Eight-year-old Wakeboarder Takes on Motocross Nationals

Many motocross riders got their start at the Amateur Nationals.

Two-time state wakeboard champion Max Markolf of Tega Cay recently made his dream come true. The 8-year-old dirt bike racer qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 26th annual AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Tennessee.

"Every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in the Amateur Nationals," says event director Tim Cotter. "A win there can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career."

Max is the son of Beau and Monica Markolf of Tega Cay. He attends Gold Hill Elementary School in Fort Mill and has been riding motorcycles since he was three. He is sponsored by National RV Rentals, T7T Motorsports Park, Hyperlite and SouthTown Riders.

His mother said the family--including brother Will and sister Amber--will pack up the family motor home and head west for the race, which runs Monday through August 4, 2007.

Mark won several races in the last year, and competes nearly every weekend with his brother Will, wakeboarding and racing motocross throughout the Southeast. He took on more than 20,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of 1,386 qualifying positions, his mother said.

Most of America's top professional motocrossers, including Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and James Stewart, have won AMA Amateur National Championships. Last year, teenager Josh Hill of Yoncalla, Oregon, was rewarded with a six-figure pro contract from the Factory Yamaha racing team after winning two Amateur National championships.


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