snocrossTeen-ager tops Snocross field

MOUNT SNOW, Vt. -- Tucker Hibbert took a break from high school in Minnesota to make history at ESPN's Winter X Games on Friday. Hibbert, 15, became the youngest gold medalist in the four years of Winter X, running away with the Snocross championship on Beaver Hill Run.

Tucker was in command throughout much of the race.
On a good day for racing, Hibbert coaxed his snowmobile to the front right at the start of the six-lap finals, gaining an edge on perennial Snocross contender Blair Morgan and the eight other finalists. Hibbert was able to maintain a relatively comfortable lead and avoid any possible race-ending collisions. Morgan took the silver and T.J. Gulla won the bronze.

"My engine was just awesome," Hibbert said.

One person who wasn't shocked by Hibbert's victory was one of his competitors, who also happens to be his father. Kirk Hibbert, 42, a legendary Snocross sled racer, said he had lots of confidence in his teen-age son.

"He's a few years ahead of his time, but he's always been," said Kirk, who nearly medaled and finished fifth. "At 14, he was state motocross champ."

"He's been good at this stuff forever," said Tucker's mother, Teresa. "He inherited a lot of his dad's talent."

Just because Tucker is young, it doesn't mean he's inexperienced. He first started riding snowmobiles when he was 2 years old. "I've probably been riding as long as they've been racing," said Tucker, alluding to his Winter X competition.

Tucker, a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, Minn., had to miss some school time in order to compete in the Winter X Games. "This is the most days he's missed," said his mom. "He's got to make up the work."

Rounding out the top 10 were Justin Tate (fourth), Kurtis Crapo (sixth), Dennis Eckstrom Jr. (seventh), Chris Vincent (eighth), Aaron Scheele (ninth) and Trevor John (10th).

Snocross final standings
Athlete Finish
Tucker Hibbert 1st
Blair Morgan 2nd
T.J. Gulla 3rd
Justin Tate 4th
Kirk Hibbert 5th
Kurtis Crapo 6th
Dennis Eckstrom Jr. 7th
Chris Vincent 8th
Aaron Scheele 9th
Trevor John 10th
Noel Kohanski 11th
Earl Reimer 12th
Toni Haikonen 13th
Carl Schubitzke 14th
Todd Wolff 15th
Kent Ipsen 16th
Brian Call 17th
Greg Hyde 18th
Jesse Strege 19th
Jeremy Crapo 20th
Mike Morrow 21st
Jim Beck Jr. 22nd
Dave Wickles 23rd
Dennis Durmas 24th
David Stenlund 25th
Jason Boron 26th
Carl Kuster 27th
Troy Schaden 28th
Ray Schlegel 29th
Tim Maki 30th
David Brown 31st
Doug Henry 32nd

 Tucker Hibbert celebrates his Snocross victory.
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  Hibbert just wanted to finish like he started.
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 Teresa Hibbert says it was hard watching her husband and her son.
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 Kirk Hibbert can't believe his son is a Winter X champ.
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