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Hometown riders win respective Cruiser, 8 Novice, 8 Intermediate and 12 Novice divisions on Saturday, August 12 at McCormick Park's Phillip S. Barlow Memorial BMX Track

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Lucas Cardona (535), 12, and Geoffrey Worlitz (318), 5, won their respective 12 Novice and Cruiser divisions at the Columbia River BMX Race for Life on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Phillip S. Barlow Memorial BMX Track at McCormick Park in St. Helens.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Colton MacDannald (259), 11, of St. Helens, won the 8 Intermediate race.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Travis Dunning (509), 8, of St. Helens, the 8 Novice winner, shares a laugh with Paul Barlow of hometown shop Barlow Bikes and Boards.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Balance bike riders, five years and younger, line up just before the start of a race.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Eric Filley, owner of Portland's Halo Electric, LLC, left, enjoys a wheelie with Titus Griffin, 8, of St. Helens.

Geoffrey Worlitz, Travis Dunning, Colton MacDannald and Lucas Cardona enjoyed a St. Helens sweep in all four of Columbia River BMX's Race for Life divisions on Saturday, August 12 at their hometown Phillip S. Barlow Memorial BMX Track at McCormick Park.

Worlitz, 5, Dunning, 8, MacDannald, 11, and Cardona, 12, won their respective Cruiser, 8 Novice, 8 Intermediate and 12 Novice divisions.

"[I liked] seeing the smiles on everyone's faces, and I especially loved the turnout we had in our five-and-under balance bike races," said Paul Barlow of St. Helens' Barlow Bikes and Boards and the brother of Phillip Barlow, who passed away in 2011 and for whom the track is named.

The balance bike riders, getting the hang of the track's steep inclines, wide bowl turns and bumpy "music row" at the midway point, were especially popular with the crowd.

"We've seen a growth in the balance bikes this year, and it's fun to watch the little ones go around the track," said Worlitz's father, Daniel. "We've also had a number of riders interested in trying to get the track team going again, and it's good to see the Columbia River BMX jerseys at the races at the other tracks. It would be nice to see the track and the races get more attention and grow in popularity in our country."

The races preceded an awards presentation, a barbecue, a free helmet fitting and giveaway courtesy of the City of St. Helens' Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission, and a new riders clinic hosted by Eric Filley, owner of Portland's Halo Electric, LLC.

"Everything [was great]," Filley said. "The atmosphere of little 'sugar cookie kids' racing their balance bikes while their parents and spectators cheer them on, the sportsmanship of the riders -- win or lose -- the gratification on the faces of the very small volunteer staff, the thoughtfulness of everyone who signed up in support of finding a cure for leukemia [with Portland's Leukemia & Lymphoma Society], et cetera: What is not to love about this sport?"

Columbia River BMX Race for Life

Saturday, August 12

Phillip S. Barlow Memorial BMX Track, McCormick Park, St. Helens

Division results

Cruiser

1. Geoffrey Worlitz, 5, St. Helens

2. Klara Worlitz, 10, St. Helens

3. Daniel Worlitz, 38, St. Helens

8 Novice

1. Travis Dunning, 8, St. Helens

2. Hunter Johnson, 5, Damascus

3. Zoey Griffin, 4, Warren

8 Intermediate

1. Colton MacDannald, 11, St. Helens

2. Emily Sharp, 13, Oak Grove

3. Titus Griffin, 8, St. Helens

4. Geoffrey Worlitz, 5, St. Helens

5. Wyatt Quaring, 6, St. Helens

12 Novice

1. Lucas Cardona, 12, St. Helens

2. Klara Worlitz, 10, St. Helens

3. Caleb Griffin, 10, St. Helens

4. Daniel Worlitz, 38, St. Helens

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