Steven Walton, an 11th grader in the KEYS program, is an accomplished downhill bike racer. He lives in Corona and began riding mountain bikes with friends on local hills recreationally about five years ago.
In 2013, at age 12, he discovered a local race series and, his father Jerry said, “He convinced us to let him try it out.” He’s been successfully competing ever since and is ranked #2 in the country in his age division. In 2015, for example, he was consistently taking 1st to 3rd in his races. He was 2nd in the USA National Championships and the youngest rider, at age 15, to win a Jr. Expert <18 ProGRT—the primary racing circuit in the U.S. for professionals—and was selected by USAC (USA Cycling) to do course sweeps right before racing starts on a few World Cup courses. Most recently, he won a race at Southridge Racing in Fontana.
Steven’s success racing in the U.S. has enabled him to compete internationally at World Cup events in which the fastest racers from each country compete. His involvement with the KEYS program enables him to compete, said his Educational Specialist, Janan Willes. She said, “…he completes 100% of his work each week even around his competitions and schedules.”
Steven has been riding quads since age 2. He liked scooters, BMX bikes, and snowboarding. He then took to mountain biking, Jerry said, and “the competitiveness sucked him in. He’s attracted to what is called ‘Extreme Sports.” Steven hopes one day to race professionally in the U.S. as well as the International World Cup Circuit.