Racer de­feats in­jury to take ti­tle

Record Observer - - Community - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — Fif­teen-year-old Lo­gan Pringle of Stevensville has been rid­ing a whirl­wind tour of bike races this sum­mer be­fore re­turn­ing to school at Kent Is­land High in just a few, short weeks.

Lo­gan com­petes in Down­hill Moun­tain Bik­ing and Dual Slalom com­pe­ti­tions, both re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally and is cur­rently ranked na­tion­ally as the No. 1 16-year-old Cat­e­gory 1 (ex­pert/semi-pro) Men’s Dual Slalom racer in the U.S. He is No. 4 in the 15- to 18-year-old Jr. Men Cat­e­gor y 1.

He is also the No. 1 na­tion­ally ranked 16-year-old in Men’s Down­hill Cat­e­gory 2, and is No. 3 in the 15- to 18-yearold Jr. Men rank­ings. The rank­ings are is­sued via USA Cy­cling — the gov­ern­ing body of cy­cling sport in the United States. Lo­gan’s rac­ing age is 16 — how­ever, all sea­son he is ac­tu­ally 15, since rac­ing age is based on age as of Dec. 31 of the cur­rent year.

All of this would be an im­pres­sive feat on its own, but Lo­gan’s story took a hard turn the sum­mer he was 10 years old.

Lo­gan be­gan rac­ing Bi­cy­cle Mo­tocross (BMX) in the Na­tional Bi­cy­cle League at 7 years old, while liv­ing in Tra­verse City, MI. His mother, Michelle Pringle, said Lo­gan took to the sport im­me­di­ately.

When he was 8, Pringle said their fam­ily tem­po­rar­ily re­lo­cated to North­ern Vir­ginia, and Lo­gan con­tin­ued to be a com­pet­i­tive NBL Novice racer, fin­ish­ing 4th in the State of Vir­ginia, af­ter hav­ing won the State Fi­nals Com­pe­ti­tion.

Lo­gan was asked at that time to join the non-fac­tor y Pow­ers Bike Shop rac­ing team and moved up in class to the NBL In­ter­me­di­ate level. Dur­ing his 9-year-old sea­son, Pringle said they once again re­lo­cated, this time to Severn, MD.

Lo­gan set goals to be the No. 1 In­ter­me­di­ate rider in the state, re­gion and na­tion within the NBL that year, she said. Rid­ing at the lo­cal track, Ch­e­sa­peake BMX, ev­ery chance he could, Lo­gan had a very busy com­pet­i­tive sched­ule. He was able to ac­com­plish all but one of his goals, as he brought home the No. 1 plate for the NBL State and Na­tional series, hav­ing fin­ished third in the NBL Re­gional Series. He also rode a sec­ond bike that year, in the Cruiser class, and was NBL State No. 1 (MD) and NBL Na­tional No. 8.

Af­ter hav­ing won the Na­tional ti­tle, he was asked to join a form­ing Fac­tory race team, Dou­ble­cross Bikes, out of Ok­la­homa. He also moved on to Ex­pert Level. He had a re­spectable year, in a newly merged bi­cy­cle league now known as USA BMX. Although, never able to cap­ture the magic in class, on a 20 inch bike, he was able to garner a USA BMX Na­tional Age Group #10 on his cruiser bike.

The sum­mer Lo­gan was 10, he sus­tained a se­vere trau­matic brain in­jury, while rac­ing in Delaware. Pringle said Lo­gan was given manda­tory time off rid­ing and rac­ing, un­til just be­fore the USA BMX Grand Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, held in Tulsa, OK.

Lo­gan was un­able to ride or train in any way for the weeks lead­ing up to the race, as he re­cov­ered and started phys­i­cal and vestibu­lar ther­apy, and eye ex­er­cises for the mal­func­tion­ing left eye that had sus­tained nerve dam­age. He begged the doc­tors and the ther­a­pists to al­low him to at­tend USA BMX Grands, hap­pen­ing over the up­com­ing Thanks­giv­ing week­end, said his mother.

“He had promised the team owner he would bring the team a NAG ti­tle,” she said. Three weeks be­fore leav­ing for Tulsa, OK for the race, Lo­gan was granted per­mis­sion to ride his bike, but not to race. One week be­fore leav­ing, he was given per­mis­sion to go to the race, with the ex­press agree­ment he would have to do his eye ex­er­cises on the trip. So, he did them on the plane, in the ho­tel, and any­where he could, Pringle said.

He com­peted, was fith in the semis and se­cured his Na­tional Age Group No. 10 ti­tle.

The fol­low­ing year pre­sented on and off the bike chal­lenges Lo­gan was un­able to over­come, and in the sum­mer of 2013, at Hager­stown dur­ing a State Qual­i­fier, Lo­gan ex­pe­ri­enced yet an­other crash, where he hit his head, broke his wrist, and sus­tained a hematoma on his hip.

At the time of the ini­tial crash, Lo­gan checked out fine cog­ni­tively and his other in­juries were more acute, said Pringle. That was Lo­gan’s last ever BMX race.

De­spite his in­juries, Lo­gan was able to se­cure the MD State Cruiser Cham­pion age group ti­tle. He had a com­mand­ing lead for the sea­son, and he won the ti­tle by “bump­ing the gate” — which, Pringle ex­plained, means he didn’t race, but got in the start gate

Lo­gan Pringle com­petes this sea­son in Down­hill Moun­tain Bik­ing and Dual Slalom com­pe­ti­tions, both re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally and is cur­rently ranked na­tion­ally as the No. 1, 16-year-old Cat­e­gory 1 (ex­pert/semi-pro) Men’s Dual Slalom racer in the U.S. He is No. 4 in the Cat­e­gory 1, 15- to 18-year-old Jr. Men’s age group.

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