GOLD PLATED: Clarence BMX stars impress at Nationals
BMX: Clarence Valley BMX Club now holds six Australian plates after a strong group of club riders returned from the BMX Australia National Championships in Bunbury, Western Australia.
Club president Marnie Brighton was joined at the championships by fellow club members Tahlia Marsh, Stacey Brown, Brendan Brown, Glen Swain, Harley Fowler and Darcy Fowler.
Marsh was the star of the championships for the Clarence Valley club, returning with a third place in the 15-16 years female 24-inch cruiser class and a second place in the 20-inch class, earning her a berth in the world championships.
Marsh was also one of two junior riders at the championships to earn the Caroline Buchanan Jayco $3000 scholarship to help fund her journey to the UCI World Championships in Azerbaijan in June.
"She will be going to represent her country and the club and herself,” Brighton said. "She was unlucky to miss out in the semi-finals at Worlds last year, so hopefully she will get up on that podium this year, we would love to see that.
"She is a fantastic little rider, she has a heart of gold and she wears it on her sleeve. She has a great group of supporters behind her.”
Brighton also qualified for the world championships after she out-muscled her competition in the 30-34 years women's 24-inch cruiser class to finish third. While she backed that effort up with a fifth-place finish in the younger 25-29 years women's 20-inch class.
Competing against her clubmate in the 15-16 years girls' cruiser class, Stacey Brown clinched a fifth place Australian plate, while Glenn Swain powered his way to a second-place finish in the 30-34 years men's cruiser class at his first Australian titles. Brown and Swain have also qualified for the world titles as ranked riders.
"Bringing home all these plates is a very proud moment for me as a president,” Brighton said. "Especially being a little country club going over there and playing among the bigger clubs in Australia.
"We competed against the best each state has to offer, and we took it to them.”
The Brown siblings and Marsh also competed at the Battle at Bunno event on the weekend before the championships with Brendan bowing out in the semi-finals while Marsh placed third and Stacey second in their age classes.
Marsh also finished fifth at the Oceania Championships, which were run concurrently with the national titles, after a recovery from an earlier crash.