More than 500 riders packed into Ranger Park last weekend for the Vernon Rattler National BMX races. Vernon produced several podium finishes for local riders at the first national event held here in four years.
“It was a fantastic event. We got great weather and tons of riders out from all over Canada and the U.S.,” said Vernon BMX Club president Shylo Orchard.
Professional riders Kevin Hill and Mani Kawaguchi found their way onto the podium both days. Hill won his national event on Saturday and placed second on Sunday. Kawaguchi placed second on Saturday and won his national on Sunday.
Cohen Hogberg, Carter Everson and Orchard won both their national events on Saturday and Sunday.
Hogberg competed in the 6 intermediate division, Everson was in the 8 novice division and Orchard won the 36-40 girl cruiser division.
Also placing in the 8 novice division was Tristian McKenzie with a silver on Saturday, and Logan Spence, who finished second on both days.
After winning the 11 novice pre race on Friday, Wilson McDonwell backed it up with gold on Saturday.
Nathan Martin is still searching for his first national title of the season after a fifth and second place finish in the 17-18 expert division.
“It was a phenomenal turnout for a local track. We ran 100 motos on Saturday, which is a lot even for the bigger events,” said Orchard.
In the 31-35 girls cruiser division, Amanda Hogberg went home with a silver on Saturday and a bronze on Sunday.
Drew Solmes finished second on Saturday in the 6 intermediate division.
Toran Edwards battled back from a fifth-place showing on Saturday to capture the bronze on Sunday in the 7 expert division.
Don Hill hauled in a pair of medals, winning gold on Saturday and silver on Sunday in the 55-60 expert class.
Arleigh Hill only competed on Sunday and won silver in the 46-50 girls cruiser division.
Chris Spence competed in the 41-45 division and won first on Saturday and took second on Sunday. Dean Botterill brought home a pair of third places in the 46-50 division.
Matthew McMillan also won a pair of bronzes in the 8 intermediate division.
Competing in the 36-40 expert group, Cory Banks took third on Saturday and won the event on Sunday.
James Bridge was the oldest rider from Vernon to medal with a third place in Sunday’s 61+ cruiser division. Bella Aucomp raced in the 3-year-old Strider division and won two silver medals.
“We got amazing responses from everyone who helped organize this event and I think it will do great things for the growth of the sport here in Vernon,” said Orchard.