July 20th, 2024

Hat BMX rider back on national podium

By Sean Rooney on August 29, 2017.

PHOTO COURTESY RYAN SCHULTZ (RJSCHULTZPHOGRAPHY ON FACEBOOK) - Medicine Hat's Chelsea Kingston (19) races in Calgary Sunday during the Canada Cup BMX series ahead of Sabrina Millman.


srooney@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNRooney

The dream appears to be back on track for Medicine Hat’s Chelsea Kingston.

The 23-year-old cyclist was third at the Canadian BMX Championships in Calgary Saturday, then took a second-place finish in a national series event Sunday.

With the long-term goal a spot in the starting gates at the Olympics, Kingston’s finishes are pretty good considering she missed all of last season with a knee injury.

“Last year I ended up getting injured, tore my MCL so I was out for 11 months,” she said. “I only just got back on my bike in May. I literally had to re-start everything.”

B.C. rider Drew Mechielsen won all three motos Saturday with Alberta’s Daina Tuchscherer second in all three. Kingston was third, fourth and third in their elite female division, and she yearns to step up higher on the podium next year.

“Here I just came second but no, next year I need to win,” she said. “So hit it hard in the winter, try not to lose my focus and get that No. 1 next year.”

Kingston’s been second at nationals a couple times, and now trains in Lethbridge. The hope is that she’ll be named to a national-level roster and get some funding from Cycling Canada in 2018, which would get her to some bigger events in the U.S. or possibly overseas.

“They pick you based on your previous season, your points, your international points,” said Kingston. “So last year I had none of that. They weren’t really looking at me… hopefully now after a half-decent season maybe they see I have some potential.”

Canada has only sent three BMX riders to the Olympics since it was added to the program in 2008. Tory Nyhaug, Canada’s lone Olympic BMXer in both 2012 and 2016, won the men’s elite division Saturday in Calgary.

Other local riders were in Calgary as well. Wyatt Andres won the 15 and 16-year-old cruiser division, winning all of his motos. Justin Doehring was fourth in 30-34 male, Geneva Slezinsky was fifth in 16 female, Samantha Andres was fifth in 17-24 female and Amber Harnett was sixth in 25-over female.

Hat rider highlights from the younger age groups were Liam Giesbrecht (sixth out of 26 riders in the 5- and 6-year-old boys division) and Jackson Harnett (16th out of 40 in 10-year-old boys).

Medicine Hat will host the provincial finals Sept. 9 and 10.

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