Bryant to compete in national event at Loretta Lynn's ranch

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Avery Bryant, a 15-year-old motocross rider and North Murray High School student, will compete at a national amateur motocross championship at country music singer Loretta Lynn's ranch in early August.

Tears streamed down Avery Bryant's face as he crossed the finish line.

The 15-year-old North Murray High School student had finally made his dream come true, after years of attempts.

He found his mom, Lisa Bryant, after his race at Crawfordsville, Indiana's, Ironman Motocross Amateur Regional in June. She had tears in her eyes, too.

They both knew it. He had qualified for "Loretta's."

Bryant will race the week of Aug. 3 in the first round of competition at the 39th annual American Motorcyclists Association Amateur National Motocross Championship at country music singer Loretta Lynn's ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

For Bryant, making it to Loretta's, as the event is known by amateur motocross drivers, means making it to the biggest stage, a step below professional competitions.

"It really means a lot," Bryant said. "I've been trying to do this for a long time now, and now that I have it feels pretty good."

Bryant advanced to the national championship in the 125C & 250C Junior Limited class after competing in area and regional races, like the Crawfordsville qualifier.

Bryant is among more than 40 competitors who will compete in six events, with the competitor with the fastest average speed declared the winner on Aug. 8.

Competing at Loretta's has been a long-time dream for Bryant, a Crandall native. The high school sophomore is already a 10-year veteran of the sport.

Bryant asked his parents for a dirt bike for Christmas when he was 5. Lisa and JoDan Bryant, his father, were hesitant about the sport's dangers, but got him one. A few months later, he was competing in his first race.

"One time I went to a race at Sparky's Ranch in Blairsville, and I loved it," Bryant said. "I got the bike for Christmas and just rode and rode."

Bryant has had his fair share of nicks and injuries, despite the full padding and helmet he wears when he's atop his Yamaha 250 motorcycle weaving around the dirt track. Bryant has suffered a broken collar bone, and broken both ankles, but hasn't let that stop him from pursuit of the sport.

Bryant's friend, Colton Kendrick, is a fellow 15-year-old motocross competitor. Kendrick qualified for Loretta's first when he was 6, providing Bryant the motivation to try to join Kendrick on the national stage.

"They always raced together growing up," Lisa Bryant said of Kendrick. "It's always been a dream of Avery's to make it."

Bryant spends most summers training at a facility in Commerce, Maximum Powersports. Since qualifying for the national race, he's been training six days a week.

Bryant said he's ready to go, despite some nerves.

"I'm a little anxious, but I'm very excited to do it," he said.

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