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Things broke his way

Greencastle teen wins Md. motocross title

Greencastle teen wins Md. motocross title

November 23, 2006|by MARK KELLER

All in all, A.J. Houser considers his 2006 motocross season "pretty good."

"I only had one broken bone," Houser said, before quickly correcting himself. "No, wait. I broke two toes, also."

So, even with three broken bones, Houser would have to look back on 2006 as better than average after the Greencastle, Pa., resident won the American Motorcycle Association Maryland State Championship on Oct. 21 at Budds Creek Raceway in Mechanicsville, Md.

"It was a pretty big thrill to win the championship," Houser said. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was a little kid."

Houser, 14, competed in the 85cc 14-15 division at the state event. Riders compete in three four-lap motos, or heats, with the best combined finish in the motos being crowned the champion.

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Houser won two of the three motos in his class and finished third in the other, placing him just ahead of Tim Irvin, of Monkton, Md., who had a first-, a second- and a third-place finish.

Houser just completed his fifth year of riding after being introduced to the sport by his cousin, Steven Houser. He said he runs about 40 races each year.

He missed about five weeks this season after breaking his collarbone in a spill ... oh, and those two broken toes.

"The first and second year, I made it through with no injuries. The last three I haven't," Houser said. "The competiton is getting harder, so you have to step it up. Plus, I'm getting faster and trying more stuff on the track."

He enjoys racing at Budds Creek, a track which professional riders also race on. At two miles, he says it's longer than most tracks he runs on in the course of the season.

He's also found success on that track. In addition to the state championship, Houser wrapped up his season with a victory in the Mid-Atlantic Winter Series race last weekend.

Houser will race one more year in his current class before moving up to bigger and faster bikes when he turns 16.

"I'm looking forward to that, but I want to do well next year, too," Houser said.

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