Mongoose, a fixture of the BMX scene since day one, held the First Annual Mongoose Jam, July 26 and 27, 2012, putting a whole new spin on the world of BMX competitions. The inaugural event, held at Woodward West in Tehachapi, California, boasted five teams of six riders, each led by one of Mongoose’s own pro-riders. Captains Cam White, Ben Wallace, Greg Illingworth, Paul Ryan, and Steve McCann each chose four BMX rippers to join their respective squads, with each team rounded out by an amateur rider chosen from the hoards of Woodward campers who flocked to the July 25th amateur auditions. At the end of the Jam, the six riders that topped the competition split a pretty $40,000 prize purse, not to mention earning serious bragging rights to boot.
With the very athletes that influence and inspire them looking on, the up-and-coming Woodward BMX campers took part in 3-minute heats, vying for a chance to compete alongside their heroes. As the audition came to a close, Brad Thomas, Ed Percival, Todd Cagel, Mike Mendoza, and Shea Doran not only joined the Jam, but earned themselves year long flow sponsorships with Mongoose.
Rosters set and bikes at the ready, day one went off with two members from each team taking their skills to the dirt. Kevin Peraza of Team Ryan laid down the highest scoring run, starting with a one-footed invert on the first set, followed by a knack knack on the second hit, a massive superman seat grab, wrapping up with a truck driver to downside whip. Peraza’s first place wasn’t enough to earn his team an early lead, however, as 2nd and 7th place finishes by TJ Ellis and Wallace placed Team Wallace atop the leader board as day one came to a close.
Day two saw the next set of 10-riders take over ‘The Hanger’—Woodward West’s impressive indoor park— backflipping and tail-whipping their way through a BMX battle for the books. The airs were huge, and the tricks impressive enough to elicit round after round of cheers from the crowd. While team captain Cam White looked on proudly on as one of his own nailed first place with a run that boasted a flair drop-in, a 720 over the spine, a flip whip and a 540 flair, it was Team Wallace that took back the team title, thanks to pro-rider Andy Buckworth and am-prodigy Brad Thomas earning second and fifth place, respectively.
The fight for the Mongoose Jam title didn’t end there, however, as Friday’s park competition was quickly followed by the final showdown: street. The last 10-riders— Shea Doran, Big Daddy, Christian Rigal, Paul Ryan, Jeremiah Smith, Josh Clemmens, Brian Kachinsky, Connor Lodes, Pete Sawyer, and Stevie Churchill— rallied to Woodward West’s Target Plaza, where three different zones offered the competitors the chance to lead their team to victory. All said and done, it was Jeremiah Smith of Team McCann who took home the street crown for himself and his teammates.
This singular victory wasn’t enough to secure the overall top spot for Team McCann, however, as Team Wallace held down the competition with wins in both Dirt and Park. Team riders TJ Ellis, Andy Buckworth, Christian Rigal, and Connor Lodes locked in the win at the first annual Mongoose Jam, walking away with some fancy new hardware, as well as a share in the $40,000 winnings.
Check out all the action first hand, from Mongoose’s live-streamed coverage of the event: