9-year-old Noah Townsend rides his motocross bike at a race this summer. Townsend won state championships in four divisions in 2008. After taking a break this winter, he plans to tackle a bigger bike and bigger competitions next year.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The onset of winter has done little to freeze Noah Townsend's enthusiasm for motocross.
The Hayden 9-year old who first got on a motorbike when he was 6 has had a short racing career, but he added some major accolades last weekend at a motocross awards presentation in Denver.
Noah's take this time: two massive trophies nearly twice as tall as he is and four state championships.
"The season went really well," he said. "It was a little crazy, but that's all right."
Noah collected championships in four 50-cc divisions. Two - one each with the Rocky Mountain Motocross Association and the American Motocross Association - came in the 7- and 8-year-old age division. He won the championship for each organization in the 50-cc open division, as well.
"We were really happy," said Colby Townsend, a chief mechanic, principal sponsor and father all rolled in one. "At 50 cc, the level of competition really stepped up this year. They really pushed each other, and Noah had to make up quite a few points because he wasn't able to make all the local races.
"He had fewer races than the other kids but still got more points."
Noah, usually with his family in tow, also competed in a pair of regional races but fell just short of a chance to qualify for nationals. He was 10th in a race in California and didn't qualify in a Texas race after a wreck punctured his chances.
Now it's on to skiing for Noah, who said he hopes to capture a few trophies on the snow in freestyle competitions. He's far from giving up on motocross, however.
Instead, his ride is only growing more powerful.
"I started racing on my 65 halfway through the season," he said.
Despite the late start, he still finished seventh in the 65-cc category. The more cubic centimeters, or cc, the larger a bike's engine. The bigger, 65-cc bike is more difficult to ride and is the first to require shifting gears, Noah said.
That's done little to temper his ambition.
"I'm still getting used to it," Noah said. "We are going to try to (qualify for nationals) again and hopefully win another Colorado state championship at 65, but it will be hard. There are some tough competitors in there."
- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail email@example.com