WEST BOUNTIFUL – Hunter Brown isn’t the typical 13-year-old kid.
Instead of getting on his bike and going for a ride, he gets on his bike and does sprints down at any local BMX track he can get access to.
That’s because Brown is one of the world’s best BMX bike riders not only in the country, but the entire world.
“He works very hard for what he does,” said Cheri Brown, Hunter’s mother. “We don’t have to tell him to do anything. He’s smart, is always working hard and is a good student.”
Over the past weekend, Hunter Brown and his father Wayne travelled to the Netherlands to compete with 113 other riders in the 20-inch BMX class to determine which rider in his age group was considered the best in the world.
Brown finished second by a few inches.
He’d later return to take part in the 24-inch “cruiser” class, where he finished fourth among 58 other riders.
“Those races are pretty exciting because they put everyone in there and it’s just an all-out race,” said Wayne Brown. “It’s definitely exciting and pretty unique.”
The Brown family themselves are in some pretty elite class as well. Opening their own shop in 2010, the local team finished a season ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, and have been in the top 10 every year since.
Hunter’s success has been a part of it all as well. He’s placed No. 1 in the state for the past eight years, was a district champion four years running and is also ranked No. 2 in NAG, also known as National Age Group.
“He’s won just about every title you can get,” said Cheri. “I think he’s also ranked 23rd in the world in his age group too.”
One of the more elusive trophies, which he has, is the Race of Champions trophy. Given out only to the winner, the ROC trophy is earned by first becoming a state champion rider.
Those riders then compete in a winner-take-all race, and Hunter took home the trophy.
“They don’t give a trophy out for second or third,” Wayne said. “Only the winner is recognized with one.”
His work ethic was echoed by both parents and his practice time is split between a BMX track in Farmington, Sandy and other cities when he can squeeze the time in.
“He practices everything from sprints to gate timing,” Cheri said. “The gate timing is important so you can get out of the gate as quickly as possible, which helps him get out in front.”
He’s also trying his hand at different sports as well. The Bountiful Junior High student just started to pick up wrestling and has “won about 80 percent” of his matches so far.
But his BMX career will still run in the family.
“Our other son rode BMX for a long time until he broke his collar bone,” Wayne said. “He’s been pretty timid about getting back on the bike since, but he’s also doing his own thing now.”
The team, called Extreme Team BMX, is also doing well.
Extreme Team is split between a “shop” team, consisting of roughly 100 riders, and a “factory” team of 17 riders total.
The latter team, said Wayne, is the team that goes after national competitions. Those riders will be competing in a race in Colorado this weekend.
“We do pretty good for ourselves,” he said. “To be able to compete at the national level is tough, but we have some good riders on our team.”
Hunter will be entering the eighth grade starting this school year.