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BMX Racer Schmidt Qualifies For World’s In Belgium
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Over the years, local teen Sage Schmidt has earned several trophies in BMX. He displays a few of the trophies here in the family garage. The 13-year-old qualified for the 2019 World’s in Belgium by finishing second at the UCI Gators Nationals in Florida. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

After a four-year hiatus from the sport, Sage Schmidt has returned to the arena he truly loves, BMX. The 13-year-old Oakdale resident learned to ride a bike at the age of four and developed a love for riding. His dedication since his return in 2018 has paid off. This July he will be competing in Belgium for the World’s 2019.

Schmidt accomplished most of his goals in BMX before he was 10, and decided to call it a career in 2014.

“When Sage came to us and said he didn’t want to compete anymore, we took it hard, but wanted to support him any way possible,” said his dad, Mike.

Instead of riding, Schmidt decided to compete in swimming and did so for four years on his break from BMXing.

“I remember the looks on my parents’ faces when I told them I wanted to ride again, they were excited because that’s what our passion is as a family,” said Schmidt.

He also stays busy with track as he is a long distance runner.

It didn’t take Schmidt long to get back into the groove of being on top of the racing world. He competed in several races from Manteca to Southern California and Nevada.

Competing in Manteca for his return to racing, Schmidt did not finish where he wanted to.

“My first race back didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was important for me just to get back into it,” the teen explained.

His luck turned in Las Vegas in January of 2018 as he claimed first place honors.

“I wanted to take it slow and get back into it at my own pace but wanted to keep it challenging at the same time. So I would compete in the more advanced tracks,” Schmidt added.

He goes by the nickname “Santa Cruz” as he has long hair and resembles a surfer. The name was given to him by Donnie Cameron, a local rider.

Over the years he has traveled to many different states including Utah, Nevada and Florida. In February of 2019 Schmidt took second place in the UCI Gator Nationals to advance to Belgium.

He will be one of 15 in his age group in the United States to make the trip to Belgium.

“I always believed that I could reach World’s,” Schmidt said. “It was a goal of mine and to place second (at Nationals) was amazing.”

With Schmidt’s birthday being in January he has aged up to the teenage division.

“It is a fast pace and I feel like I have adapted to this level of competition,” he said.

Schmidt is coached by Kevin Shankel, a BMX pro out of Roseville.

“The great thing about Kevin is he can calm Sage down after a race,” noted Schmidt’s dad. “Kevin films the races and minutes after a race he can send analysts and break down the race for Sage.”

Schmidt has been sponsored by Bombshell since January. He was in Santa Cruz and met Ryan Pettigrew, a BMX pro with Bombshell. He also met Dave Bergquist with Bombshell, who noticed the potential of Schmidt and recognized the young teen as an ambassador of the sport, both on and off the track. When it’s race time he is fierce and competitive, however, after a race he checks on those who may have been injured during the race and is graceful in defeat as he congratulates the winners.

“When you’re in a race you bump into each other and that can cause some chaos. However, when the race is done you should always check on everyone and make sure they’re okay,” Schmidt said.

The teen’s road to fame has had its share of bumps and bruises. He has suffered two concussions, road rash and other injuries.

The modest racer offered thanks to his coaches, parents, sponsors and supporters. Even with a busy travel schedule, Schmidt keeps up with his workload as a junior high school student and takes his school work seriously. He maintains upwards of a 3.5 grade point average.

Schmidt has many races between now and Belgium, both local and nationally. He is currently ranked eighth in the United States.

To help raise money for his trip and expenses for the summer race in Belgium he will be having a fundraiser, selling See’s Candy.