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Motocross rider crosses checkered flag

Tumbleweeds roll across the loose earth and through clouds of fine dust. Joshua trees dot the landscape. The motocross course is like another world.

Junior Dustin Enochs began motocross riding at the age of four, and still continues twelve years later.

?My father got me involved in riding,? Enochs said. ?He was also doing it and I thought it was exciting. He?s a role model for me.?

Enochs rides six days a week and lifts weights once a week to keep in shape and maintain his endurance.

?It?s almost become an addiction,? Enochs said. ?Sometimes I have to neglect my friends to practice or do homework, but I can?t let my grades slip or my dad will pull the plug.?

Enochs believes his practice is worth the effort. Five years ago, he won the Azevedo Motocross Parks (AMP) Dodge Amateur National Championship for twelve to thirteen year-olds, competing against riders from around the United States. Last month, he won a local Vetx race.

?When I won the championship, it was really exhilarating because it felt like all my training had paid off,” Enochs said. “For most of my life I?ve been working towards the point I?ve reached now. It?s taken a lot of time, but the rush of stepping on the track makes it all worthwhile.?

While pre-race nerves for some can be shakiness of limbs or a heightened pulse, Enochs channels those and concentrates on what needs to be done to beat the person riding next to him.

?Before the race, I?m just concentrated on the competition,? Enochs said. ?While on the track, I?m still really calm. Even when I?m going 55, everything is second nature. I get into a zone where I?m able to be really calm despite everything that’s going on around me.?

Enochs competes in 20 to 30 local races a year; last year, he clenched 20 victories. Annually he competes in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Loretta Lynn?s National Championship.

?I haven?t won that championship, but it?s great riding with some of the best in the country,? Enochs said. ?Also, traveling to Tennessee and seeing Loretta Lynn?s house is cool because she?s a great country singer.?

Despite his success, Dustin still struggles with occasional nerves.

?Most often, I?m really nervous before riding,? Enochs said, ?but once I get on the bike and start rumblin?, those feelings start to go away. Riding is dangerous, though, so I keep safety in mind.?

Multiple concussions and broken bones have taught Enochs the potential dangers of the sport. Two years ago, while landing a jump, Enochs was propelled into the handlebars. As a result of the wreck, Enochs was left with a shattered spleen and a broken rib.

?Since that accident I?ve made sure to take better precautions for injuries,? Enochs said. ?A big problem in the riding community is neck injuries, so lately I?ve been wearing a neck brace.?

Enochs hopes to ride motocross as a professional; his hero is rider Ricky James.

?I think that it?s one of those rare jobs where you can truly have fun and work at the same time,? Enochs said. ?I don?t know how much money I?ll make, but riding is something that I love to do.?

This school year, Enochs has already participated in 15 local races. He will next compete in the qualifier for the Annual AMA championship, May 19- 20.

“Enochs? motocross racing is really interesting,? Clark Jacobson, ?10, said. ?It?s cool to have someone who rides motocross at our school; it?s a pretty unique sport.?

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