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Friday, May 25, 2012
X Games invites youngest athletes

By Keith Hamm
ESPN.com

Jagger Eaton, 11, is a jack of all skate trades. He can hang in the streets and on the MegaRamp.

The X Games has invited 11-year-old skateboarder Jagger Eaton to compete on its biggest stage in Los Angeles in June.

Eaton, who would be the youngest athlete in the event's history, learned he will have the opportunity to drop into the monolithic MegaRamp during the Skateboard Big Air contest.

Trey Wood, also 11, has been invited to compete as well.

The two grade-schoolers, who check in at about 80 pounds each, will join 12-year-old Tom Schaar, 14-year-old Alex Sorgente and 15-year-old Mitchie Brusco as five of the 18 athletes invited to skate in Big Air -- an event that features a steep roll-in followed by a jump over a 70-foot gap to a 27-foot quarterpipe, pioneered by skateboard legend Danny Way.

"I got the invite from X Games like two days ago," Eaton told ESPN on Friday. "It made me feel amazing. I just want to go out there and have fun. I feel ready to go. I'll try a few tricks."

If all goes as planned and Eaton competes, he'll be about four months younger than defending Skateboard Street gold medalist Nyjah Huston was when he competed in 2006 as the youngest athlete in X Games history. Wood will be two months older than Huston was.

Trey Wood, 11, pictured here at Woodward West.

Eaton's father, Geoff Eaton, said they've been frequenting Woodward West in Tehachapi, Calif., to ride the action-sports camp's full-sized MegaRamp.

"[Last] Sunday, Jagger put down a backflip [over the gap] to a big 540 on the quarterpipe," the elder Eaton said. "For an 11-year-old kid who's primarily a street skater, that's a pretty substantial run."

In November at defending Big Air gold medalist Bob Burnquist's Dreamland MegaRamp Invitational, Eaton tied for third with Wood in the event's "Kinder Kontest."

Getting the X Games invite "was awesome, almost overwhelming," Wood told ESPN. "I've always looked up to Bob and Jake Brown. It's crazy to think that I get to go compete against them."

"I'm trying to dial in 900s right now," Wood added. "I have the rotation and everything but haven't pulled one yet."

Skateboard Big Air elimination rounds run on June 28, followed by the final on June 29 on Chick Hearn Court between L.A. Live and STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles.