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Nyquist frets over Guettler’s risk taking

Times Staff Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ryan Nyquist sat dejected after clinching his first Dew Cup championship in the BMX Dirt discipline Saturday during the final AST Dew Tour event of the season.

Partially it was because he had performed with uncharacteristic mediocrity, finishing fifth in securing the season-long points lead -- and $75,000 -- based on a slim overall edge over Cameron White. But it was also because of Ryan Guettler’s frightening crash after attempting a double back-flip on the second jump of his second run.

“I’m a little disappointed in him, to be honest, not because of the fact that he crashed but because he didn’t need to try that,” Nyquist said. “He could have won the contest with the other tricks.”

Guettler, who was leading after the first round with a score of 91.00, under-rotated and landed on his front wheel, slamming his head into the flat area beyond the down slope.

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He was unconscious for several minutes but snapped to after being placed on a stretcher and whisked to a nearby ambulance. Fifteen minutes later, he emerged and said of the double flip:

“I do it all the time and did it yesterday in practice. I was 100% confident that I could do it, but I spun way too slow. I was just stressing about over-spinning and I spun too slow.”

As Luke Parslow was honored for winning Saturday’s event, Nyquist said, “I’m tired of seeing my friends go down, you know? I don’t want to see that anymore. I’m not hating on him but I wish he would have kept it clean and been able to stay in there with the rest of us.”

The four-time X Games gold medalist was referring to Stephen Murray, who remains paralyzed after his crash while attempting the same trick during the first Dew Tour event in June.

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Briefly

* Shrieking teenage girls -- and there were hundreds watching the Skateboard Park competition -- could not will MTV reality show star Ryan Sheckler to triumph.

Greg Lutzka finished just ahead of the teen heartthrob and said he was not distracted, adding, “I just try to come out and do what I love to do. I don’t think about anything going on around me.”

Sheckler, whose life has become a public soap opera, had already clinched the season’s Dew Cup championship.

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* Nate Adams, with his victory in the freestyle motocross competition, has clinched the athlete of the year title based on overall points. The Temecula rider won four of the five Dew Tour contests, finishing second once.

* Dennis Enarson, 16, of La Mesa, Calif., was second in the BMX Dirt event, a major accomplishment for an athlete in his first full year of competition.

He’s the Dew Tour’s youngest competitor and, as a former BMX racer, he’s the last person you’d expect to fail his driver’s test for going too slow.

“I was being too cautious and going way too slow,” he confessed. “I didn’t see how fast you were supposed to go.”

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* Enarson is a junior at La Mesa Grossmont High, near San Diego, and says that although he misses a lot of school he’s able to maintain “mostly Bs and Cs.”

“Sometimes it gets kind of hard,” he conceded, “but usually kids will just let me copy their work when I get back to school, so homework is pretty easy.”

* Most action sports athletes begin their careers immediately after high school -- if they finish high school. Which makes Austin Coleman an anomaly. The BMX rider hails from Los Angeles and has a Bachelor of Science degree from USC.

He became passionate about riding since watching the first X Games 13 years ago. He studied real estate development and urban planning and graduated last May.

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“It was just as important as bike riding,” says Coleman, 23, who is recovering from a fractured ankle suffered during practice for the last Dew Tour contest.

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pete.thomas@latimes.com


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