Congratulation to the winners of the W.E. Rock Western Series Round 1 at Three Peaks Recreation Area, in Cedar City, UT
Jesse Haines/Chris Poblano
Jared Neff/Rawlin McGhie
Woody Swearingen/Logan Backus
Kendra Winters/Jeremy Winters
Nate Hurst/Kevin Boren
Robby Flandro/Nick Schafer
WE Rock Cedar City
There is so much good that comes out of a weekend when everyone is on their A-game. Perfect scores, competitors challenging each other, everyone is pushed up another notch. The first round of the Western WE Rock Championships was in Cedar City, Utah, in early May. Forty competitors took to the rocks; the comp area was the main bowl at Three Peaks Recreation Area. Over the years, we’ve shifted the courses all over the Iron County park, but this year, we went back to basics.
On Day 1, we saw some incredible scores. The Unlimited class was on fire. Perfect scores on A1 through A3 for many – for everyone on A2. The competition was tight at the end of the day. Jesse Haines and Dave Wong were tied at the top with a single backup each during the day. John Hembel and Michael Brassanini were knocking at the door with the same backup and one cone. Many were just a cone or two behind.
On Sunday, all bets are off. Rarely do we find perfect scores on the second day. The course designer is always looking for bigger challenges on day two. The driver’s order gets reversed, in Unlimited, which put Dave Wong up first. Knowing that his top challenger was tied, it would require Wong to try some things he might bypass if he had options. The first course was B4; he took the bonus line on Gate 5, rolled, and broke the portal box – leaving it wide open for Jesse to take the win. Haines played a very strategic game from there out, not taking bonuses he didn’t need. Coming into the Shootout, Haines could have bypassed everything and still won, but the true sportsman he is, he climbed the wall, the only one to do so – to give the crowd a thrill!
In ProMod, the lead changed with every course through Day one, with Jared Neff pulling ahead at the end of the day. The ProMod class got a Shootout opportunity, and Tyler Harper had one heck of a run, finishing with only one second left on the clock for a score of positive 2, the best ProMod score in the Shootout.
The Sportsman classes were all heart, as always.
Brian “Woody” Swearingen from IH8MUD competed for the first time. No stranger to rockcrawling, he has attended events for years, photographed, and written stories, but he brought his rig this year. Woody drove it right to the top spot in Sportsman A, beating seasoned competitors Jason Reeves, Tyler Nantz, and Dwayne Lewis for the top honors.
Kendra Winters, age 14, with her dad, Jeremy Winters, was the only one in the Sportsman B class to complete all the courses and earn the win. Every other team had at least one course that gave them trouble. The best part about Sportsman B is the families. In the top 6 positions were family members competing together – from husband/wife to daughter/dad to brothers. A true testament to the family atmosphere rockcrawling perpetuates.
Sportsman C found the Milkman, Nate Hurst, on the top of the podium again. Nate parked his rig a few years ago to support Driver Ryan Maxfield in his Unlimited run; it was good to see him back in the driver’s seat again.
And for fun and chaos, we had Captain Rob Flandro and spotter Nick Schafer killin’ it on the rocks in their UTV!
Great spectator turnout both days and a great field of competitors made a fun weekend. This is what WE Rock is all about!
The next events are coming up. Eastern round two is in Glencoe, Oklahoma, at Cedar Canyon Ranch on June 18 and 19. A perfect Father’s Day activity. Great fun for the whole family. Western round two will be in Rangely, Colorado, on July 8 and 9. Lots of camping available if you want to get a jump on the 4th of July holiday and celebrate in the mountains.