Lumberjack Nationals Race Report
AUDIO AND VISUALS BY: JASON “SHOOTER” MCGUIRE
When you travel as often as I do, you are bound to run into issues on the days you are on the road. It never fails that at some point throughout the year, the airlines lose my luggage. Unfortunately for me, one of those times was this weekend.
As I stared at the baggage carousel in Boise, ID, I quickly came to the realization that my clothes didn’t make the flight with me. After finding out my bag was in San Francisco and they could not get it to me until Friday at 1:30 p.m., it definitely through a railroad spike in my quickly turning wheels. Things happen and unfortunately this is something that is quite common when it comes to airline travel. So I waited it out and spent the night at my childhood home, anxiously waiting for my bags arrival. 1:30 rolled around and my bag was finally here. At this point I was already extremely behind and had to get to Richland for the pre-race, so I threw my bag in the truck and boogied on down I-84 en route to Columbia Basin BMX.
After four quick hours dodging road construction I arrived at Columbia Basin BMX – just in time for the first round of the Friday night pre-race. I spent the majority of the night capturing a few images and surveying the popular facility. Columbia Basin definitely presents a “high-class” feel with luscious green grass throughout the facility and a finely manicured track. Other quality features included the custom-made barrel gate and covered staging area.
The 50 moto pre-race came and went with grace and it left a promising outlook on an action-packed weekend of world-class BMX racing. We will be updating the USA BMX Facebook page throughout the weekend and you can always tune in to usabmx.com/webcast for the live audio stream from this year’s USA BMX Lumberjack Nationals. Lastly, be sure to check right back here this evening for the race report and image gallery from day one of today’s racing.
Growing up as a BMXer in Idaho, there were not very many nationals that I considered close to home. Of the few that were, both the Lumberjack and Great Northwest Nationals were two of them – trips that I made with my parents almost every year. For many of those years, it was the Trac arena that hosted the Great Northwest Nationals and it resides just a short drive down the highway from Richland. That being said, returning to this part of Washington definitely flooded my head with countless memories that I will never forget.
As I had mentioned in the first installment of this race report, Columbia Basin BMX is one of the nicest facilities that I have been to and could even be considered a “diamond in the rough.” I am not the only one who believes that either, as I have heard nothing but praises since my arrival.
With 134 motos for day one, this race was a bit smaller than expected, but a lot of that could be due to many not knowing about this gem. Surely the moto count could be surpassed with ease in coming years.
The A Pro class was up first and the elder of the group, Adam Treadwell, showed the boys around the track. Both Jacob Smith and Eric Muller gave Treadwell all that he could handle, but the “old man” proved he can still lay down the law and that the “kids” have quite a bit to learn. Tomorrow he will look to do the same, but for now I am sure he is trying to recoup in his ice bath ritual.
Making the trek up from California, Phoenix~Box Factory Racing’s Leyna Jones made sure she capitalized on the opportunity. Normally we see her shredding with her hair in a ponytail, but since the feature of long flowing locks on the final page of the first ever girl’s issue of PULL Magazine, she has let the black and purple flow on out. Maybe that was the secret to her success today, or maybe it is just because she is freaky fast – either way it was Jones with the win in both 11-12 girls cruiser and the 11 girls class.
Another big double from the day came from former Factory Rift~Tangent rider, Tyler Cacciola. Perhaps he was trying to prove something, or maybe the sense of relief from no longer being on a full factory team let him relax and focus on himself a bit more. I am not sure, but it was like a whole different kid out there today. He picked up the double in 12 cruiser and 12x today against some solid competition. Congratulations on the recent success Tyler, may you keep killing it out there!
The 14 girls class is always fairly exciting with some pretty tight racing, but today it was definitely a barnburner! Both Anna Johnson and Olivia Armstrong were the favorites coming into the main event, but it would be neither one of those ladies taking the win. Johnson was in control of the race and up until the final 50 feet, it looked as if she was going to pick up the win – which would have been a great thing considering she made the trip from Garland, TX. Not so fast though! Ballistic BMX’s Anna “The Animal” Nordyke had other plans. Nordyke made one major final push to the line and would end up taking the win out from underneath Johnson’s wheels. The race was so close that we had to revert to the high-speed video camera in order to determine the winner. This one is definitely going to be on the must watch list for day two.
Out of all the expert main events, I personally feel the move of the day had to go to Maynard Peel. Why there was a ton of awesome moves from many riders, Peel had the one that stuck out the most. Black Box rider Alex Steeves has been putting in a ton of great work and it showed once again today as he was able to hold off Peel for the holeshot. Peel would also come unclipped, but was able to recover quite rapidly. After that the hunt was on and Peel was not going to let Steeves get away. Turn two came up and Peel carved harder than I had seen all weekend and shot under Steeves like a rocket – slamming the door on the way by. Smooth as silk the remainder of the way; Peel would end up winning the race by over three bike lengths. It was a truly impressive piece of riding from the 14 year old and if he can continue to have that type of hunger to win, he is my early pick for winning his class at the Grands.
Day one of the Lumberjack Nationals is in the books! There was some top notch racing and tomorrow is going to be tough as nails with a lot of potential for the traditional last chance carnage. Be sure to listen to the live audio webcast for all of tomorrow’s action at usabmx.com/webcast. Also be sure to follow updates throughout the day on the USA BMX Facebook page. See you tomorrow everyone!