Editor's note: The following is a press release from Red Bull's Crashed Ice.
Cameron Naasz, a 2008 Lakeville South graduate, finished third at the Red Bull Crashed Ice - Ice Cross Downhill World Championship in St. Paul over the weekend.
One hundred and fifteen thousand people descended upon the Cathedral of Saint Paul as Canadian brothers Kyle and Scott Croxall took the top two spots in an intense, action-packed final day.
Yet in many ways, the night belonged to hometown hero Naasz, who continued to cement his position as one of the elite Ice Cross Downhill athletes in the world with a third place finish.
The crowd chanted “USA!”USA! USA!” as the Lakeville resident dominated the first three rounds, finishing first in each heat as the excitement around his performance grew. Naasz qualified for the finals in dramatic fashion, as he slid blades first across the finish line to edge out Canadian competitor John Fisher by a skate. The final run came down to the wire, with Naasz jumping out to the front of the pack and narrowly holding his lead through the first half of the course. But the Croxall brothers managed to surpass Naasz on the final quarter of the track, leaving him and the United States just short of a first-ever victory in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.
“Tonight was unbelievable – I wish I had taken a few more strides on the final run,” said Naasz. “But feeling the energy of the crowd was amazing, and now I’m more focused than ever on doing whatever I can to take the next step and win a race.”
Two other Americans made deep runs into the quarterfinals. Veteran Tigh Isaac was one of them, putting in a strong performance and keeping himself in contention for the top spot all night. A collision during the quarterfinals squashed his hopes to reach the podium, but he’s established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the circuit.
The comeback story of the night was Adam Green, who took Saint Paul by storm as he powered his way through the first two rounds and into the quarterfinals. The Ohio native was the fastest qualifier in Saint Paul last time around, but has been in and out of competition the past few years. With a dominant run on Saturday, he reminded fans of Ice Cross Downhill of his potential to be one of the top athletes in the sport.
“I was really proud of our guys overall,” said Charlie Wasley, coach of Team USA. “Cam was even better than most people know – he was pretty banged up by the last race and still had a real shot to take it all. It was great to see him on the podium, but he has the potential to win races, if not the series. This night is going to elevate the confidence of our athletes, and I really feel we’re closer than ever to a win.”
Fans can relive all the edge-of-your-seat action on February 16 when the Saint Paul race airs as part of the Red Bull Signature Series. The Red Bull Signature Series is the most progressive and innovative action sports property in the world, featuring events such as snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing, and BMX. For more information, visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.