For seven years, Canadian Scott Croxall struggled to live up to the potential so many felt the 24-year-old had, but no more. After several second place finishes in his previous years in the Red Bull Crashed Ice Series the younger Croxall brother reached the pinnacle of the sport, winning the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice Championship as the fastest man on skates.
Scott’s older brother Kyle had been a series winner, taking home the crown in 2012, and many were beginning to wonder if he would be the only member of the family to reach the peak of the sport, but the 24-year-old dominated this year, taking home two victories in the four races of the series (Helsinki and Belfast), while finishing in second place in Edmonton in the final event of the season. He also placed in the top 10 in St. Paul, MN giving him a total of 3,325 points in 2015.
It is a remarkable comeback for Croxall, who gave his detractors ammunition after the St. Paul event. Younger brother Scott finished in ninth overall in the U.S. event, while it was older brother Kyle who dominated the track, winning the event and looking like he was going to grab his second career series championship.
At the beginning of February the Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill series moved to Helsinki, Finland, and there both Croxall brothers made it into the finals, as did American Cameron Naasz and Austria’s Marco Dallago. Scott Croxall took control of the event from the start and took home his first victory at a downhill event, setting the stage for his dominance on this season.
Next came Belfast, and this time the younger brother outdueled a different Canadian bother tandem, Dylan and Dean Moriarity, and the brother of Marco Dallago, Luca, to grab his second straight win. A great kick at the end clinched the victory and gave him a commanding series lead.
The series events were quickly shaping up to be brotherly affairs as the Moriarity, Croxall and Dallago brothers had finished in the top six of the first three events 11 times. The only other competitor who frequently found his name among the finalists was the U.S.A.’s Cameron Naasz, who finished in the top five of the first three events, including a third in Helsinki and a fourth place finish in St. Paul.
Onto Edmonton the series went, and Scott knew that if he could at least make it into the finals of the event he would lock up the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill Series title. He skated brilliantly through each round, and in the semi-finals flowed effortlessly through the 415-meter course, grabbing one of the two spots in the finals from his heat. This cliniched his first world title.
In the finals he battled hard against Naasz, but the American took control of the race in the last 50 meters, winning his first title of the season, and jumping ahead of Dean Moriarity and Scott’s brother Kyle for second place overall in the final standings. For the American it was his third Red Bull Crashed Ice victory and the second time he finished second overall in the standings for a season.
With his fourth place finish in Edmonton, Dean Moriarity finished the season third overall in the standings with 2,375 points, 137.5 behind Naasz. Kyle Croxall finished in fourth overall, 60 points behind Moriarity.
The surprise finisher in Edmonton was American Tommy Mertz, who finished in third in the race. His highest finish in his brief career. His previous best was a 26th place.
Following his series title, Scott Croxall enthusiastically thanked his fellow countrymen for their support for their champion athlete. “You’re wild Edmonton! Thanks for cheering me on. It’s amazing. I couldn’t be happier.”
Scott Croxall should enter the 2016 season as the favorite to repeat. Now that he has overcome the threshold of winning the first race of his career he might very easily be even tougher to beat next year than he was this year.
By Robert Pannier