Site Lap: Youth Champion Rundown
By all accounts the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship was as competitive if not more so than any season to date. The level of competition seemed to rise in every class at every round making for some of the most intense moments of some racers careers.
Last week, Site Lap focused on mainly the pro class and Chad Wienen. This week we will begin to explore the roots and backbone of the ATV MX Nationals and that is the Youth and Amateur racers. It is obvious, without the amateur program to build from there would not even be a professional level that truly only a few riders will achieve someday.
There are a lot of classes to try and dissect and give a little insight into. So this week we will start with the Youth Division:
Schoolboy Sr (14-17) is possibly one of the more heated championships of the Youth Division. This class touted several strong prospects at the beginning of the season. As the season drew on though it became apparent that #8 Cam Covil from Webster Florida was going to claim this one. Actually Cam competed in the minimum of 7 rounds and won the overall each time.
Schoolboy Jr (13-15) was another highly competitive class. #38 Sam Rowe from Menasha Wisconsin was a heavy hitter in both Schoolboy classes this year giving Covil fits for the Sr title but this one he claimed with a vengeance. Under pressure several times this season from a fellow teammate on the Root River Racing team,#135 Haeydon Mickelson from Eyota Minnesota, “Factory Sam” wrapped up this championship early and moved onto the College 16-24 class where he went 2-2 to score 2nd overall his first time out.
#345 Cole Sepesi from Milan Michigan had heat of his own winning two championships over the same stiff competition. Sepesi’s challenge came form #33 Tyler Mack from New Ulm Minnesota. Both competed heavily in the Super Mini (13-15) and 90 Modified (12-15) classes right down to the wire. In the end it was Sepesi by 5 points in each class. He also had 5 wins in each class to Mack’s 4 wins in each class. Talk about a close one; each rider had to win the final round to claim the championship.
90 Modified (8-11) class racing was another exciting battle all season long. Oxford Iowa’s #90 Sam Steckly took the championship under pressure the whole time by #12 Gunnar Tebon from Sturgeon Bay Wisconson. Steckly captured 5 wins on the season where the final two were the most critical and he was able to pull it all together.
70 Modified (6-11) class racing was turned out a little better for Gunnar Tebon. Tebon had broken a collarbone heading into the final rounds and fortunately for him in this class he had acquired 7 wins and had the championship wrapped up early which allowed him to try to find that little extra he needed to be competitive in the 90cc class.
90 Automatic Sr (12-15) racing was yet another class you did not want to miss. #12/ Westley Wolfe from Myersville Maryland had his hands full all year long with a fellow teammate in #89 Jesse Voiles from Jamestown Tennessee. These two riders rode nose to tail all season it seemed like and split championships between them. As Wolfe won the 90 Auto Sr class, Jesse was able to best Westley in the 90 CVT (12-15) class.
90 Automatic Jr (8-11) racing saw a tight race each week between 355 Jacob Visnic (4th), #44 Bryce Ford (3rd), #114 Tyler Fortin (2nd) and #721 Peyton Zimmerman from Lititz Pennsylvania (1st). Zimmerman had his hands full in this class but somehow was able to take 5 overall wins on the season which in the end gave him his edge. Zimmer also took 2nd in the 70 CVT (6-11) class and 3rd in the 90 CVT (8-15) class.
90 Production (8-15) class champion was another dual class national champion. #9 Maci Devenport from Barberton Ohio held solid against the boys and literally showed these boys the fast way around the course. Though she seemed to have it easy against the boys, it was her female comrades that gave her the biggest fit for championship.
Girls (12-15) class was not as easy for Miss Devenport. Here she saw fierce competition with #8 Maddie Guyer form Peru Indiana. Both riders rode great seasons. Devenport had her mechanical issues and Guyer battled broken bones early in the season and in the end mechanical issues. With 4 wins each heading into the final round it was basically winner take all for that title and Devenport pulled it out in the end.
Girls (6-11) class battles were equally as exciting. Coming into the season the heavy favorite was #121 Lizzie Vogt(3rd). It was expected though that it would not be easy as #52 Emily Boyer (2nd) and Caseville Michigan’s own #24 Lindsay Hutchinson (1st). Hutchinson was able to pick up 6 wins over the season and secure the championship. Once sealed Hutchinson moved up to the 12-15 class where she finished 6th her first time out.
In the 70 CVT (6-11) class the title separation was only 1 point in the end. The #404 of Trevor Thatcher, from Swanton Ohio, barely bested #721 Peyton Zimmerman who had one more win on the season. However it seems consistency paid off in great dividends for Thatcher giving him a well-deserved title.
As far as the 70 ss(6-11) class it was all #25 (The Dude)Lane Baird from Morganfield Kentucky. Baird won 6 events this season. Baird is a little guy but expect great things out of this young competitor. Baird is extremely serious and extremely talented and could possibly be one the next ATVMX prodigies. Time will tell though.
The 50 Sr (6-8) class champion is kobe Vanfossen. Kobe another one to watch as he matures took 5 wins on the season and even took the big night race win at Ballance Moto X in front of a big crowd. His competition is some to watch out for as well. #336 Landen Houchens started out the season strong and struggled with some issues the last few rounds and took himself out of the hunt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see big things from both these boys in the future.
The 50 Jr (4-6) class saw its own competition throughout the season. Barrett Cushman took 5 wins on the season and lucky for him the other wins were distributed throughout the class. Cushman came into the final round just needing to finish. But as before, just finishing was not good enough for him. Barrett rode a rough and rugged Loretta Lynn’s course to the winners circle where he and his pit crew drew a big sigh of relief.
Lastly today, the 50 CVT (6-8) class saw another Midwesterner rising to the top of the standings. Little Suamico Wisconsin’s #07/ Max Lindquist seemed to be a total dominator in this class as he scored 8 wins and a 2nd place finish to take the championship. Though the results may not show, #14/ Grant Landis was one to watch in this one as well finishing no worse than 4th to Lindquist.
Congratulations to all the youth competitors this season and to the champions of each class. The results indicate that no one breezed to the title in this division.
That’s it for now. Make sure you make your arrangements for the banquet November 24, 2012.
Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.