Tampa Am: Luan Oliveira Won it All

Mike Sinclair

Thursday Practice

Thursday was practice at the 2009 Tampa Am contest and the course was packed. Kids killed it all day long from what I saw. Dan Plunkett was shredding right when I rolled up as a few others just stepped on the course to test it out for the first time. I asked Gilbert Crockett what he thought of the packed house and he just looked confused and smiled at me. I caught up with Nick Merlino while he was setting up a new board and said he had been having so much fun he couldn't sit still; he had been out there all day.

After looking at the course I noticed a few changes were made this year but not much looked different to me which isn't a bad thing; the Tampa course has always been proper so it never really needs much re building. Friday the doors open at 9:00 am and the contest starts at 11:00 am sharp. SPoT's website has the complete contest scheduleas well.

Friday Qualifiers

Day two at Tampa Am the rain came down but that didn't slow down the first day of qualifying. Every year there are a few new kids that seem to come out of nowhere, today that kid was Mark Suciu. Mark has a laid back style and I have a feeling the tricks he pulled out today are just a few good ones from his big bag of tricks. You will be seeing Mark Suciu in Finals so stay tuned. Other stand outs today were Shawn Hale, Kyle Walker, Youness Amrani and Nick Tucker just to name a few.

Saturday Qualifiers

Saturday the rain stopped and the skating heated up. Stand outs were Corey Kennedy, Luis Tolentino, David Loy (who skated with two broken wrists), and Nick Merlino. Cameo Wilson looked like had the golden ticket all day until Ben Hatchell destroyed the course in the 11th hour. For those who don't know, the first place qualifier gets a golden ticket buy al the way to the finals.

Here's the top 10 Qualifiers in order:

2. Cameo Wilson

3. Boo Johnson

4. Timmy Knuth

5. Nick Merlino

6. Shaun Gregoire

7. Derek Elemendorf

8. David Loy

9. Tommy Werner

10. Luis Tolentino

Sunday Semi-Finals

Luan Oliveira qualified first in the semi finals. The Flip am and one of the stars of the "Extremely Sorry" video crushed the course in his runs today and is a top contender in the finals. These are the skaters that will be rolling in the finals:
1. Luan Oliveira 2. Kevin Romar
3. Adrien Bulard 4. Chris Mendes
5. Ron Deily 6. Jack Olson
7. Clint Walker 8. Shawn Hale
9. Nick Tucker 10. Felipe Gustavo

Sunday Finals

Luan Oliveira became the first skater ever to win the Tampa Am contest twice! Matt Berger won the Best trick contest with a backside 180 fakie frontside crooked grind fakie flip out on the Tech Center ledge. Luis Tolentino was awarded the Gatorade Labor of Love award for ripping and tieing the World Record highest ollie at 44.5 inches. Ben Hatchell was awarded the Zumiez Destroyer award for killing the course all weekend long.
1. Luan Oliveira
2. Ben Hatchell
3. Nick Tucker
4. Jack Olson
5. Chris Mendes
6. Felipe Gustavo
7. Ron Deily
8. Shawn Hale
9. Mark Suci
10. Clint Walker
11. Adrien Bulard
12. Kevin Romar
Big thanks to the Skatepark of Tampa crew who continue to put on some of the best contests year after year after year.