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Tom Mix, Published December 16 2012

Pantzke rising fast on BMX national tour

Racing – whether on a bike or on foot – has become a big part of Shawna Pantzke’s life the last several years.

The 14-year-old Fargo Davies freshman has gained increased notoriety on the national BMX (bicycle motocross) scene after winning several prestigious races over the last two months.

Pantzke has also branched out to include running track as another activity in which her racing mentality gets sharpening.

“Track is a lot less stressful because it is a school sport,” said Pantzke, who lettered in track as an eighth-grader. “I feel like with track there isn’t as much strategy as there is in racing BMX. In BMX, you have to be constantly thinking.”

BMX also has required Pantzke to travel. Her national competition schedule demands a lot of time training and practicing.

All the practice has paid off, with Pantzke winning her age group at the Disney Cup Fall Nationals in October. The event – held in Orlando, Fla. – was a three-day long international competition featuring racers from Columbia, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

“It was a lot harder because I didn’t know a lot of the people I was racing,” Pantzke said of the Disney Cup races. “I didn’t know how I would place until I raced them and with how qualifying works, I wouldn’t race some of the competition until the very last race. … I needed to keep my focus.”

Her win in Florida carried over into the President’s Cup Race of Champions held in Tulsa Okla., on Nov. 22-25.

Pantzke breezed by the competition to take first place in both the 14-year-old girls class bike and

14-year-old girls cruiser bike competitions.

Points reset after each season, but the win in Tulsa means she’ll race with a No. 1 plate on both of her bikes when the new season starts in January.

Until then, a great amount of Pantzke’s time has been allotted to training and practicing.

Pantzke is a regular at the Scheels Power Center and has also received instruction from UCI licensed coach Tim Daniels – father of national BMX standout Dominique Daniels.

Daniels and Pantzke are teammates on Factory Doublecross. Pantzke has travelled to Chandler, Ariz., to train with Daniels and Daniels reciprocated travelling to Fargo-Moorhead to host a BMX clinic for local racers.

Pantzke also has tried to take Daniels’ lead in trying to help other racers both nationally and at the local level.

“She’s one of the most helpful girls on the national tour,” said Bruce Pantzke, Shawna’s father.

The local BMX scene took a hit recently with the track in West Fargo being closed. Land at that site has been allotted to become a new athletic field. There are no current plans for a track to be constructed in Fargo, but Pantzke hopes that changes.

The closest local track for Pantzke to train at is in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Pantzke is still considered a young racer on the national BMX tour, but her recent wins are strong indicators of potential.

Pantzke said she continues to take her BMX racing career day by day, but is hopeful she can continue to progress as a national competitor.

“I would really like to take home the title I took home last month being the Race of Champions winner for both bikes,” Pantzke said. “Next year, I will be old enough to race in the National Age Group Top 5 Challenge.

“The top five racers of each age group, 15 years and older, race against each other and I would like to place in the top five of that race.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562

The 14-year-old Fargo Davies freshman has gained increased notoriety on the national BMX (bicycle motocross) scene after winning several prestigious races over the last two months.

Pantzke has also branched out to include running track as another activity in which her racing mentality gets sharpening.

“Track is a lot less stressful because it is a school sport,” said Pantzke, who lettered in track as an eighth-grader. “I feel like with track there isn’t as much strategy as there is in racing BMX. In BMX, you have to be constantly thinking.”

BMX also has required Pantzke to travel. Her national competition schedule demands a lot of time training and practicing.

All the practice has paid off, with Pantzke winning her age group at the Disney Cup Fall Nationals in October. The event – held in Orlando, Fla. – was a three-day long international competition featuring racers from Columbia, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

“It was a lot harder because I didn’t know a lot of the people I was racing,” Pantzke said of the Disney Cup races. “I didn’t know how I would place until I raced them and with how qualifying works, I wouldn’t race some of the competition until the very last race. … I needed to keep my focus.”

Her win in Florida carried over into the President’s Cup Race of Champions held in Tulsa Okla., on Nov. 22-25.

Pantzke breezed by the competition to take first place in both the 14-year-old girls class bike and

14-year-old girls cruiser bike competitions.

Points reset after each season, but the win in Tulsa means she’ll race with a No. 1 plate on both of her bikes when the new season starts in January.

Until then, a great amount of Pantzke’s time has been allotted to training and practicing.

Pantzke is a regular at the Scheels Power Center and has also received instruction from UCI licensed coach Tim Daniels – father of national BMX standout Dominique Daniels.

Daniels and Pantzke are teammates on Factory Doublecross. Pantzke has travelled to Chandler, Ariz., to train with Daniels and Daniels reciprocated travelling to Fargo-Moorhead to host a BMX clinic for local racers.

Pantzke also has tried to take Daniels’ lead in trying to help other racers both nationally and at the local level.

“She’s one of the most helpful girls on the national tour,” said Bruce Pantzke, Shawna’s father.

The local BMX scene took a hit recently with the track in West Fargo being closed. Land at that site has been allotted to become a new athletic field. There are no current plans for a track to be constructed in Fargo, but Pantzke hopes that changes.

The closest local track for Pantzke to train at is in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Pantzke is still considered a young racer on the national BMX tour, but her recent wins are strong indicators of potential.

Pantzke said she continues to take her BMX racing career day by day, but is hopeful she can continue to progress as a national competitor.

“I would really like to take home the title I took home last month being the Race of Champions winner for both bikes,” Pantzke said. “Next year, I will be old enough to race in the National Age Group Top 5 Challenge.

“The top five racers of each age group, 15 years and older, race against each other and I would like to place in the top five of that race.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562