NEW ULM - A new pro, a veteran of the local amateur ranks who'll be turning pro, two state champions and a host of upcoming stars from New Ulm's River Valley BMX track.
Just another day at the office at the recent Minnesota State BMX finals at Rum River BMX in Isanti.
New Ulm's Brandon Utz is the fifth and newest member of the professional fraternity who honed their skills at River Valley, joining Karl Clark, Afton Schrimpf, Brian Schrimpf and Jon Brand.
The New Ulm participants from the recent Minnesota State BMX finals, which were held at Rum River BMX in Isanti.
Utz went pro at the beginning of July and has been testing the waters since then, participating at a Pro-Am race at Rum River.
"I've just been in a couple of races so far, at the state finals and a race in Aberdeen (S.D.)," Utz said. "It's a lot harder than just racing against others that are just in your age group. I've been doing it too long to just let it go. I'm going to spend the winter training and try and go to a few national races and area races that feature pros next year."
Another long-time racer planning to make the plunge into the professional ranks is 17-year old Quinton Mack, who took second in the state this year for the fourth year in a row and was the cruiser class champion a year ago.
"I'm going to turn pro when I'm 19 or 20 and see how it goes," Mack said. "It's always nice to be number one. But it'll take some extra training and right now I've got college to think about."
Then there are the up-and-comers who went to Rum River with a chance to improve their racing resume. One of those was 15-year old Natasha Hanson, who is the state champion in the 15-year old cruiser class, and 13-year old Earl Foster, who nabbed the 13-year old cruiser championship and made it to the highly competitive main event in the 13-year old expert class.
"It's fun to be state champ (in cruiser, a bike larger than a regulation BMX bike)," Foster said. "Especially when I had to race 16-year-olds to get it. I was happy to make the main event, but I'm looking down the road to be a pro. Right now, I'm looking to get a state (number) plate in class for 2013."
Then there are riders like 10-year old Cody Heck, who took fifth place in the novice main event, but has since advanced to intermediate and someday plans to move up to the top amateur class of expert.
"There was a lot more people to compete against this year," Heck said. "But last year helped me prepare for this year."
Tira Stoll took sixth in the state for 13-year old girls, while 15-intermediate Isac Johnson took first in the main event, which was good for sixth in the state in overall points. 11-year-old intermediate Bradley Wilfahrt was number seven in state and finished in the main event.
16-expert Alex Hieronimus took sixth in the main and eighth in the state, while 10-intermediate Elliot Schoo was fourth in the main and 10th in state. 14-expert Jared Tanley took second in the main, while 16-expert Preston Bauer was seventh in the main event and 12-girls Caleigh Heck was fifth in the mains.
A number of riders were able to put state plates on their bike for the next year, including 5-and-under intermediate Cole Fredrick, who ended third in state and eighth in the main event, and 6-intermediates Ty Fredrick and Brennan Shaver, who tied for eighth in state, with Fredrick snagging fourth in the main.
Also making it to the main event were Nick Hanson, who took fifth place in 15-cruiser, and 8-intermediate Dawson Schiller, who took eighth. Other local racers who participated were 15-intermediate Kyle Van Name and Quinton Stohl, 15-novice girls Natasha Hanson, 14-intermediate Carter Hoffman, 12-girls Madison Schiller, 7-intermediate Miles Boesch, 12-novice William Webber and 7-novice Cayden Heck.
Finally, in what is know at the track as "old guy racing," Dan Bauer was seventh overall in the 36-40 novice category.