Sunshine provides BMX racers a fast track
After inclement weather canceled and delayed races on Friday and Saturday, the sun came out Sunday and left a hard-packed track for racers at the Colorado BMX State Championship at Grand Valley BMX near the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
It led to faster times, fewer wrecks and cleaner turns.
Cassandra Pubillones, a 15-year-old Grand Junction racer, used that to her advantage, winning each of the three preliminary races before winning the final.
“It was a lot better than (Saturday) when everything was muddy and soft,” Pubillones said. “So it was really all packed and nice today. It probably could have been a little bit better, but it was pretty awesome track conditions today.”
The track also featured a large local crowd. This is the seventh straight year Grand Valley BMX has hosted the state championship races, organizing more than 300 rounds of racing for more than 400 racers.
The established backdrop meant there was a large crowd rooting for local racers.
“It was awesome,” Pubillones said of the fans. “Best feeling in the world, really.”
Isabelle Burtard of Grand Junction swept the “8 girls” class. She won each prelim and the final, and also placed second in the 10-and-under cruiser bike race.
The 9-year-old, who was defending her state title in the same division, said it was nice to see the improvement of other racers.
“A lot of these girls haven’t been racing as long as me,” Burtard said. “I know there are other racers who don’t have their own tracks. So it’s nice to not have to drive all out of town to race and stuff. All these girls get to race here.”
Grand Junction racers, representing Grand Valley BMX and a handful of other teams, won several races.
Morgan “Monkey” Zimmerman won the girls 11-12 cruiser class and placed second in the 12 girls race. Zimmerman is ranked ninth nationally in her age group, and was attempting to defend two state titles.
Fallon Ward won the women’s 31-35 cruiser race and swept the 31-and-over women’s race.
Corbin Burtard won the boys 10 cruiser class and Steven Adams won the boys 17 cruiser race.
Montrose’s “Wild” Bill Welfelt took the men’s 56-60 cruiser race. Kaston Kail, another racer from Montrose, won the boys 7 novice class.
Keira Gilbert, a Grand Junction racer, won the 7 girls class by edging Mickie Joseph of Clifton. Reed Austin of Grand Junction and Phoenix Box Factory Racing won the 13 boys expert race, and Adams emerged victorious in 17 boys expert.
In the strider races, featuring bikes without pedals that young children propel by running, Grand Junction’s Maxon Anderson won the 2-and-under class.