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Old 09-03-2008, 09:47 AM
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Footstock Story - Huge Success!

This year will be remembered as the year Footstock arrived as the premier Figure 8 Barefoot Tournament in the world. With the presence of Andre and Zane DeVilliers, World Champion Keith St.Onge, 4 time Footstock Champion Aaron Schoelzel, 3 time Footstock Champ Chris Van Zeeland, 4 time Footstock champ and X Games Gold Medalist - Peter Fleck, and Barefoot legend Don Mixon JrÖthis event was stacked with talent. Footstock has always had a mystique thatís hard to explain other than all footers feel welcome. Crandon is a small town in Northern Wisconsin that is used to hosting huge events they are also home of the World Off Road Championships.

The start of the tournament was on Friday night at Duckís Bar where the brackets where handed out and everyone found out who was in their bracket. This year the top 3 seeds were CVZ, KSO, and Aaron Schoelzel (Paul Stokes was out do to a foot injury). With Saturday morning brimming with anticipation, 162 competitors in the open division would only get to ski one time - which doesnít help the nerves.

The senior division, which is always completed on Saturday, was a sign of what we would see on Sunday. Jon Debelak came away victorious after numerous figure eights. After the seniors, the freestyle Comp took place with Andre, Zane and Chris Morrison putting on quite a show for the crowd. During the freestyle Comp everyone noticed the old school footstocker - Dave Bremer, who drove four hours just to come and watch as he is recovering from a staph infection - best wishes Dave. Everyone at Footstock is pulling for you.

Sunday morning came with cold and windy conditions and a lot of skiing. CVZ started with Bob (the mule) Mahnke as the first run in the open division with CVZ advancing. The big shock of this round was Aaron Schoelzel losing to Josh Bruns. Josh is a good footer who has returned after a couple of years skiing for the Tommy Bartlett Ski show. Aaron has been attending and competing at Footstock since 1992. I personally regard Aaron as the best Figure Eight Barefooter in the country.

From about 1990 to 2000 there was one name in the sport of Figure 8 and this man was Chris Barnhart. He is the reason guys like CVZ, AS, Jeremy Petrie, Luke Bruckner, Rusty Swallish still compete to win Footstock. Chris B. is the one who brought domination and class to a party that loved a good tournament. Lucas Twelmeyer (second year at Footstock - 5th place 2007, 3rd place 2008) said to me as we were heading out to start our run that it was an honor to ski against me and then he beat me. I once said the same thing to Barnhart I donít remember my result. But my point is the guys and ladies who show respect for the sport and its competitors always seem to do better than the oneís who donít.

This brings me to Keith St. Onge, he had every title in barefooting except ONE, Footstock. And Footstock legend Peter Fleck was determined not to let him get it. Keith has been very determined the last couple of years to win this title and has shown nothing but respect for the tournament, its organizers and its competitors every time he has been there. Sunday afternoon was incredible. First, CVZ and Peter went 3 ľ eights with Peter advancing, followed by KSO and Jon Debelak doing 3 ľ eight. Going 3 ľ back-to-back 8ís was amazing and had never done before. Next up would be KSO and Peter after 1 Ĺ eights Peter took down the World Champion, things looked great for Peter to take his fifth Championship. Lucas then took out CVZ after only 2 eights which set up Lucas against KSO. KSO beat Lucas after 1 Ĺ eights. This set up KSO and Peter in the finals KSO had to win twice. The first run of the finals was a record-breaking battle with KSO winning after 4 ľ eights. (IT WAS INSANE) I donít believe either footer new how far they went. After about two eights you get delirious and start measuring the course in feet rather than eights. Both guys deserved to win but after 1 Ĺ 8ís KSO came out the 2008 winner of Footstock. I would personally like to congratulate KSO, Peter Fleck for coming to the biggest and best Figure 8 tournament and for setting a new standard by which everyone else will be measured. I would like to thank MasterCraft, Barefoot International, Ducks Bar, Crandon Water shows, Gary Mueller (tournament organizer) Bucky and Candy Dailey (tournament site and Chief Judge) and again for letting my wife and I stay at your house. Sorry I let the ten-year streak end of the winner coming from your house. Also, thanks to Jay and Angie Schaeffer and the rest of the LOC. This is a first class tournament that could not happen without you. Also to all of my fellow competitors I hope everyone had fun and I canít wait till next year. Iíd like to say thanks to my sponsors: BarefootCentral.com and Eagle.

By: Chris Van Zeeland

Official Results

1st Jacob Weber - Wisconsin
2nd Alex Mahnke, Wisconsin
3rd Seth Frase South Carolina

1st Dawn Schuller Wisconsin
2nd Liana Sikora Wisconsin
3rd Jaclyn Kumlein Wisconsin

1st Jon DeBelak Wisconsin
2nd Mike Netzer Wisconsin
3rd Jeff Mueller Wisconsin
4th Ron Blouw Michigan

1st Keith St Onge Florida
2nd Pete Fleck Florida
3rd Lucas Twelmyer Wisconsin
4th Jon DeBelak Wisconsin
5th Chris Van Zeeland Wisconsin
6th Josh Bruns Texas
7th Jamie Kumlein Wisconsin
8th Elaine Heller Wisconsin
9th Steve Tadisch Minnesota
10th Jacob Weber Wisconsin
11th Aaron Schoelzel Wisconsin
12th Tony Buonaiuto Connecticut
13th Mike Netzer Wisconsin
14th Luke Bruckner Wisconsin
15th Greg Fatla Wisconsin
16th Chris Morrison Michigan
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