The USA BMX Grand Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma were dominated by San Diego riders.
Hayden Passanisi, 8, was the Cruiser National Champion, Tyler Brown was the Vet Pro National Champion and Alise Willoughby, formerly Alise Post, was the women’s Pro National Champion, despite not racing on her favorite bike.
“The really cool thing about what Hayden, myself and Alise have done is that there only 7 national number one’s that you can win and Chula Vista brought back 3 of the 7,” Brown said.
For Willoughby, a 2016 Olympic BMX silver medalist, this National Championship completed a perfect season of racing.
“I was able to cap off the season undefeated on U.S. soil, which was pretty amazing,” she said. “I won 23 out of 23 races I raced in the U.S. this year, which was pretty cool.”
When it comes to BMX races, they don’t get much bigger than the USA BMX Grand Championships.
“This last weekend was the biggest BMX race in the entire world,” Brown said.
“It’s like the Super Bowl of BMX,” Willoughby added.
Brown is not only a national champ, he’s also a coach. Brown coaches Passanisi and hundreds of other kids through the Chula Vista BXM program at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
“This facility is amazing. It’s something that is a true passion for me. When I was a young kid, BMX changed my life in a positive way and now it’s my opportunity to give that to the next generation of kids. To see kids like Hayden bring back national number ones and see the success the riders have had here on a national scale, but more importantly on a local scale, we have kids that are first-time riders that have never done it before, that come out and just have fun on their bikes. That’s what it’s all about .”