BONNERS FERRY — The air at the Boundary County Fairgrounds was filled with the smells of exhaust and tantalizing food as well as the buzzing sound of dirtbikes and the din of conversation from the packed stadium.
Competitors of all ages came together for the 2018 9B Arenacross on June 30, bringing a crowd to the fairgrounds for an evening of entertainment and sport. This is the first event since other groups ceased hosting a dirt bike event in 2010.
The races began with a field of young contenders, their parents standing nearby watching their children compete in the sport. The younger contenders went steadily over the mounds of dirt, each one striving to win.
Young contender Wyatt Bernett’s father introduced him to dirt bike riding, which fanned a flame in the young man to continue adventuring in the sport.
“I just like to ride them,” said Bernett. “I think the most exciting part is just getting out and racing.”
The smaller dirt bikes were followed by much larger bikes and riders, who, with their increased experience, went much faster over the course and caught a lot more air than their younger counterparts did over the jumps.
CJ Smith was raised in Bonners Ferry and has ridden dirt bikes all of his life. He was featured in the Bonners Ferry Herald a few years ago after racing with a broken leg.
“For this race, I am most excited to race in front of my hometown crowd,” said Smith. “That is the main reason I am doing it.”
The crowd gasped when contenders took a fall, and cheered when they were deemed all right during the few spills that happened over the event.
With categories consisting of contenders of all ages and experience, some of the younger contenders talked about what excited them most about being in the races.
Talking about what drove him to participate in the event, young Trent Keck said, “I have never done a race before and I wanted to try it out.”
“I am looking forward to the gate, I have never used a gate like that before,” said young Colton Moore when asked what he was most excited about.
“I came here to test my skills against other people,” said Gerrit Krielaart, who was also in one of the younger groups of riders.
Not only did the older and more experienced contenders catch air, but so did some of the younger ones, bringing gasps and applause from the crowd as they raced around the arena.
There were some professional contenders in attendance as well. The Amsoil Arenacross circuit’s west coast title plate holder over the last two years is Ryan Breece, who grew up in Athol. He placed first in both the 250 and 450 Pro classes during the event.
National Supercross rider Chris Howell also attended Saturday evening’s race, and he won second place in both pro classes. Brad Nauditt of Spokane was previously a national level racer, and Jeremiah Solt from Bonners was an aspiring national level racer.
“Many helped with the event,” said Promoter and Organizer John Becker. “For a first year event it went very well. We had a great turn out of riders and attendees.”
The participants and attendees of all ages finished the entertaining evening with smiling faces, and an appreciation for the hard work the contenders put into the sport.
The following is a list of the classes and placings:
250 Pro class: 1. Ryan Breece, 2. Chris Howell, 3. Brad Nauditt, 4. Broden Spangle, 5. Jeremiah Solt, 6. Cody Stewart.
250 Intermediate class: 1. Ryan Bednarczyk, 2. Brandon Schmidt.
250 Junior class: 1. Jake Jelinek, 2. Trevon Kiss, 3. Robby Franz.
250 beginner class: 1. Walker Reif, 2. Jesse Drake, 3. Marcus Regehr.
450 Pro class: 1. Ryan Breece, 2. Chris Howell, 3. Brad Nauditt, 4. Cody Stewart, 5. Jeremiah Solt, 6. Broden Spangle.
450 Intermediate class: 1. CJ Smith, 2. Cameron Fitch, 3. Ryan Bednarczyk.
450 Junior class: 1. Jake Jelinkek, 2. Trevon Kiss.
450 beginner class: 1. Austin Sheridan, 2. Kyle Smith, 3. Jack Armstrong.
85 junior class: 1. Gage Plase, 2. Kyle Berry, 3. Connor Brown.
85 beginner class: 1. Dillon Masters, 2. Marcus Regehr, 3. KJ Couglin.
Super mini class: 1. Gage Plase, 2. Kyle Berry.
Vets class: 1. Miles Chisholm, 2. Shawn Martin, 3. Wayne Jelinek.
Ladies class: 1. Kya Chisholm, 2. Allison Brown, 3. Justyne Sorensen.
65 open class: 1. KJ Couglin, 2. Dillon Masters, 3. Branson McAllister.
65 class: 1. KJ Coughlin, 2. Conner Brown, 3. Dillon Masters.
50 class, ages 7 to 9: 1. Grady Cavdill, 2. Holden Meredith, 3. Kellen Cooper.
50 class, ages 0 to 6: 1. Colton Justus, 2. Jeremy Action, 3. Talon King.
50 open class: 1. Grady Cavdill, 2. Kellen Cooper, 3. Brystol Chisholm came in third.