The FPA World Freestyle Championships Boston, MA, July 12-14, 2002
By Paul Kenny, photos by Kraig Steffen
When the word "thingy" is used, it means you have to see the video.
Although not making finals, one particular highlight for everyone was the all hot-Betty team of Mary Lowry, Lisa Hunrichs-Silvey and Cindy Kruger.
Co-Op Division Champions Ted Oberhaus Randy Silvey Erwin Velasquez
Playing to Sweet Child of Mine by Cheryl Crow these ladies fired up the audience with crisp coops and physical indies. They did muscle poses to goof on the misperception that coop is a male division. These ladies shredded and finished 4th in their semi pool. In almost any other year they would be finalists and a very real threat to finish top three. Arthur, Tommy and Dave/Dan, Tristan and Steve/Randy, Ted and Erwin were the three teams finishing ahead of them in their pool and they still almost made it. The routine was so good and fun, they were asked to demo the routine during Finals day.
Up first and starting off Finals Sunday to Rocky Mountain Way were Carlos "Pipo" Lopez, Pat Marron and Jeff Kruger. These guys won their semi pool last year and have formed a formidable team based on good technical skills and dramatic physical gifts. Some moments to remember included Jeffís gitis off his partnerís perfect set and a Krugerian double flamingo. Pipo had his own double flamingo as well. If Pat is on your team, you know to expect a huge Murf-like gitis and spinning scarecrow. Other highlights included Jeffís gitis off Pipoís under leg chest roll set and their triple loop roll to end it. These guys finished 6th.
Dave Lewis, Arthur Coddington and Tom Leitner stepped up next playing to Tool. These guys won coop in Seattle a couple years ago and came out hot with Tommy hitting an introductory gitis. These guys exhibited complex coops, both counter and clock, using all sides of the disc as desired. Daveís heel kick to Arthurís chest roll was cool and Arthurís scarecrow off Daveís set on the music was particularly tasty. Tommyís big chest roll indie to spinning phlaud fired up the crowd. Then Dave and Tom do a coop with Daveís planted gitis to finish, Tommy completes a tipping sequence to scarecrow and Dave follows with a tipping sequence to double flamingo to elevate the energy further. Arthur hitting his patented flying bad attitude sealed their meal. These guys finished 4th.
Playing third was Team Spon. Toddy Brodeur, Rob Freid and the legendary Joey Hudoklin jammed to a Zeppelin Medley with Toddy in charge of hitting music cues. They had a very elegant and smooth intro. Joey had some awesome moves highlighted by tips to kick to flamingo, a double chair and gitis off a heel kick. Other moments included Joeyís kick brush to Robís catch and Robís behind the neck cuff to phlaud. Toddy snagged his patented Olivia after a figure 4 delay hold as well. A particular highlight was Joeyís double bump around the neck thingy. This group of shredaholics finished 5th.
Team Texas "walked around in circles" and displayed a deep and dramatic teamwork session. Dan YarNail, Tristan Doshier and Steve "the" Heins began with only 4 discs with complex coops from the start-discs in domes, weaving, turnover passes and other thingys captured the imagination of the fans immediately. They exhibited a gymnastic flair with Tristan flip passing to Steve over Dan while Dan is delaying and Danís turnover to Tristan using Steve to flip him (or was it Steveís turnover pass to Tristan using Dan to turn the disc over?). Other moments included their chorus line thingy, Danís double flamingosis, Tristanís spinning planted gitosis, Danís set to Tristanís flamingo brush to Steveís crow, Danís Scarecrow Brush off his partnerís set and Tristanís leg trap catch thingy. I think you get the picture - lots of thingys. They finished 2nd but had enough to finish higher.
Up next with a routine out of thingyville were the eclectic (electric?) team of Randy Silvey, Ted Oberhaus and Erwin Velasquez. Playing to The Doors "The End", these guys ended all suspense with their shining choreography. Starting with a rubber band thingy used to accentuate their interactions they began with a sweet coop intro with classic passing and artistic body language. They had a triple chest roll while Ted was all wrapped in rubber. Gymnastically, Erwin pulled Ted over his back as Rando passed to Ted. There was a lot of visual symmetry with the rubber band used to provide hoops and various forms of propped restrictions. More highlights included Erwinís spinning flamingo, a Rando crow pose, a Randosis and Rando and Erwinís upside down clock coop. The strongest moment was Erwinís HUGE double flamingo pull with other spinning restrictions to a double flamingosis that provided a big energy pickup when they seemed to need it most. Congratulations to the winners. Erwinís win assured him being the first jammer ever to win a World Title in 4 different decades.
Playing last was the "Groovy Groovy" team of Larry Imperiale, Joel Rogers and Paul Kenny. This team began with a double disc intro with multiple passes and turnovers and ending the first block of music with Laerbs hitting a crow on the note. Paul followed with a double disc precession to disc on dome delay to double triple fake thingy followed by a 3-disc scarecrow. Joel and Laerbs each took long rollers followed with cool moves and punctuated with a gitis in each bite-er-move. Other highlights included Joelís spinning foot brush to Paul restricted pull, Paulís big air (well-air-maybe) gitis on the note, Joelís tipping sequence and Laerbs consecutive extendo-jams. With the depth of choreography and teamwork of the previous two teams these guys finished 3rd.
As Tom Leitner said "Overall, the co-op final was a great representation of what makes freestyle such a great sport - being able to have so many different styles of play and types of routines compete and play together."