Mini O's 2015- Specialty Award Winners and Olympiads
At the Thor Winter Olympics, rider’s have a lot more than just race wins and overall’s to race for. Mini O’s is a very unique event as is, with amateur racing going down on both a Supercross and Motocross track. With that said, Mini O’s and the staff at Gatorback feel it’s appropriate to honor the best rider in each class by combining their Supercross and Motocross results and creating the Olympiad Awards. Divisional Olympiad Awards are given to the rider who participates in both Supercross and Motocross and accumulates the most points in the process. There are also Specialty Awards, some decided on race results as well as a few awards on the list that are hand picked by industry personnel. There is a lot up for grabs every November in Florida and we slid through for the who, what, when, and where with the Winners and Olympiads of the 2015 Mini O’s.
Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award: Matthew Leblanc
The Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award is given to the rider who accumulates the highest number of points through all divisions (1-13), combined in both Supercross and Motocross. Matthew Leblanc took home everything he competed in at Mini O’s, grabbing seven national titles along the way. Leblanc’s persistence on the track helped him out edge all of his stiff competition in the 65cc and 85cc ranks and earn more points than any other racer in the Gatorback facility. Leaving with a slew of championships to boot, his wins during the Specialty Awards segment of the banquet were sure to taste just as sweet.
Scott Golden Goggle Award: Challen Tennant
The Scott Golden Goggle Award is one geared specifically for the B and C class division. Unless you were under Plymouth Rock during Thanksgiving week you’ve already heard about Challen Tennant’s amazing week at the Mini Olympics. Challen was tough to beat, taking the B class by storm this week and wracking up win after win, both Supercross and Motocross. Tennant’s intensity on both tracks throughout the week was more than enough to slate his as the winner of the coveted Scott Golden Goggle Award.
Dunlop Silver Tire Award: Austin Forkner
Awarded to the rider in the Pro/A class divisions that accumulates the most points after the combining of Supercross and Motocross, the Dunlop Silver Tire Award is always a hot commodity. Austin Forkner was cooking down in Florida too, trying his best to grab it up before anyone else could stake claim. Forkner managed to steal six national titles, three in each respective of racing at the Mini O’s putting up some pretty tough numbers to beat. Austin showed great speed and determination at Gatorback, fighting his way through the stacked A class pack and accumulating enough points along the way to take home a handful of championships as well as the Dunlop Silver Tire.
Fox Bronze Boot Award: Matthew Leblanc
Matt Leblanc cleaned house at the Mini O’s awards banquet. Leblanc made a huge statement this week in Florida en route to his seven major AMA titles. Also up for grabs was the Fox Bronze Boot Award. As mentioned earlier, Leblanc absolutely killed the 65cc and 85cc competition in his divisions, clicking off wins repeatedly. Leblanc’s results throughout the week also put him a top the Youth class division, besting riders in the 65cc, 85cc, Mini Sr, Supermini, and Schoolboy classes. Matthew’s accomplishments were a bit too much for anyone to touch so he would leave Mini O’s with yet another of the specialty awards. The walls of the Leblanc house are about to get a nice facelift after their trip to Florida.
Nihilo Prodigy Award: Daxton Bennick
Grabbing up the Nihilo Prodigy Award was the #241 of Daxton Bennick. Daxton was strong all week long, challenging his competition valiantly every time he hit the track. Bennick’s competition couldn’t handle him on the Supercross track. Daxton was ridiculously fast in the 51 (7-8) Limited class turning a lot of heads en route to his championship winning ride. Bennick mixed it up with the best of the best proving he too can be a front runner and snag a win against the tough 51cc ranks.
Vet Masters Award: John Grewe
The Vet Masters Award is given out to the rider to accumulate the most points out of the Veteran’s classes. With Sr. 45+, Masters 50+, and Masters 55+ in the running, it was pretty clear from the start who would take home the goods in this class. John Grewe was on rails, fending off attempts by various Vet competitors along the way to grab himself an armful of victories. Besides his AMA Major Event titles he collected, Grewe’s efforts were more than enough to take the Vet Masters Specialty Award.
Thor Outstanding Achievement Award: John Grewe
Selected by an industry panel, the Thor Outstanding Achievement Award is selected by a panel of industry judges. Many things are taken into account when deciding on this award, a very prestigious award in the respect that the people choose it, not the results. John Grewe’s persistence and ability to clean house this week in Vet race action obviously was all it took to grab the attention of the panel and snag this award. Grewe won and won a lot, fighting above his tough fellow Vet and Masters racers and stealing the top spot repeatedly as well as the Thor Outstanding Achievement Award to boot.
Asterisks Ironman Award: Hardy Munoz
Another hand picked award is the Asterisks Ironman Award. All the way from Chile, Hardy Munoz slid it to take home some 85cc championships as well as a specialty award of his own. Munoz turned a lot of heads as he introduced himself to the U.S amateur motocross scene once more in stylish and blazing fast fashion. Hardy also overcame a few nasty get off’s during the week, proving he will push the envelope all the time. Front or back of the pack, through crashes or perfect motos, Munoz always gave it 110% on the Mini O’s course and his efforts certainly would not go unnoticed.
Diamond Award: Zachary Robinson
An award for a truly one of a kind rider, the Mini O’s staff looks for a rider who exemplifies the late Jantz Grodzicki’s love and dedication to the sport of motocross. Given to a B or C rider who creates a positive impact, is humble, acts as a role model, and represents his sponsors well. Zachary Robinson shined bright as he stole the Diamond award over some very impressive and determined competitors who were also in the running. An award for an original "diamond in the rough" type, Zachary pieced together an amazing essay and when stuck on top of his personality and results on the track, it was obvious he deserved the Diamond Award. Robinson worked very hard to get himself where he is and did it all for the love of the sport. A great representative to take the Diamond Award, Zachary Robinson is a class act and has a big future ahead of him at the rate he is going.
Motoplayground Sidewinder Fastest Time: Austin Forkner
As if taking top honors on the Supercross and Motocross track were not enough, Austin Forkner decided he was going to dominate every track in the facility. Forkner scoped out the Motoplayground Sidewinder for a few days, taking quite a few practice runs along the way. As the week inched closer to an end, the #214 ride came by the Motoplayground Sidewinder ready to handle business. Forkner logged a blazing fast time, topping a weeks worth of competitors and snagging himself a Never Summer Long board for his efforts as well!
Motoplayground Sidewinder Fastest Pit-Bike Time: Illusive Golden Glove: Matthew Leblanc
Matt Leblanc followed in Austin’s footsteps, cleaning house during actual racing and putting himself at the top of the leader board on the Motoplayground Sidewinder as well. Leblanc is a mad man on a pit bike, slinging his 110 wherever he wants to put it with ease. Matthew was a Sidewinder regular, putting in more than his fair share of laps on the track and pinning it to the fastest time on a pit bike. To go along with his several other Specialty Awards, Leblanc was also awarded the Illusive Golden Glove. With #1 plates, trophies, and a handful of one of a kind specialty awards, this had to have been one of the best weeks ever for the #329 ride of Matthew Leblanc.
Divisional Olympiad Champions
65 (7-9): Nick Romano
In 65 (7-9) race action, the Olympiad Award clearly belonged to the #411 ride of Nick Romano. Romano refused to lose, sealing the deal on both the Supercross and Motocross championships earning himself the Gold. Nick’s performances were above solid this week, showing the rest of the snappy 65cc riders a thing or two when it comes to dominance. Romano’s efforts on the Mini O’s track were amazing, accumulating the most points overall and leaving Florida with yet another award, the top 65 (7-9) Olympiad.
65 (10-11): Matt Leblanc
Leaving nothing up for grabs, Matt Leblanc wanted it all…and that’s what he left with! Matt’s race results throughout the week were astounding, pushing his way to the front in every single moto. With that said, Matt obviously ended up with every championship he challenged for, ultimately crowning him both Supercross and Motocross champion. As the dust settled, it was the #329 KTM stealing the 65 (10-11) Olympiad gold!
85 (9-11): Matt Leblanc
Matt Leblanc…what more can we say about this little ripper! Leblanc stole the show, leaving Mini O’s the winningest racer to step foot on the property in 2015. Matt not only shreds on a 65 but an 85 machine as well. Matt was truly wrecking the competition, sticking himself on the top of the podium repeatedly, time and time again. Matt’s efforts on the track were unstoppable and that is why he was also dubbed the 85 (9-11) Olympiad champion. Congrats on the amazing week Mr. Leblanc!
85 (12-13): Hardy Munoz
Hardy Munoz is the man…and his results will support that statement 100%. Munoz came in relatively unknown and without graphics on his race machine upon arrival. The 85 (12-13) division is no joke, housing some of the fastest mini riders in the nation. So coming in under the radar and stealing the show is relatively unheard of. Hardy looked great at the 2015 Mini O’s. Leaving MX action the 85 (12-13) champion, Hardy’s combined results earned him the Gold first place Olympiad position chalking his name up with a long list of impressive champions who have left the Winter Olympics an Olympiad.
Sr. Mini: Max Miller
In Sr. Mini there was no question who the top dog was…Max Miller! The #604 savagely took the top honors in both Supercross and Motocross leaving no chance for his competition to top him. Grabbing multiple titles, Max Miller rode his way into the hearts of all at the Mini O’s, including Miss Mini O’s herself, stealing a little sugar on the podium in front of all of the media to boot! Max’s Gold in Olympiad action proves that he too means business and is gunning for the top spot in the 85cc ranks.
Supermini: Pierce Brown
Pierce Brown looked great aboard his Supermini’s this week at the Mini O’s. Pierce came in looking to do work in what could be one of his final appearances on the Supermini and mission accomplished. Pierce was fierce during Supercross, sticking the #63 machine just where it needed to be, up front! Brown’s efforts and overall scores in both disciplines ultimately earned him the top spot when the numbers were crunched and Olympiads were decided on.
Schoolboy 1: Brock Papi
Yamaha pilot Brock Papi is a savage. Papi and his #144 have been a regular site on podiums across the nation lately and Mini O’s was no different. Showing up on a new bike and with a new team behind him, Brock was more than ready for war. Taking on the stacked Schoolboy 1 division, Papi made the Horton Racing crew very happy when all was said and done. Grabbing the Supercross title and leaving nothing to chance, Brock’s scores during motocross were very impressive once again giving him enough points to top the rankings and leave Florida the Divisional Olympiad Champion.
250 C: Perry Warren
Perry Warren and the #3 KTM put on a great show this week at the Mini Olympics. Warren was ready for war all week, grabbing wins in both disciplines and making the most of his trip to Gatorback. Perry had some stiff competition for the top Olympiad award as there were riders all across the board taking moto wins and making stabs at the overall. When it was all added up however, Perry and the #3 locked down the Golden Olympiad spot giving the rest of the 250 C competition something to shoot for next year.
250 B: Challen Tennant
Challen Tennant’s B class assault let it be clearly known who would take home the Gold in Olympiad action. Tennant was riding with a chip on his shoulder, angry about missing the last major races he had planned to attend due to injury. Challen collected on everything that he felt was owed to him, swiping a slew of wins and titles plus an extra #1 plate for his Olympiad ranking in 250 B at the 2015 Mini O’s.
250 A / Pro: Austin Forkner
In A class action, Austin Forkner didn’t leave much up for grabs. Minus a title or two and a couple motos, Forkner won virtually all of it. Austin’s consistency and ability to fight through the pack and fend off efforts of his competitors prove that he will be hard to handle once the #214 makes the leap into the pro ranks. Austin has been hard at work and it clearly shows. Leaving with the 250 A / Pro Olympiad Championship, Austin’s resilience resulted in a lengthy list of additional resume material to be added to his already overly impressive track record.
450 C: Locky Kennedy
Locky Kennedy is one of the nicest, most well spoken riders you will meet, especially in the C class. Locky came to the U.S. on a mission, to earn some quick national titles and stick his name on the list of highly competitive and sought after amateurs fighting for a pro ride at the end of it all. Locky’s efforts at the 2015 installment of the Thor Winter Olympics were definitely a step in the right direction, grabbing the 450 C Supercross championships and signing himself in as the Divisional Olympiad champion as well topping a class full of eager and hungry novice class hopefuls.
450 B: Nolan Heppner
Yamaha gun slinger Nolan Heppner took home the Gold in 450 B Divisional Olympiad competition. Heppner faced some tough riders on his way to the Olympiad gold, proving he too has what it takes to top the ridiculously fast Intermediate division. Heppner was consistent all week, slating a number of good results as he fought his way around the Mini O’s Supercross and Motocross tracks. Heppner’s stealing of the top Olympiad spot proves that he is yet another of the potential victors waiting to claim the class as their own this spring when racing action heats back up.
450 A / Pro: Austin Forkner
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner set it off at the 44th Annual Mini O’s. Forkner is always a title threat, as he proved this week stealing six AMA major event championships and several specialty awards as well. Forkner is putting the finishing touches on an amazing amateur career this season and with all of the wins he is stealing couldn’t be any happier with the way he is going out. Forkner was impressive throughout the week, topping 450 class results on his 250 Kawasaki machine. Forkner’s scores on the track throughout the week and never give up attitude when he was down are ultimately what earned him the Gold in the 450 A / Pro Olympiad running.