The area's first Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships Qualifier July 31 at St. Charles County's Kinetic Park in Dardenne Prairie was nothing short of exhilarating form start to finish for both racers and spectators, but it was especially exciting for Brooklynne Schuetz of Wentzville. The Holt High School senior took home first place in the women's category and receives and all-expenses paid trip to Red Bull World Final Oct. 15-17 in Lisbon, Portugal.
"I wasn't expecting anything," says Brooklynne of her win. "I was just expecting to come out here and have fun, show the locals what I can do, but we came home with some good hardware."
The BMX and MTB biking competition rolled out an exciting show on the nation's largest asphalt pump track at the park. With 77 contestants ñ 66 men and 11 women from across the United States and one from Australia - a crowd of approximately 1,000 spectators cheered on local favorites. Spectators got a birds-eye view of all the action from the newly installed permanent bleachers in the park.
"Pump track is an amazing opportunity because it pits BMX and mountain bikers against the clock to see who can be the fastest rider of the day," says Aaron Cooke, Race Director for Velosolutions, an industry leader in pump track construction that built the Kinetic Park course. "But the most exciting thing is the rider coming through St. Charles could become the next world champion."
The Women's category was especially gripping to watch unfold. Two BMX racers, Brooklynne and Megan Dudgeon, a Lindenwood University student from Wisconsin, squared off in the final with Brooklynne finishing 27.76 to secure her World Final ticket.
The Men's final was equally as exciting and featured Layne Gainer, the top qualifier of the day, and Amakye Andersen, three-time qualifier attendee and a popular BMX rider in the circuit. When it came down to the final run, Amakye bested the top qualifier with the fastest time of the day at 22.04, earning a ticket to the World Final.
"It has been an honor and thrill to be chosen to host a Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championship Qualifier at Kinetic Park," says Ryan Graham, St. Charles County Parks Director. "The nation's largest asphalt pump track has been a major attraction for the local community, and now for guests visiting from across the country and world. We look forward to hosting additional Red Bull events at Kinetic Park in the future."
Before all the action began on the track, activities, entertainment, concessions, and displays from sporting and food vendors, were available for spectators. Sponsors of the event were SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital, the City of Dardenne Prairie, and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital/Safe Kids St. Louis.
Kinetic Park is undergoing a transformation that will soon offer even more attractions and fun for all ages! When complete in 2022, the park will include a Splash Play Area, Adventure Playground, and Activity Center with a state-of-the-art eSports room and indoor street-style skateboarding area. In addition to the asphalt pump track, Kinetic Park features the state's largest outdoor skatepark, a Bike Playground and Skills Course that recently opened, 30-foot indoor rock-climbing wall, and indoor gaming area with concessions.
For more information about Kinetic Park, visit the St. Charles County Parks Department's website at stccparks.org or call the park at 636-561-4964.