2019 USA BMX Great Northwest Nationals Race Report
The Great Northwest Nationals could easily be renamed the "Hero Dirt" nationals. Over the years I’ve often heard the soil in Oregon described as “Hero Dirt”. After my first trip to the Beaver State, I certainly concur. Hero dirt is basically soil that has near perfect properties for off-road cycling. It's not too slippery, tacky or muddy. It's just right.
The builders crafted an awesome and fun track that many praised before even taking a single lap. Once racing commenced the real fun began.
The Pro Open class was extremly entertaining throughout the weekend with 3 AA pros in attendance. Driven Cycling Academy's Jeffrey Upshaw, Jet Racing's Jake Peebles and Staats/Ciari's Elliot Mcgrath all found themselves on the podium at some point during the weekend's festivities. On Sunday, VSR's long haired powerhouse Pete Pascual interrupted the AA domination by taking a third.
The 7-8 mixed class was a carbon copy each day with Colorado's new Wiawis pickup Rylen Bayly taking top honors, Factory Bombshell's Logan Lee taking second and Clayborn's Brooke Walski taking the three spot.
Deserae Romero and Jacy Moore battled it out in 13-14 mixed splitting the wins. On Sunday, Moore tried to come underneath Romero in turn two. As they inevitably made contact, Romero refused to be moved and Moore would hit the dirt.
Factory Orca Bombshell's Wyatt Christensen checked out early in 7-8 Open but was closely followed by Full Tilt's Cohen James. On Sunday, "Wifi" Wyatt came out of the gate strong but had Wiawis' Caleb Durkin to contend with on his inside. Durkin would runaway with the victory, Christensen would keep the two spot and Chance Hertel would cross the line in the third spot.
Things got tight in turn one on Sunday in the 13-14 Open class. Moto Militia's Cameron Graves was able to avoid the bumping after getting the holeshot. BMX Shark's Cedric Cade, Rift's Tyler Grigsby and Factory Remix's Mason Stankey all tried to fit in a spot that only two riders could get through. Stankey, who was in the middle, got sandwiched and went down. Cade would hang on for the two and Banyan Howell would weave his way into the third.
Alpha had a pair of victors in the youngest Cruiser age groups in 9 year old Annalyse Solano and 7 year old Connor West. Both of these young rippers won both days in these competitive classes.
In the 11-12 Girl Cruiser class Christina Cunning ham was the winner each day with Angela Espejel and Jordis Harmer swapping the two and three spots each day.
Kira Boustead grabbed the holeshot each day in 13-14 Girl Cruiser and was chased by Breanna Winter. On day one she was able to hold off the hard charge of Winter in the last turn but Winter would successfully make that pass on Sunday.
We saw a bit of action in the 31-35 Women's Cruiser class between Jennifer Powers and Jaki Harpe on Saturday. They were battling for the two and three spots in turn one when Harpe came in hot on the underneath side causing the two to get all tangled up. Powers jumped up first and went on to get the second. Stephanie Stillwell took the win.
There was more carnage in turn one in the 17-20 Cruiser class. Answer's Tyler Mcguire and eventual winner Jackson Elliot hooked elbows on the entry to the turn and caused a big pileup. Jackson escaped but Mcguire ended up running down the turn. He would finish in seventh.
Sophia Rodriguez was absolutely unstoppable in 10 Expert Girls on the home turf. Bike Master's Tess Bailey kept her honest but Rodriguez racked up six wins on the weekend.
The 11 Expert Girls class was a dual between GT's Brooklyn Van Renselaar and LDC's Christina Cunningham. These two were pretty evenly matched and the wins came down to who had the inside gate each day. Racefast's Kaylie Prior found her way onto the podium with her best finish of the season with a third on Sunday.
Factory Rift's Ryder Scranton had his best race of the season in 9 Expert on Saturday. What's even sweeter is the fact that he did it from gate 8. He entered turn one in third but being on the outside he was able to generate more speed than the two riders ahead of him and jetted right by on the second straight.
Cohen Bundy owned the 10 Expert class all weekend long for Wiawis/LSG. On day one he was closely followed by Avent/Bombshell's Dyllon Reeder and Lucas Zhou. Day two saw Factory Yess' Jack Cerney in the two spot and Frankie Guerrero in third who races for the best sponsor in the world, mom and dad.
Some people call 11X Karter Montellano the "K-Man" and some refer to his as the imfamous "El Chapo". Either way just know that he's fast as all get out. On Saturday he drew gate one in the main and led from the gate. Day two he ended up all the way on the otherside of the gate in 8. Tarin Fields got the holeshot but the crafty K-Man found a way to get by in turn two with a bump and run move that left Fields in the infield.
In the 16X class we saw the return of Rift's Nicholas Adams who decimated the class. He's battledit out for the past few seasons with Gavin Freewalt and Patrick Coo but he'll be joining the craziest class out there, 17-20 Expert , come September. We can't wait to see how that goes.
That's it from the beaver state. We'll see ya in Georgia for the Dixieland nats!