The 2013 US National YoYo Contest wrapped up this past weekend, and YoYoNews is looking back at each division and bringing you post-contest analysis.
The 5A division at this years US National YoYo Contest suffered from the same problem as nearly every other division this year: most of the competitors were pretty good for a State or Regional level, but just couldn’t hold their own on the National stage against former champions. As a result, the division had no real momentum. Dylan Benharris got on stage with a routine that started with thirty seconds of tricks from 2001, and a routine that ended :40 early; Shannon Jackson started his routine with a change-out, up-and-coming player favorite Chase Baxter started missing tricks early and then kept going back after them for second tries, and the normally composed Shane Lubecker looked like he was struggling to remember his routine. None of these guys are bad yoyo players by any means, but none of them seemed prepared for what they came to do…and that was get on stage and challenge Tyler Severance & Miguel Correa, two players with multiple National titles. The most exciting moment of the entire division was Jake Elliot’s inspired rebuild of his World YoYo Contest routine with fresh pacing and a lot of the throw-away tricks removed for a leaner, meaner freestyle that ended in Jake’s first National title and a much-needed injection of fresh blood into the counterweight play winner pool.
The counterweight division has been suffering for years now, with legal wrangling killing pretty much all meaningful promotion of the style. The result is a waning interest in behalf of competitors, and what we saw at Nationals this year were two former Champions who are still holding their own but quickly aging out of the competition circuit and only one new contender coming up to represent the next generation of champions. At this rate, it’s pretty likely that 5A will be completely stagnant by 2015 and dead in the water by the time the Duncan counterweight patent expires in 2020.
But for now at least, we have three amazing routines by players at the top of their game, and a field of dedicated hopefuls that might stick around long enough to see this division return to its former glory.
2013 US National YoYo Contest – 5A Division Winners
1st Place – Jake Elliot
2nd Place – Tyler Severance
3rd Place – Miguel Correa