Red Deer BMX Club riders Molly Simpson, Carson Kowaski and Nick Nugent all finished first in races during the 2017 Canadian BMX Championship this past weekend in Calgary. Also finishing atop her category was Nia Fee from the Red Deer club. (Contributed photo)

Great showing from Red Deer BMX Club at national championship

Four riders from the Red Deer BMX Club came back from the Canadian BMX Championships in Calgary on Saturday and Sunday with N1 prizes.

Innisfail’s Nick Nugent, 12, is one of those riders; he finished first in the boys’ 12-and-under cruiser and third in the boys’ 12-year-old categories. Confident in his abilities, Nugent said he wasn’t surprised to walk away with the two plates at the Canadian championship.

The other top prize winners from the Red Deer club were Molly Simpson in the girls’ 15-year-old category, Nia Fee in the girls’ eight-year-old and Carson Kowaski in the boys’ 12-year-old.

Despite competing, and winning, at the national championship before, Nugent said this year was just as fun to experience as it was last year.

“It was lots of fun to see all the people from around Canada competing,” Nugent said. “I just really enjoy riding and jumping. There’s a lot of fun stuff you can do on the bike.”

Seeing those podium finishes speaks a lot to the level of riders in Central Alberta, said Club treasurer Crissie Goulding.

“It’s a pretty big honour when you can say you’re the fastest rider in your age category across the country. They work really hard,” said Goulding.

Like Nugent, Goulding said she’s not surprised to see the club have so much success at the national level.

“We have a pretty strong club with some riders who have been around for a few years. We have a really good training program,” she said.

It’s hoped the club will continue to grow in the future, Goulding said. About 50 per cent of the club’s riders were female, which is something Goulding is happy to see, she said.

“That’s good to see because it’s not necessarily as big of a sport for the female population, so it’s nice to see we’re growing that side of the club,” she said.

Of the 50 or so club members who competed at the national championship, about half came back to Red Deer with plates – 29 plates in total were won.

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