South Lake Tahoe BMX hosted one of the largest state qualifying races over the weekend.
Riders between the ages of 2 and 64 traveled from across the state in hopes of getting closer to competing at the California state finals at Oak Creek BMX in Roseville. A racers top four scores during qualifiers plus the finals determines a state ranking.
“A lot of these kids travel all over northern California to all the different tracks to try to get a first in all four places, if they can, so they’re going into the finals with a whole bunch of ones,” said South Lake Tahoe BMX track operator Jason Toutolmin.
This year’s races, on Saturday, consisted of 70 motos, up from last year’s 50 and 30 from two years ago making it one of the biggest BMX state races of the year.
“To run one of the biggest events of the year as smooth as we did with all these smiling faces, I think we crushed it,” Toutolmin said.
The motos are broken up by age and ability starting with 2 and under striders up to 41-45 expert with the oldest racer at 64. Ability level is put into categories starting with novice to intermediate to expert. There’s also two bike classes, a 20-inch wheel and a 24-inch wheel, called a cruiser.
Two South Lake Tahoe riders advanced to the next ability level on Saturday. Cruz Hernandez, who now races in the 5 and under intermediate, earned his 10th win in novice and Kade Schrauben earned his 20th win in 9 intermediate moving up to expert.
“I won class, turned expert and in cruiser I got second. You start out as a novice and once you get 10 wins you turn intermediate and once you get 20 wins you turn expert,” said Schrauben. “It’s the highest class you can get to until you turn pro.”
Both riders race for South Lake Tahoe’s PMA team.
“PMA stands for positive mental attitude and that’s the vibe we have here, and I think everybody felt it this weekend trying to keep everything positive,” Toutolmin said.
On Friday, the track hosted “The Race for Life” with 23 motos riding to raising money for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Every rider paid an entry fee of $10 which was donated to the charity, and with over 100 riders, over $1,000 was raised.
“It’s a big thing, every track gets to host one throughout the year and they raise crazy amount of money,” Toutolmin said. “Half the entry fees are supposed to go to (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) and half to us. We donate our whole half too, so all the money goes to (the charity).”
The South Lake Tahoe BMX is in its 14th year of operation and the track is located behind the baseball fields at South Tahoe Middle School on Lyons Avenue.
Other top three South Lake Tahoe racers for Saturday’s qualifiers include Matteo Deleon finishing first in the 5 strider, Jayden Idell and Jayden McClea finishing first and second in 3 strider, Alexis Fite finishing first in 13-14 girls cruiser, Kelly Garrity finishing second in 26-30 girls cruiser, Lauren Thomaselli finishing first in 46-50 girls cruiser, Riley Wood finishing third in 11 cruiser, Orion Shea finishing third in 14 cruiser, Quince Buckley finishing third in 46-50 cruiser, Kezdon Moulton finishing third in 6 novice, Connor Boyle finishing third in 7 novice, Carver Alford finishing first in 8 novice, Baker Broadhurst finishing second in 8 novice, Arial Contreras finishing third in 8 novice, Cameron Steinmetz finishing first in 9 novice, Kyla Schrauben finishing second in 9 novice, James Adams finishing first 10 novice, Jacob Novak finishing first in 11 novice, Nolan Huff finishing second in 13 novice, Chris Gerrard finishing third in 28-35 novice, Prince Ilano finishing second in 7 intermediate, Nate Toutolmin finishing third in 12 intermediate, Nicholas Murray finishing third in 28-35 intermediate, Isabelle Wilson finishing second in 9 girls, Sydney McLeod finishing second in 12 girls and Kelsey Buckley finishing third in 12 girls.
Full results can be found at www.usabmx.com/tracks/1559/events/76571.