Eagle County BMX riders win nine crowns at state event | VailDaily.com

Eagle County BMX riders win nine crowns at state event

EAGLE — Eagle County's BMX team brought home state titles in nine events from the recent state championships.

It's good to win. Sure, it's great to compete and all that other stuff, but winning is better than anything else you can do out there.

Win a state title and your number plate reads "No. 1" next season. Sari Lucas' will. So will Nash Lucas', and Joe Quarantillo's, Isabella Sargent's, Tiegan Steibel's and Kellen Collins'.

"It's quite an honor," Sari Lucas said.

State bound

Around Colorado, the season starts in April and May, mostly in Grand Junction and the Front Range. It runs all summer and finishes with the state championships in September.

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Some other states run all year — California and other warm weather states don't ever shut down.

In Eagle, they host weekly races, as do other tracks around the state.

During the summer season, every track hosts a state qualifier event. Eagle hosted its state qualifier in August.

If you want to qualify for the state championships, you have to race in at least four of those qualifier events, Sari Lucas explained. Anyone can show up at the state championships and race, but if they have not participated in their four qualifier races, they're not eligible for a state title.

"The experience is great and that's why so many people do it, even if they won't be competing for a state title," Sari Lucas said.

What's BMX

BMX is short for bicycle motocross.

BMX began in the 1970s in the U.S. when young cyclists appropriated motocross tracks to ride, race and do stunts. Kids were soon racing standard road bikes off-road, around specially built BMX tracks.

The opening scene of the 1972 motorcycle racing documentary "On Any Sunday" featured kids riding Schwinn Stingrays in that fashion.

Manufacturers noticed, and began building and designing especially for the sport.

BMX is booming

Brad Hallin with USA BMX started racing in 1979.

USA BMX/BMX Canada is the sole sanctioning body in the U.S., and the largest in the world. They look after 12,000 events on 330 tracks around the country. That does not include Canada and the international events they work. When we caught up with Hallin he was just getting over jet lag from a trip to Guatemala.

There are regional series. The northwest and southeast finals are coming up in the Pacific Northwest at one end and Georgia on the other.

BMX racing is booming for lots of reasons, but among the three foremost are: 1. It's fun. 2. You can make money at it and, 3. It's an Olympic sport, and has been since the 2008 Beijing Games.

"It's inclusion in the Olympics makes it a much more high profile," Hallin said. There's a collegiate series and kids getting college BMX scholarships. A lot of professional athletes, in addition to earning money competing, are coaching.

Each state has its own championship points series. There's a 30-race national series at tracks across the country, culminating annually during Thanksgiving weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the national championships. It attracts 4,000 riders, most with families in tow, Hallin said.

Tulsa just awarded USA BMX a $1 million grant to move its headquarters there and build an indoor track. The organization will be making the migration in the extremely near future.

Not far down the road, Houston is building a world championship caliber track to host the worlds. That will attract 3,500 riders and their families from around the world.

"It has become big business," Hallin said.

Age groups run to over 50. Kids start as young as 2 and 3 years old on balance bikes.

"BMX is about the only sport in which kids at that age can compete," Hallin said. "As they progress, they set their sites on whatever is next."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Local State Winners

8 Cruiser

1. Tiegan Steibel

11 Cruiser

1. Kellen Collins

16 Cruiser

1. Nash Lucas

51-55 Cruiser

4. Tim Sargent

15-16 Girls Cruiser

1. Isabella Sargent

46-50 Girls Cruiser

1. Sari Lucas

5-Under Boys

8. Loren Bradshaw

6 Boys

4. Tegan Noteware

7 Boys

9. Costner Bradshaw

11. Bridger Quarantillo

9 Boys

6. Nicky Callis

10 Boys

10. Ivan Jaeger

11 Boys

3. Jack Sargent

7. Joss Quarantillo

15 Boys

2. Adam Eisenhauer

10 Girls

2. Evelyn Steinberg

15-16 Girls

1. Isabella Sargent

41 & Over

1. Sari Lucas

8 Expert Boys

3. Tiegan Stiebel

11 Expert Boys

6. Kellen Collins

12 Expert Boys

1. Gavin Goike

13 Expert Boys

4. Landen Stovall

16 Expert Boys

4. Nash Lucas

46-50 Expert Men

1. Joe Quarantillo

Local State Riders

Nash Lucas, Sari Lucas, Tegan Noteware, Nicky Callis, Tiegan Stiebel, Costner and Loren Bradshaw, Kellen and Brennen Collins, Charlie Stone, Adam Eisenhauer, Landon Stovall, Max Hudgins, Calen White, Zander Coleman, Evelyn Steinberg, TJ Lepore, Gunnar and Sonya Schaub, Dax Anderson, Gavin Goike, Aiden and Gavin Waters, Tim, Jack and Izzy Sargent, Joss, Bridger, Joe Quarantillo, Libby Hile, Ivan Jaeger.