Young skateboarding stars take to the skiesPHOTOS

Young skateboarding stars take to the skies | PHOTOS PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil
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TALENT: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Picture: Marina Neil

PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil

PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil

PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil

PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil

PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil

TweetFacebook PRODIGIOUS: Poppy Olsen, Max Owens and Jedd McKenzie get a few runs in at Bar Beach bowl ahead of the Australian Bowl Riding Championships over the weekend. Pictures: Marina Neil FRESH from breaking new ground at the Bondi Bowl-A-Rama, Newcastle skaters Poppy Starr Olsen and Jedd McKenzie have their sights set on dominating their home bowl against some of the world’s best this weekend.After earning a wildcard, McKenzie, 15, stepped up to the pro division for the first time at Bondi and made the most of the opportunity, qualifying for the semi-finals and eventually finishing 13thin a field that featured some of his skateboarding idols.

“It was pretty crazy,” McKenzie, of Merewether, said on Thursday.

“I was the youngest competitor in the pro division and I qualified last for the semis, so I just made it.

“It was pretty sick competing against some of my favourite skaters.”

While, Olsen, 16, was invited to competein the first women’s division in Bowl-A-Rama history, finishing third behind AmericansJordyn Barratt andBrighton Zeuner.

The finish essentially means Olsen is in the top three female skaters in the world.

Now the pair, and a host of other hungry Newcastle juniors, including 10-year-old Merewether lad Max Owens, will turn their attention to the Australian Bowl Riding Championships in front of a big crowd at Bar Beach bowl on Saturday and Sunday.

And thecompetition is set to be bigger than ever, with international skateboarding stars like Cory Juneau, Tom Schaar, Jonathan Schwan and Alex Sorgente making the trip up from Sydney between the prestigious Bondi event and the Vans Park Series at Manly next weekend.

Meanwhile there are plenty of subplots, including 13-year-old skateboarding prodigy Keegan Palmer, who will contest his first pro event at Bar Beach after dominating on the junior circuit.

McKenzie wasn’t intimidated by the prospect of stepping up to the pro division against skaters twice his age. “Skateboarding is an inclusive community and Jedd earns the respect of the older riders by letting his skating do the talking,” McKenzie’s mum, Amanda, said.

While the focus this week is on completing their runs at Bar Beach, the long-term goal for Olsen and McKenzie is the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, which, after several failed bids,will feature skateboarding for the first time.

Newcastle City Council announced this week that the Bar Beach skate bowl had been repaired and would be re-opened in time for the Australian Bowl Riding Championships.

The popular skate spot had been damaged after someone lit a fire in a plastic bin in the centre of the bowl, rendering it unusable.

The competition will feature a pro-amateur division, as well aswomen’s, masters and under-16’s.