Flyin’ High

He stands at the top of the hill leading to the skate park stairs, helmet securely on his head. Students line the pathway, faces are glued to the windows in Hoff, people watch from balconies, and there’s a camera rolling to capture all of it.
Tension builds as he approaches the stairs. He launches himself off the top stair before flipping the scooter over his shoulder. A half second of freefall later, the crowd got exactly what they wanted. Applause and cheers erupt from the small crowd as the scooter champ coasts safely after landing and just like that, a campus legend is born.
Peter Vaughn is the latest sensation at Castleton, and it’s not for something you’d expect. This school has had some semi-pro and professional athletes on campus before, but never has there been a sponsored scooter rider. The campus certainly didn’t see it coming.
Neither did he.
“It’s amazing to me, even,” Vaughn said. “In high school people laughed, like ‘you’re still riding a scooter?'”
The situation is a far cry from the fame he experiences every time he hits the Castleton skate park.
“Football players on the balconies scream at me, ‘Do the scooter flip thing, my friends are here!'” Vaughn said. His ego certainly doesn’t show what a hit he’s become.
“When I’m riding down there and people stop by to watch for ten minutes and I see the look on their face, it’s crazy.”
From an athlete of his caliber, it would be expected that he’s been riding since he could walk. Impressively, he’s only been riding for four years. A house fire caused him to move to St. Albans when he was in 8th grade, and a scooter was his main form of transportation.
“In the beginning when it was just transportation [my parents] didn’t think much of it,” Vaughn recalls. “Then when I started jumping over gaps and stair sets, they were like ‘Alright, just be careful!'”
Those first small hops opened the door to a new world for Vaughn. After a brief stint in skateboarding and participation in every team sport imaginable, he found that nothing replaced the feeling he got when riding scooters.
“With team sports, everyone did it and that’s how it was, and I didn’t want to be like that. I think it’s a lot more rewarding to have an individual sport where you learn your own thing by yourself than to be told by someone else what to do and how to do it,” Vaughn explains.
It was this individuality that made Vaughn stand out to a scout at VertX scooters. Vaughn Hanchett, the Flow Team manager at VertX, saw a great attitude shine through the tricks.
“He threw down the tricks that were fun to him rather than showy tricks that every kid would want to see,” Hanchett said. “And he made everything look good.”
Having only become sponsored in the last month of summer, Vaughn is still new to the landscape of things; that doesn’t stop him from turning heads, though.
Nick Coombs, a senior at Castleton who has found no reason to pay attention to the skate park in his previous three years, immediately reacted to the mention of “scooter kid.”
 “That kid makes every skateboarder on campus look like a pussy,” Coombs bluntly stated. “Everything he does is ten times more dangerous, and he always lands.”
He may be taking Castleton by storm, but Vaughn still keeps friends close to remind him of his roots. Nick Cosak, one of Vaughn’s suitemates who went to the same high school, shared much of the journey and is now “used to [Peter’s] awesomeness.”
Fellow students like Cosak have been crucial to Vaughn’s blossoming icon status here on campus.
“My suitemates pushed me to do more and more. I’ll do a trick on something small at the skatepark and they’ll be like, ‘Well how about that stair set over there?'” Vaughn explains.
In typical Vaughn modest fashion, he adds, “They take my skills to the next level.”
So what’s next for the scooter extraordinaire? The X-Games are one option, as Vaughn assures us we will be seeing scooters there in the very near future.
“And [he’ll] probably be there winning gold medals,” Cosak predicts.
Vaughn plans to transfer from Castleton to pursue a degree in cinematography, which he found engrossing when making his scooter videos. For now though, he is content in his dorm, perfectly situated on the hill next to the skate park.
“It’s amazing that I can go there whenever I want, and the guys here have all been really nice,” Vaughn said.
While the season for outdoor sports is winding down, you may still catch Vaughn on the skate park throwing down some amazing tricks, and if you ask him to do a “panty-dropper,” he’ll most likely oblige. By the time you’re reading this, he may have invented a new trick that no one has seen before. For Vaughn, mastering the normal is only the beginning.
“There’s always more things to do.”

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