By Roland B. Rush

Harvey Brandt was overheard saying on the net, “things are done, always have been and always will be, a little different at the Virginia States.” And the 21st Annual was no exception.

A day of golf, distance, and MTA kicked off the event on Saturday along with non-stop rain, confirming that last year’s sunshine was just an anomaly. But the nucleus of the Virginia States, and what makes it stand out from other events, is Laszlo’s Wienee World. Although I’ve never seen him nor met anyone who has, Laszlo Pasteque puts out the greatest spread of healthy food and good cheer of any establishment around. The only evidence that he even exists is his IFA Plaque. Greeted with a “welcome home,” I order a Gambler Pizza, and I’m psyched as they redeem my “50 Cent On” coupon I clipped from the registration form.

Sunshine and Laszlo greeted us on Sunday morning. After more of those field event things, the long-awaited freestyle preliminaries arrive. The wind was perfect as the eighteen teams or so prepared for the prelims, complemented with some up and coming junior players, including Nikki Ross, Amateur of 96.

With at least four hot teams in each pool, it was clear that a few good teams would get cut. A styler on the rise, Scott Sailor from New York, teamed with the veteran Dan Magallanes, and although they didn’t make the finals, Scott showed some great moves and we look forward to more of Scott in the years ahead.

Dale Crawford and Phil Kappa were the unlucky hot jammers in the first pool, getting edged out by Chuck Richards/Arthur Coddington and Brian McElwain/Gary Auerbach. Winning the pool out of nowhere was Judy Robbins, Toddy Brodeur, and Jeff O’Brien. The highlight of the pool was Gary and Brian’s unique high-exchange, flowing style, and Jeff’s double gitis brush.

In the second pool, Harvey Brandt and Tom Lasher jammed well but were squeezed out by Greg Hosfeld/Buddy Adams and Paul Kenny/Pipo Lopez. Ted Oberhaus and Larry Imperiale totally shredded to win the pool.

With the wind starting to gust from all directions and the sun about 45 minutes from setting, the stage was set for another Virginia State finals. Even Laszlo’s seemed to shut down for a while as our hosts pulled up their chairs to watch the jam.

As the first few groups played, it was clear the best jamming had already happened that day. Playing early, Arthur and Chuck played reasonably well given the conditions, with Arthur pulling off some incredible moves that demonstrated his command of the disc in adverse conditions.

The second to last routine of the day and the best of the finals was Judy/Jeff/Toddy, as they finished to huge cheers from the crowd. (Jeff informed me later that the cheers were recorded into their tape, but regardless, they were still hot).

Finally it was time for the final team, Larry and Ted. One prophetic Laszlo employee was overheard saying in the prelims that Larry could probably play by himself if the wind was good. As it turns out, Ted slightly (hopefully) twisted his knee in the prelims and scratched from the finals. So Larry went out solo (a la Randy Silvey – early 80’s, Boulder), but conditions were not like the prelims.

Congratulations to Judy who comes away with another Virginia State Open Freestyle title, and to Jeff and Toddy who win their first. Originally, it was announced Arthur and Harvey had tied for overall with Chuck third. Harvey continues to amaze with the consistency of his overall performances. Arthur, after scratching from Golf, only went on to finish 3rd in Distance, 2nd in Freestyle, and 1st in MTA. Not bad for a freestyler. But when the smoke cleared and freestyle points confirmed, the Overall Winner was Jeff O’Brien, with strong finishes in all events, including a first in freestyle. Arthur was second, Chuck third, and Harvey fourth.

The last time we saw Arthur, he was scratching his head trying to figure out whether Larry gets bonus points in the FPA ranking system for beating his own partner·

Larry won the Team Banzi Award (in memory of Pryor Hendrix), maybe for his solo freestyle performance, or maybe because he made the distance semis for his first time in his life with the infamous Fred Flintstone shuffle-step run-up.

Thanks to Eric Olsen and the gang from Laszlo’s for another great event that seems to bring back memories of tournaments from the early days of the sport. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely an early season event that shouldn’t be missed.

Harvey was also overheard saying, ” I relish Laszlo’s lunches. And all too soon it will all be over and we have to wait another year for our fix. So it goes, and real soon.”


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