Big things are in store for Brooke “Insane” Crain, a 15-year-old Visalian whose goal, as a newly-minted professional motocross rider, is to compete at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Crain is the reigning girls’ 14-16 amateur national champion, and in January she placed third and second in her first two pro-level women’s BMX motocross races in Reno, Nev. – earning paychecks of $120 and $180.
“It’s a start,” the Mt. Whitney High School student said.
After the first two events of the 2009 season, the Reno event and the Sooner Nationals (Jan. 23-25 in Guthrie, OK), Crain sits third in the standings. With a bunch of fresh faces in the ladies PRO class battling vets like Alise Post and Dominique Daniels this year, it should be an exciting season.
“Insane” Crain’s nickname stems from her aggressive, no-nonsense approach to the sport. She’s already beaten Samantha Cools, a member of the Canadian Olympic team that competed in Beijing in 2008, and is one of four women invited to attend a Feb. 1-6 camp in Chula Vista, where the U.S. national BMX team trains.
To get a better feel for international competition, Crain will compete in the World BMX Championships in Australia, said her father, Todd Crain.
Most BMX races are won or lost at the starting gate, Brooke Crain advises.
“If you get good, clean starts, you’re going to be right in there,” she said. “If the start is not fast and clean, that’s trouble.”
Another key to winning BMX races: Keeping your cool, Crain said.
“If you stay relaxed,” she said, “you’re going to be so much better than everyone else.”
Of course, it does take athleticism. Crain’s 5-foot-3, 105-pound frame seems frail compared to some of the top competitors out there, but she does have an advantage.
“Most of the top riders are power riders, and they weigh as much as 130 or 140 pounds,” Todd Crain said.
“Brooke uses finesse, and with tracks putting in higher jumps, that favors the finesse rider.”
She’ll do just fine as a pro, said Richard Bunt, owner of the Clayborn factory team that signed her to a contract.
“We want to grow the women’s side of the professional division,” Bunt said. “Brooke Crain will go far to accomplishing that.”
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