9-year-old state champ from Luling wins national competition, racks up 16 victories in two years
While Hunter has had a lot of success in the over 100 races that he has competed in, his start in BMX riding was anything but planned, according to his father, Tommy Harmon.
“We were talking about it one day and we just jumped in the truck and headed to Baton Rouge to take place in a race there,” he said. “I rented him a bike, and though he wasn't really competitive in the race, going there allowed me to figure out what kind of gear he needed to really get started.”
Now, exactly two years later, Hunter has a state championship under his belt and has been named the fastest racer in his division. With only nine more wins, Hunter will be moved into the expert division.
“You really have to have a passion for it, because you have to be flawless in the races to win,” Harmon said.
And though Hunter definitely has that passion, his parents do too. Because St. Charles Parish does not yet have a BMX track, Hunter was at first carted to Baton Rouge once a week so that he could practice.
“Sadly, they have been talking about having a track here for years but it has never happened,” Harmon said. “We had to start out by going to Baton Rouge, and Gretna recently opened a track, so we are able to go there now.”
But even though Hunter takes part in local races, it's still hard to find tough competition.
“That's why the win in Missouri was so big for Hunter,” Harmon said. “It was a national meet and only the best of the best take part.”
In BMX riding, the track is littered with high hills that make it difficult for the riders to maintain a top speed. In fact, the track is similar to motocross tracks, except that the dirt is compacted instead of loose.
Though he doesn't have much experience due to his only two years of riding, Hunter was able to pick up the sport quickly. And one reason why Hunter has stayed interested in it is because of the weekly chance for trophies.
“If these kids play baseball, they have to play all season for one chance at a trophy,” Harmon said. “In BMX, Hunter is getting the chance to compete for a trophy every week, which has really held his attention.”
And the sport is also gaining the attention of Hunter's classmates.
“Hunter has an entire room literally filled with trophies,” Harmon said. “His friends see that, and now they want to compete in BMX too.”
Hunter, who also plays baseball and will start basketball soon, said that BMX is his favorite sport for two main reasons.
“I like to win and I like to race,” he said.
Hunter will next travel to Disney World for a BMX event at the end of the month.
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