BMX, more than a fun sport for group of young friends

You find that you’re kind of like a big BMX family

In November, June Lacina, 13, and Connor Posterick, 13, both of Little Falls, traveled to Tulsa, Okla., and competed in the USA BMX Grand Nations. Having qualified to race in an event on that scale was a special feeling for both, they said.

The friends traveled with Connor’s parents, John and Ashley Posterick and his sister, Miah. It was a fun and memorable experience for all.

“All the vendors and everything is BMX. It’s all in one place there. If it has anything to do with BMX, it’s there. They have a tent set up and it’s a lot of excitement for sure,” John said.

While people gather there to compete, Connor said everyone is friendly.

“You find that you’re kind of like a big BMX family,” she said.

The Postericks and June also wore special shirts they had made up for the event that said, “Minnesota Strong.” Although training may be more difficult in the winter months in comparison to warmer states that don’t have that problem, John said Minnesota puts out some really good racers.

Looking back, June said she started racing BMX when she was about 11 years old. It was her younger brother, Gibson, who ultimately inspired her to get involved. Her dad, Jake Lacina, also used to do it when he was about nine or 11, she said.

“My dad did it and my brother thought it was very cool, so we went to Brainerd and watched them. I just thought it was like the coolest thing ever and I wanted to do it,” she said.

“We felt pretty good about it,” she said.

June said while 20 riders isn’t many riders in comparison to some of the other classes, it was the largest number of people she has raced with. Because there aren’t many riders her age at her level, she usually races with three to six riders at local and state events, she said.

“It was only 20 in my class at Grand Nationals, but I had never raced against that many people in one class before, so that was pretty cool,” she said.

Initially, Connor became involved in BMX riding when he was 3 years old. In many ways, what inspired him was growing up, watching motocross racing. His aunt and uncle raced, as well.

“At 3 years old, he was focused, which is funny to have a kid that age to sit there and watch for a long time, but he was really interested,” John said.

While motocross was out of the question for Connor to do at that age, John said pedaling a bicycle was OK.

Competing at Grand Nationals was a thrill for Connor. It was his sixth time competing at the event. Although he still gets nervous before a race, the intensity of the pre-race jitters are not as strong anymore, Connor said.

At Grand Nationals, Connor competed in the 13 Expert class with 93 riders. He’s not exactly sure at what place he finished, but said it was somewhere between 18 and 24th place.

“I was hoping for better, but I’m still super excited about it, because there’s definitely a lot of people, I just put it in the perspective of that I beat that many people,” he said.

When it comes to handling their nerves as they watch Connor and June race, John said he definitely handles his better than Ashley does hers.

“You have nerves just like the kids do, but it’s excitement too. You just hope for the best and that everything you’ve done and trained for at that moment has prepared them. Everything you have done for the whole year up to that point because it was the finals, you just let them do their thing,” John said.

Since the Postericks and Lacinas became involved in BMX, they have made many friends along the way. Not only in Morrison County, but wherever their travels have taken them.

Brekken Sowers, 7, son of Aaron and Kala Sowers of Little Falls, said he was inspired to start riding BMX after watching Connor, who is his cousin. His sister, Brynlee, 9, was also involved in it at the time, he said.

Brekken competed in the 7 Intermediate class at Grand Nationals with 65 other riders. He placed in the top 24, an accomplishment which felt very good, he said.

Brekken said while he enjoyed the whole experience of going to Grand Nationals and spending time with friends and family, the highlight at the event was the candy truck. After all, it had all sorts of candy for sale, he said.

Logan Brisk, 13, and his brother, Lane Brisk, 11, sons of Dan and Bobbi Brisk of Buckman, competed at Grand Nationals, as well. Lane raced in the 11 Intermediate class and Logan competed in the same class as June. He placed third, which earned him a tall trophy.

While Logan started riding BMX when he was 9, Lane started a year ago. Lane said it was his brother who inspired him to start.

There are many things all of them like about BMX. It’s fun to get together to ride and practice and race. It’s also a great way to meet new people, learn things and make new friends, they said.

“That’s the best part about it. It is such a family-oriented thing,” Bobbi said.

It is also fun for their parents to make memories with the other families as well as seeing their children in a different element.

“It’s fun to see June. Like, she’ll stub her toe at home and it’s a big deal, but she falls down and crashes hard on the BMX track and it’s like she gets up and she’s just the beast. It’s fun to see that side of her,” John said.

While the friends practice often together, they belong to different teams. Connor and June are members of Team Revolution and the Brisks and Sowers are on Team Riot.

It has been fun for her parents, Jake and Alisha, to see embrace the sport.

At Grand Nationals, June competed in the 13 Novice class with 20 other riders. Placing fourth, she earned a large trophy that is just a few inches less as she is in height.

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