Clipper Sports Editor
FARMINGTON — Farmington resident Jason Smith has accomplished something so rare in the sport of hillclimbing, it’s never been done before in the history of his sport.
For the first time ever, Smith swept all four classes to complete the 2013 North American Hillclimbers Association (NAHA) season, which culminated with the finals held in Boise, Idaho.
The four specific classes, according to pro-hillclimbers.org, are the 250-450cc, 451-700cc, open exhibition and X-Climb.
“This is a day I’ll never forget,” said Smith in an email sent to the Clipper. “I was the first rider in history to win all four classes at one event. The cool thing was that I only had to make my first run in each class (there are two runs per class in the sport).”
The event for Smith was just his first of the season, and he said the momentum of pulling off the historic run only made riding in other events the icing on the cake.
In his second event, held in Columbus, Mont., he won two of his four classes and finished in the top five in the other two classes.
Smith also said the Montana event is special because he is “one of the promoters for the event.”
In races three through five — all held in California, South Dakota and Idaho, respectively — Smith has a total of 10 wins this season.
He also has several top three finishes, and a few other top five finishes as well.
Thanks to all of his success so far, Smith led four of the five categories heading into the fifth and final race at Boise, Idaho.
“It could not have gone any better,” said Smith. “I had a pretty good lead in three of the four clases, but trailed by a few points in the X-Climb.”
Smith began the day with the 450cc class, securing the national championship to start the event.
After placing second in the 700cc, Smith was able to secure the title for that class as well.
The closest event, the X-Climb, put the most pressure on Smith to win; however, he was still able to finish second and have a few breaks go his way in order to claim that title as well.
“The rider that was leading this class had to get bumped out early, and I had to win or place second in order to win,” he said. “I finished the event second and took the overall title by two points.”
Despite having a decent lead in the Open Class, Smith said he had “never been that nervous” in his life.
“I knew that all I had to do was get over the hill to win,” he said. “I didn’t get over the hill on my first ride, so I knew what I had to do on my second ride if I wanted to sweep the series.”
He did, and made history in the process.
“I have been in this sport for 25 years,” said Smith. “This year felt like all 25 years have paid off by winning all four classes of the series.”
He took the overall title by two points over Logan Mead.
Smith said this season was a “dream come true” to have made history in his sport, and thanked everyone from his family and friends to his sponsors for the season.
For more information about the NAHA, visit pro-hillclimbers.org.