2015 Women’s West Nationals Preview
By Jeff McConkey
This year’s Women’s West National Championship is wide open. Word is that defending champ Hailey Larson won’t be competing. That means we will be crowning a new champion. We have a really good group of candidates, but there are 2 girls that stand out to me. Those 2 girls are young Kennedy Lutz and veteran Rachel Springman. I feel Sarah King won’t be far off if either of those two girls falter.
All in all, I feel there will be some great racing all of the way back through the pack, and I’m really crossing my fingers that Bossman Bigwave will be able to get me out to Calgary so I can witness the action. Behind the scenes, Denaye Arnett, Camille Bunko and Sierra Roth have been doing a great job to keep the series growing year after year. I hear some girls bitching that 3 rounds aren’t enough, but I would way rather have 3 great rounds than add a 4th or a 5th that just aren’t ready. The girls must remember, they once had a series that went coast to coast and it faltered. This is an amateur series and we just don’t have the support for it to expand…yet.
Anyways, we have a great group lady racers and we will, no doubt, get some great action all summer long. Here is a look at the Top 10 from last season, and a brief update from each girl. Thanks for reading and we will see you at Kamloops.
#1 Hailey Larson
Unable to reach by press time, but last we heard she wasn’t returning to go for her 4th title.
#2 Kennedy Lutz
My plans were to train most of the winter down South but unfortunately I broke my collarbone in November at Mini O’s in Florida. I was really bummed on that because I did so good the first part of the week on the SX track with two top 10’s in the C classes and 2nd in Women’s. It was my first moto on the MX track where I crashed while I was in the lead, so that ended my week. We made the 36-hour drive home and found out I needed surgery.
As soon as I was healed I flew back to Georgia which was the end of January. The second day in I broke my finger, and with that happening it basically ruined our training and racing plans. I missed out on the U.S. Spring Amateur Nationals and mid-March is when I started training at the new facility that’s getting built in South Carolina (Real Deal MX Training Facility).
I got a month-and-a-half to get my fitness and riding back to where it was and then my dad flew down to take me to Loretta Lynn’s qualifiers. Now I’m at home, going to do a couple Walton qualifiers and then head to Kamloops.
My goals for the series are to win all the rounds as well as get another Walton Championship.
#3 Sarah King
My off-season wasn’t anything special. Basically, after Walton I went back to work full-time and worked all winter. I then quit my job at the end of March and headed to California for the month of April with my teammate Summer Knowles for pre-season riding. We were joined by Sierra Roth halfway through the month and she really dropped the hammer on us to get us ready for nationals.
From there I drove up to The Roth’s house near Edmonton where I am currently staying and riding. My goals for this season are to have fun and improve on my last year’s number.
I wouldn’t be able to be doing this if it wasn’t for my sponsors Cycle North, Honda Canada, RMR suspensions / H2R Fox Shox, Spy Optics, Northern Gateway, Parts Canada, OTSFF, Motovan, Mongoose Machine, Treasure Cove Casino, Maclean Trucking, Fort Machine Works, my grampa, mom & dad, my Aunty Lonnie & Uncle Doug, Kourtney Lloyd, and Sierra Roth.
#4 Larissa McGlynn
Where do I even start? Motocross has treated me so well over the years, and I loved racing the series and competing with every single lady out there. It’s so unique to see the wide variety of talent that Western Canada holds. It’s been nothing short of amazing to be a part of the progress that ladies have made in the racing community.
Although my off-season involved some training as per the usual routine of any fellow rider out there, we decided this spring instead of hitting the first race, to take a casual route and spend some family time together outside of the race track. My summer plans are wide open. Don’t get me wrong though, there isn’t a thing that could keep me off the bike and I’ve ridden a few times already and not to mention motocross shaped me in a way no other sport could.
I’m just looking to hopefully start a career in personal training and begin my adult life. Best of luck to those ladies who will be shredding every inch of the track this season (:
#5 Jamie Munro
I am looking forward to starting the 2015 season! The amount of competition we are going to have this year is going to be epic. My off-season consisted of me attending my second year of university and maintaining five days a week at the gym. Unfortunately, California was not an option for the pre-season; however, my family and I were riding here in Kamloops on February 14th so I definitely can ‘t complain about the nice weather.
Now that school is over for the summer I am hoping to get some more riding in before Nationals, and keep up with my workout program. We have had a few spring local races here in interior B.C. which has been a great warm-up for the races to come. My goals for this year would definitely include making a top 3 podium, holeshotting a moto, and mainly just to have some fun racing motocross against some talented ladies!
#6 Brittany Danyluk
This season came back around so fast yet it feels like it cannot be here soon enough! My off-season was great. At the end of Walton last year me and my family had made a huge choice in starting a team, Danyluk Racing Suzuki, for the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross Series and also the Rockstar Energy Drink Outdoor Nationals! That being said, I spend most of my winter in either California or Texas riding and supporting our 250 rider Kyle Swanson during the SX series which was a total change in lifestyle compared to the outdoors here in Canada!
As for my pre-season, it’s been great. I have been riding 5 days a week and working out 7! Our team is recently living in Calgary, AB which has been great because of the Wildrose Mx Track only being 6 miles from our house and the Blackfoot and Blackfoot Direct support we have been receiving just really makes it a dream come true! We where also blessed with an entire team that works together as if we where family! The support we have for each other and the drive we have to push one another is something that money can’t buy and most teams can’t find! We have a lot going on for us and I don’t think we could possibly be more prepared or confident going into the season!
As for my goals for the Woman’s Nationals, getting #6 two years in a row has definitely pushed me a lot harder on my off-season and pre-season to better myself with my riding style as well as the physical side of me! My goal in my head isn’t to set a number for myself, it’s just to push and do better than I did the year before. I love to ride my dirt bike and I love the new family I have with my team and, like I said, we just push each other and that’s all I could ever ask for!
Well, off-season in Alberta is usually a long one but this year we got pretty lucky with weather and winter didn’t actually seem so bad! Jared (Petruska)and I have gone down to Cali for 2-3 months for the past couple of years, but this year we switched it up. We studded up our tires and rode at the Calgary track a few times in the winter and it actually ended up being warm enough the days we went to make the track muddy. It’s always a good time – there’s a bunch of other people that ride in the snow too and we just go out and have fun. It gets a little chilly at times but we should be used to it by now right?!
Aside from winter riding, Drew Robertson at Evolved MX provided me with yet another wicked program and Jared and I went to California for a week at Christmas and 2 weeks in March. In Cali we pretty much rode and went mountain biking almost every day and tried to pack in as much as we could. I also trained with J Whipple down in Cali and I owe him a big thanks for helping get me comfortable on the new bike.
As for pre-season, things were going awesome. I was racing the local AMSA series and having a ton of fun racing and absolutely loving my Yamaha. I’ve been taking some courses to try and get into SAIT in the fall and Jared and I have been dealing with our house stuff but aside from that I’ve had a lot of time on the bike and am feeling really good.
AND THEN! A bunch of jerks decided they needed to come and steal all of our stuff. I’m sure everyone’s seen on social media (I mean, if the thieves themselves haven’t seen I’d be surprised – it’s all over Facebook). My bike, Jared’s bike, our gear, and a bunch of other stuff got stolen. So, as of right now I don’t have a bike and am not racing the last two races in Calgary before the nationals. I’ve been pretty emotional in the past couple of days and to say I’m bummed out is an understatement. I put a lot of time and money into my bike and training this year and to have this happen is just extremely upsetting and sickening. A ton of people have offered that I borrow their bikes but I have mixed feelings about doing that as I’m sure other racers can understand the risk that comes with borrowing someones bike.
I appreciate all of the support and regardless of what happens I’ll still be in Kamloops to support Jared and everyone else. I’ve decided to wipe away my major goals for nationals this year after all of this. No matter what happens I just want to have fun and do my best.. I guess all I can do is turn a bad situation into a better one. Can’t wait to see everyone in Kamloops and watch the Pros on Sunday!!
#8 Bailee Pozdnekoff
Unable to reach by press time.
#9 Summer Knowles
My off-season was pretty good. I went to school and didn’t get to ride much in the winter. Although, I went to California with Sara King to ride for the month of April. It was awesome getting to ride everyday. Unfortunately, I broke my wrist at a Kamloops race on May 3rd so I will not be racing this years Women’s West National Series. I just wanted to say thanks to Cycle North, Kourtney Lloyd, 100%, atlas, Parts Canada, my mom and dad, big g, and everyone else who helped me this year.
#10 Danika White
Two weeks out (3 days now!) from Round 1 in Kamloops and I’m super excited! I’m on a Cycle Works Foothills KTM 250 SXF this year which is a big change from always being on two-strokes… And I absolutely love it! I am feeling a lot more comfortable on it.
My off-season started off with surgery in November to get 5 plates and 26 screws out of my ankles; it went super-smooth. I feel “practically” normal. At least what I can assume normal would be (Laughs). I can’t thank everyone enough that has helped me through all that stuff. Especially my surgeon and all the nurses (amazing people all around).
After that, I studded up my bike and rode at WRMA through the winter and we’ve had a super-early spring in Calgary so we’ve had a lot more track time than any other year. I have been to a couple Alberta and Calgary races, which have been a blast! This year is already going great. I’m really excited for this season, feeling good and shooting to get a single digits this year! Good vibes going into round 1.
West Co-organizer, Denaye Arnett
Here are my predictions for the top five: Kennedy Lutz, Rachel Springman, Sara King. These three will be battling for the top spot. Jamie Munro, Brittany Danyluk will be getting top fives and might break into the podium spots this year. And we can’t forget about Bailey Pozdnekoff, Dominique Daffe and Courtney Stelter, all have a chance at a top 5 result. The biggest surprise this year is going to be Charity Bachman. I think she will even surprise herself with how well she could do. If Summer Knowles heals up fast she could be a top 5 rider too. Most Improved could be a couple of people this year – Charity Bachman and Aimee Carter both have a good shot. Or the spot could open up to a new rider to the series.
West Co-organizer, Camille Bunko
Top 5 predictions….I think Kennedy Lutz, Rachel Springman and Sara King will all be battling for the title. Jamie Munro and Brittney Danyluk will probably be not to far behind for 4th and 5th. Biggest surprise could be Sara King, she led Hailey for a few laps last year and I know she has been training in California, so I think she will do really well this year. Most improved maybe Danika White, Charity Bachman or Aimee Carter, they all seem to be the up and comers right now!
West Co-organizer, Sierra Roth
I am a little biased as I have Sara King here riding at our track all month and I was with her in California, but I am going to put my bets on her for number 1. Kennedy Lutz is for sure going to be a contender as well as Rachel Springman. I also believe that Jamie Munro and Brittany Danyluk will be top 5 contenders. The biggest surprise I would have said would be Summer Knowles because of how much work she was putting in, in California, but because she is now broken, she and I will be the biggest cheerleaders.
I was just at a local Alberta race and I was thoroughly impressed with Danika White so I think she will one who surprises people. I have heard good things about a young BC girl, Kristen Tse, who might be a contender this year so I am putting her up for most improved, just not sure if she will be doing the whole series. Other than that, I think it is going to be really unknown until the first gate drop. With a few people not lining up like Hailey Larson and Larissa McGlynn, but gaining girls like Rachel Springman and possibly Camille Bunko, it will be an interesting season. All in all, I wish all the girls the best and I will see you all at round one very soon!