Spokane Valley BMX racer Rick Hoover recently returned from a 17-day odyssey that earned him trophies from three different races.
The races are part of the 38-race American Bicycle Association Cruise America Summer Tour.
It began June 6 at the Great Salt Lake Nationals in Utah and wraps up with a zig-zagging safari across the U.S. that ends in Raleigh, N.C., in late July.
Hoover won three first places in Salt Lake City, finished second in Preston, Idaho, and finished first and fourth at the Mile High Nationals in Ft. Collins, Colo.
The sophomore-to-be at University High School earned his trophies while competing in his age group’s intermediate division.
He traveled with his grandfather, retired Spokane County real estate officer Richard Hoover, on a trip that covered 3,500 miles and included a tour of Schwinn Bicycle’s headquarters, technical center and test facility.
Hoover has been competing on the national circuit for 1-1/2 years and has been asked to be part of the Torker race team out of Seattle.
“It’s in his blood,” said his mother, Kathy Hoover. “I don’t foresee him giving it up.”
Besides BMX racing, Hoover also competes in Mountain Biking competition. Last March he visited his grandparents, who winter in Arizona, and placed in the BMX winter Nationals in Phoenix. He then placed in a Cactus Cup series mountain biking race in Scottsdale.
“We came up (to Spokane) with him in May and in a weak moment agreed to take him to Salt Lake City and decided if we were there we might as well go to Denver,” Richard Hoover said.
They were going to take part in the first seven races of the summer safari that included competition in Idaho and Wyoming and concluded in Denver. Most, except in Preston, were rained out.
Last summer, his first of competition, Hoover won a beginner class in his first race at the Big Mountain Gear Grinder and in November he was eighth in the BMX Grand Nationals in Oklahoma City.
Among his races later this summer will be the World Cup in Nanaimo, B.C.
Valley Legion teams to meet
Valley AA American Legion Baseball teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader tonight.
Spokane Olympic Sports and Spokane Athletic Supply are to play at 6 and 8 p.m. under the lights at Central Valley High School.
Olympic, made up of players from University High, remained unbeaten after five games, while SAS, with players from Central Valley, has won just once in eight games.
Included was Monday’s 11-2 victory over East Valley, Troy Svelmoe getting three hits, Brandon Florence two and winning pitcher Brad Valkenaar hitting a home run.
The loss dropped East Valley’s record going into Friday’s date with SAS to 3-6. Included among those losses is Kris Allen’s heart-breaking 10-inning 1-0 loss to Eagle Hardware/Pepsi.
On Thursday, Olympic outlasted Grocery Outlet 14-11 on the four-hit effort of Mike Johnson.
Grocery Outlet, made up of players from Freeman, had won three straight games after dropping its first four.
The loss to Olympic was its second straight and left them at 3-7 in the league’s South Division.
Third Captain’s Cup leg at Hangman
The third round of the Captain’s Cup was played by members of the Hangman Valley Ladies Golf Club.
Marie Nelson was the winner with a net 67.
During putting competition, Marlene Thies won A flight by a stroke over Gloria Cash with 30.
In B flight, Janet Skaife needed just 31 putts, in C flight Cec Schucker took 34 and in D flight, Gloria Heminger won with 31 putts.
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