A crew of BMX riders from Pemberton and Mount Currie did well in Chilliwack over the weekend at the Fraser Valley Nationals.
Tigerlily Noble and Christopher Beaton led the charge with gold medals to show for their efforts at the May 9 and 10 event at the Chilliwack Heritage Park.
Beaton took his medal in the 12-year-old intermediate division on May 9 while Noble's came in the 15-year-old novice event the following day.
Beaton credited his coaches with helping him prepare for races and making sure he was warmed up to the proper degree when he reached the gate.
In the race itself, Beaton started quickly and held off the three other challengers to win the dash.
"I just had a really good start. I got out of the gate first and I was able to get into the corner first," he said. "I kept pedalling and just did not stop pedalling."
Beaton said the Chilliwack course is one that fits with the style of riding the Pemberton pedallers like to do.
"I liked the course. They always do a good course there," he said. "Our Pemberton team likes pumping... I caught lots of speed in the pumping."
After a second-place finish in the opening race, Noble found a way to take top spot in the next one.
"I went around the (first) corner and I got a good start," the second-year rider from Mount Currie said, adding she held the lead for the duration of the race. "The second race, I didn't get that good of a start and I got cut off on the corner."
The Pemberton riders' success was also partly due to training on a more challenging home track than Chilliwack's. At home, all three corners were adjusted, including the first corner being pushed back to better align it with the starting gate while the third corner was moved and made larger, Beaton explained. Several of the rolls were boosted to help the riders better prepare for what they might face elsewhere.
Beaton, in particular, is looking to jump a level. With his victory, he now has four National wins in total and requires one more to climb into the expert level.
He took second place in the Sunday race for his second podium placement of the weekend and narrowly missed advancing.
"I was about an inch away from winning," he said.
Coach Steve Petrie said the club has made strides since starting just two years ago. He's also glad to see the changes to the track to help the riders progress further.
"Before this year, the features on our track were kind of small and the berms were pretty low," he said. "When the riders would travel to bigger tracks at Nationals, they weren't as used to riding those features.
"Now we can train on proper turns with bigger features."
Petrie added several riders have already progressed to the expert level and have an eye on becoming the top riders in the country in their respective age groups.
Pemberton riders Sam Tierney and Turner Montgomery had second-place finishes in their respective divisions at the National event. Tierney, Steve Petrie, Bendigo Noble and Ian Tierney posted third-place finishes as well. The weekend kicked off with a prerace on May 8 with several of the local riders performing well to fortify themselves for the days ahead.
Both Nobles, both Tierneys, Montgomery, Beaton, Steve Petrie, Graydon Petrie and Lucas Cruz posted top-three finishes at the prerace, which in the overall picture was worth double the points of a home race. The two Nationals events, meanwhile, are worth triple the points of a home race.
Kai Montgomery, Tegan Cruz, Levi Cruz, Rebecca Beaton, Robbie Tribe, Sammy Teitzel, Henri Teitzel, Jessica Turner and Austin Turner all made the trip to compete as well.
Full results are available at www.usabmx.com.
Lastly, Lucas Cruz and Steve Petrie were awarded national age group third-place plates for their overall results from 2014.
The riders will next head over to Vancouver Island for the Harbour City Nationals in Nanaimo from May 29 to 31.