Longboarders Take Over Lawrence
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LAWRENCE – The hill down Mann Street is a pretty good drop. And that’s exactly what Marcus Jimenez and fellow skateboarders love about it. For five hours yesterday Mann Street, in the city’s Prospect Hill neighborhood, was the backdrop for a competition involving some of the area’s best “longboarders” – skateboarders who use longer, wider skateboards. “It releases stress and it’s something we like to do,” Jimenez, 15, a Central Catholic High School freshman, and mastermind behind yesterday’s skateboarding competition. He’s been working since Dec. 29 organizing the event, which drew longboarders from Lawrence, Methuen and well beyond.
Brian Bishop, a professional longboarder, even came, showing off all kinds of daring moves down Mann Street. “I think that’s pretty awesome, that we were able to get a pro rider to come to our event,” said Robbie Tersolo, 15, of Amesbury. Some 13 skateboard sponsors, including Loaded and Orangatang, which sell skateboard gear, donated merchandise. In the past six months, other longboarding events were held in Storrow and Riverfront parks, both in Lawrence. But Jimenez said the skateboarders needed an area where they could hold downhill “slides, flatground and trick” competitive events. At one point during the event, Jimenez held one end of a limbo bar, while longboarders slid underneath and jumped over it.
The hill and the pavement “is perfect,” Jimenez said. Many of the longboarders are local kids from Lawrence and Methuen who can’t make longboarding events and competitions held in New Hampshire and Connecticut. Doreen Keraghan, who lives on nearby Ridge Road, watched as her son Scott, 14, competed in and won the limbo longboarding competition. “He goes all over for this, to Salem, N.H. and Andover,” Keraghan said. “They love to longboard. And in keeps them out of trouble,” she said.
Quincy father Paul Murphy agreed. He drove his son Mike, 17, up to Lawrence yesterday and stayed for the five-hour event. The downhill skateboard events are different than skate park visits, he noted.
Written By Jill Harmacinski
Photos By Brianna Healy