down like I did and represent Baltimore the way it deserves to be represented."
Every skateboarder in the vert finals fell at least once during the competition. Rob Lorifice, 20, who crashed hard in the fourth run of the night and was taken off the ramp by stretcher after being knocked out, returned to the ramp during the awards ceremony.