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Stafford teen places second at extreme pogo competition
Russ Kaus of Stafford competes in Pogopalooza at the Orange County Fairgrounds in southern California.
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By Katie Thisdell
Russell Kaus took second in the Big Trick category at the ninth annual Pogopalooza in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The Stafford County teen joined a small group of extreme pogoers at the weekend competition.
Kaus said he had never before successfully done this trick, called the "Gainer Mandy."
"It was something I thought of before we went out there, and a bunch of the pogoers out there wanted me to try it, and it seemed like something I could land," said Kaus, 18, who lives in Leeland Station. "I was always pretty close during practices and stuff, so I decided to go for it."
The trick involved jumping on the pogo stick, going airborne and turning his body 180 degrees, before landing back on the pogo.
Over the two-day competition, he said it was great to connect with the other pogoers, mostly young men, whom he met through online forums.
"It was mostly just fun to be out there with all the other pogoers that you never get to see, and learn new tricks and stuff like that," he said.
Kaus, who traveled with his father and a friend, graduated from Stafford High School in July. He's hoping to study astronomy at George Mason University in the fall.
Next year's Pogopalooza could be held in Times Square in New York City, which Kaus said would draw attention to the relatively small sport.