Sports

BMX athlete wins at U.S.A. grand nationals

Nanaimo BMX Association athlete Piper Graaten wins a tall trophy at the U.S.A. BMX Grand Nationals at the end of November in Tulsa, Okla. Graaten won in the six-year-old girls’ division. - Photo submitted
Nanaimo BMX Association athlete Piper Graaten wins a tall trophy at the U.S.A. BMX Grand Nationals at the end of November in Tulsa, Okla. Graaten won in the six-year-old girls’ division.
— image credit: Photo submitted

A local BMX rider, just seven years old, is a phenom in her sport.

Lantzville’s Piper Graaten won her division at both the Race of Champions and the U.S. Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. at the end of November.

Graaten went into the race weekend in second place in the U.S. national age group standings and needed to win to claim first place. Her victories mean she gets the national age group No. 1 plate for her bike as well as the Race of Champions No. 1 plate.

She won the Canadian national age group plate at the Canadian BMX Grand Nationals in Chilliwack in October, and worked on off-track training after that to try to stay sharp.

Graaten, who races out of the Nanaimo BMX Association, is one of the youngest factory-sponsored BMX riders in Canada and will ride for the Factory CBS Rift Tangent team in 2017. She had 14 national series wins in 2016 and has qualified to represent Canada at the BMX world championships in July in North Carolina.

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