Another year of the renowned east coast Mini Olympics is in the books. Gatorback Cycle Park was in prime condition throughout the week and the weather could not have been better. Troy Lee Designs Elite Amateurs were out and looking fast and focused in the sunshine state. TLD backed athletes in attendance included Dylan Merriam, Pierce Brown, Hannah Hodges, Parker Mashburn and our newest member Caden Braswell.
Dylan Merriam who competed in both 250 and 450 Pro Sport and A Classes was simply consistent. Merriam was fast off of the gate all week regardless of where he lined up. He began his week finishing within the top ten in 3 of his SX classes. He went on to elevate his riding on the preferred MX track with a 2nd place overall finish in the 250 Pro Sport Class that has packed with the biggest names from around the country. Dylan also respectively finished with a top 5 result in the 250 A Class.
Pierce Brown, the Utah native made the long journey out to Gatorback to compete in both Supermini 1 and Supermini 2 Classes. Pierce would claim the Supermini 1 SX title early in the week after going 2-1 for the championship. In the Supermini 2 SX final Pierce charged his way to the front, but unfortunately got tangled up with another rider and would finish in 4th. On the MX track Pierce showed he had the speed and threw down the fastest Supermini lap time of the week, edging out the nearest competitor by 3 seconds. Brown would go on to finish 3rd in Supermini 1 and 2nd overall in Supermini 2 after winning both of his previous motos.
Local Hannah Hodges nabbed two top 5 overall SX finishes early in the week despite coming together with riders and a brutal first corner pileup in the Supermini 2 Class which sidelined her for the main. MX was a different story; Hannah came out with a chip on her shoulder and looked poised every moto. She finished a perfect 1-1 to earn the Girls (12-16) tile. Despite being banged up Hannah followed her success with a respectable 3rd place overall in Women’s 14+ and battled the boys for a 6th overall in Supermini 2.
After recently making the switch to big bikes, Parker Mashburn made his debut in the Schoolboy Classes out at Mini O’s. The youngster turned 14 the first day of racing and had success early winning his first two SX motos on the big bike. Mashburn went on to finish 2nd overall in Schoolboy 1 MX and earn a top 5 finish in Schoolboy 1 Limited MX.
The east coast native Caden Braswell made his national debut as a TLD athlete out at Gatorback. The 85 rider came out strong and was one of the favored riders to bring home the 85 titles. Caden finished second in his first 85 Limited Moto, however the next race he sustained a week ending injury. Caden will be back riding soon and representing TLD at Ricky Carmichael’s Daytona National.