Thursday, July 17, 2003

Roller-coaster record at Cedar Point broken

The Associated Press

SANDUSKY, Ohio - It's been a whirlwind summer for Robert Ward.

He has been a rider on the 72 mph Magnum XL-200 roller coaster at Cedar Point amusement park 1,194 times so far this season.

That gives the 28-year-old bank accounting clerk from Brecksville the unofficial season record for riding the Magnum.

He passed Dan Haverlock, 24, of Streetsboro, a grocery produce clerk, who claimed the record with 901 rides in 2001. Haverlock still has the all-time record, with 2,400 rides on the Magnum since 1997.

"We're sharing a love of the same thing," said Haverlock, turning aside any suggestion of rivalry between him and Ward.

The records are unofficial - which means there is no proof and no one checks them - but other coaster enthusiasts acknowledge them.

Haverlock has been featured on national television shows about Cedar Point, and Ward is such a familiar face that an employee gave him a counter to keep track of his rides.

Park spokeswoman Janice Witherow said the park doesn't give riders special treatment to break records. If Ward and Haverlock want to ride twice or more, they must go to the end of the line.

By season's end, Haverlock wants to reach 3,000 rides on the counter, which he began using in 1997. Ward wants to reach 2,500 rides for the 2003 season.

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