Watching local BMX rider Cole Baxter race around the track, it is hard not to be impressed by the 17-year-old’s athleticism.
Just as impressive is the high school senior’s easy-going personality, above-average intelligence and million-dollar smile.
A trendsetter on local BMX tracks, the soon-to-be Montezuma-Cortez High School senior tells how he got started with BMX and what he hopes to achieve.
Early years at the track
Like many local BMX riders, Baxter’s biking career began at the Cortez BMX Track, where he competed in numerous races with local riders.
Racing for the first time as a 7-year-old, Baxter fell in love with the sport of BMX at a young age and looked forward to spending time at the track.
“I heard about (BMX races) in school,” said Baxter. “I went out there, raced and had a good time.”
After racing recreationally during his first few years, Baxter began to advance up, earning his intermediate distinction after 10 wins and his expert distinction after his 20th victory.
“Back when I was starting to get better, I was at the track for three hours every day,” said Baxter. “It was a lot of practice.”
Because of his work ethic and ability, Baxter won multiple races while developing a solid reputation in the BMX community.
The Cortez rider then broke through in a big way, winning Colorado state championships in 2012 and 2013.
Baxter has continued working hard to improve through work on the track and in the gym.
“I started training with the Fort Lewis College team coach last year,” said Baxter. “I work with him at the track once a week. I also try to go to the gym a lot and stay fit.”
Although Baxter hasn’t achieved success at any major national race, he plans to attend two national competitions later this year.
“I love the competition, I love going fast, and I like the nice friendly vibe that BMX gives,” said Baxter.
Plans for a bright future
While some of Baxter’s future plans remain unclear, the young rider has high hopes for his future.
Baxter, who plans to take calculus during the upcoming school year, also intends on attending college and hopes to join a college BMX team and possibly earn a scholarship.
Thoughts of pursuing a professional BMX biking career have also entered Baxter’s mind.
“If I turn pro, which honestly is kind of a thought, I could start making money off (BMX biking),” said Baxter.
In the meantime, the talented rider plans to enjoy time at the track and to encourage young riders to have fun.
“Always love it,” said Baxter. “If you don’t love it, you’re not going to get anywhere.”