If you’ve never been to Sk8 Liborius in St. Louis, add it to your skatepark bucket list. Photos don’t do it justice, this skate sanctuary absolutely needs to be experienced in person. Church was definitely in session this past Saturday as Sk8 Liborius opened its doors and welcomed our thirsty congregation into their temple, freshly upgraded with a brand new street course completed just hours before the contest began.
This was the third Qualifying stop of the Red Bull Cornerstone series, and like the previous two in Lincoln and Kansas City, skaters from all over the Heartland made their way to the contest to try their luck at the podium and secure their place in the Finals event in Minneapolis on October 6. We’ve made some friends along the way and it was great to see some familiar faces mixed with a host of local rippers new to the series and eager to defend their home turf. It was a level playing field however as this course had never been skated before that morning.
29 skaters from the men’s prelims were reduced to 18 for the semis with only 10 eventually moving onto the finals jam. Of those 10, only the top six would earn a spot in the Series Final in Minneapolis. If the name Blaine Harper sounds familiar by now, it’s because he was our winner in Lincoln and also made it to the final round in Kansas City. He finished 6th in St. Louis. Local ripper Drew Nguyen landed in 5th and Tim Ritzel finished just outside of the money in 4th place. Carter Riley drove almost 6 hours from Tupelo, Mississippi to skate, a trip made worth the while with a 3rd place finish. Christopher Hiett impressed the judges with his quick footed boardslide body variels, big stale fish airs out of the QP to bank wall, and a run full of other tricks that almost nobody else was doing. Good enough for 2nd place.
The first place winner gets his own paragraph. Emanuelle Maire was easily the standout favorite of the day from his very first practice cruise around the course. We met Manny at the Kansas City stop where he annihilated the RideFourEver park but unfortunately just missed the cut to the final jam. Mild-mannered Manny was disappointed that day, but it was clear to everyone in St. Louis that he was not about to let history repeat itself. No chance. He was there to win, and win he did! Manny absolutely ravaged the course and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that he actually skated circles around some of the other competitors. He didn’t stop moving or even slow down for the entire 2-minute final jam. In fact, I’m pretty sure he kept skating well after time expired. The skating was insane, the crowd was going nuts and Manny was awarded the highest score of the series to date, a 96.98! A full 14 points ahead of 2nd place! Did I mention he also won the Best Trick contest? A job well done Emanuelle and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the Finals next month.
The ladies comp is always a highlight and it’s great to see the crowd and the male competitors so supportive of women’s skateboarding. Series regulars Ana Caculovic, Maya Davidson, and Ruby Herrera took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively, while newcomer Lilian Gallagher stole the show with her heavy bag of tricks which included full cab over the a-frame, 50-50 across and down the bump to ledge, and halfcab flip over the hip – the last of which also won her the Best Trick prize.
It was another event for the books and the top 6 Men and the top 3 Women from Saturday’s contest have all earned a spot in the Final’s event at Familia Skatepark in Minneapolis on October 6th. The Cornerstone qualifier series continues with Stop 4 at Familia on October 5, one day before the Final event. For more information visit Redbull.com/cornerstone.
1. Emanuelle Maire
2. Christopher Hiett
3. Carter Riley
4. Tim Ritzel
5. Drew Nguyen
6. Blaine Harper
Best Trick: Emanuelle Maire
1. Lilian Gallagher
2. Ana Caculovic
3. Maya Davidson
Best Trick: Lilian Gallagher
For the complete list of results, visit: TheBoardr.com
Video: @collinhpx and @boba__mooska
Photo credit: David Koehler