Fifteen-year-old Joel Cendejas of Des Moines skated off with top honors in the 11th annual Rotary Skateboard Challenge competition held Aug. 2 in Woodinville.
Cendejas won the Best Trick Contest with his “switch heel flip” maneuver at the Rotary Community Park skate course and finished second in his age division. He walked off with the Woodinville Rotary Club’s prize of $250 plus recognition in the Ethan Zakes “EZ Rocks Tricks” competition.
Fifty-five skateboard athletes from throughout the region competed in what could be considered a competitive warm-up for the September 19-21 EZ Rocks Skate for the Cure test in Bellevue for pro and amateur skateboarders. They will enter street and mega ramp competition vying for $50,000 in prize money.
Not even a thunderstorm could dampen the enthusiasm of contestants during the afternoon-long event, causing but a momentary delay over the sun-drenched course.
Judges were Jordan Smith, Taylor Ballard and Dave Dalby with Pam Miller again directing the event with help from Northshore YMCA and Rotary members.
Sponsored by Woodinville Rotary Club, the Challenge this year was run in memorial tribute to Woodinville skater Ethan Zakes who, at the age of 10, lost his battle with ALD, an often fatal brain disease. It also was held in support of the Zakes Foundation whose mission is to urge the genetic discovery and early detection of the disease among newborn baby boys. The Foundation is sponsoring the September EZ Rocks event (www.ezrocks.org).
The winning competitors, by division, included (ranking from first to fifth):
10 and under – Parker Simmons, Caden Smith, Orion Belleza, Merek Jackson and Henry Loya.
11 to 15 years – Sam Nelson, Joel Cendejas, Simon Wilke, Logan Proffitt and Keala Cole.
16 and older – Reece Clayson, Jacob Durden, Anindo Uhan, Kyle Wood and Arlyss Jenkins.
Girls – Kristin Ebeling, Ruby Carney and Sima Bayat.
Sponsored Skateboarders – Jesse Lindloff, Ricky Mastain, Conar McKnight, Alec VanVactor and Roman Lauzon.
Winners of cash for “Tricks for Ethan” Zakes were Smith, Alex Harr, Durden, Ebeling and Lindloff.