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Munster’s Nicole Mirowski is driven to ride

Team Bad Company Racing member Nicole Mirowski prepares for double-points BMX race Dec 8. Steel Wheels BMX Hobart. The Munster

Team Bad and Company Racing member Nicole Mirowski prepares for a double-points BMX race on Dec 8. at Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart. The Munster competitor is set to race in the Future Pro Challenge at the track on Saturday.

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Updated: January 14, 2013 7:29AM



Munster BMX competitor Nicole Mirowski has a vision for where bicycle racing can take her. Like a tigress, she races with a clear view of the field and does so independently, shunning the pack mentality of some athletes in other sports.

Mirowski holds the No. 1 slot in USABMX district points in the northern half of the state. And the 16-year-old has been stoked about Saturday’s Future Pro Challenge, an annual race of rising amateur stars hosted by Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart.

After the venue’s Young Guns Challenge on Dec. 8, where she participated in a double-points race, she reflected on where BMX fits into her life.

“I don’t do school sports,” Mirowski said. “I’m trying to get somewhere with this.”

Mirowski practices in “never stop” fashion. She is active on the leaderboard, gaining points in both the winter and the summer.

“Some other people don’t have an indoor facility (nearby), so I’m fortunate that this track is only 15 minutes away,” she said.

All of that work has a point.

“I hope to get into the main (race) in the Future Pro Challenge,” Mirowski said of the event that offers the last points of the racing season and much more.

Local BMX enthusiast and FPC coordinator Gene Bedinger said the ladies field will be wide open as multiple world champion and three-time FPC winner Felicia Stancil (Villa Park, Ill.) will be away at a U.S. Olympic training facility. Highland BMXer Samantha Brown is considered a strong contender.

On the men’s side, Tyler Whitfield of Rockford, Ill., is expected to be a leader.

At last year’s FPC, Mirowski had a solid debut earning a spot in the main, but finished seventh after she was squeezed from her inside position in a turn and run off the track.

Looking ahead to college, Mirowski has her eyes set on Marian University, a small Catholic school in Indianapolis. Marian recently garnered headlines as its football team went 11-1 in the NAIA and will play in Thursday’s championship game. She’s more interested in their renowned cycling program.

“I think (the university’s cycling scholarships) are really cool, it’s an honor,” Mirowski said. “You have to be somewhat known to be up there. Not everyone tries to go that far.”

Among her peers at Munster High School, where she is a sophomore, BMX doesn’t seem to register on their collective radar. Mirowski said she doesn’t get much support for her sporting pursuits.

“Some of the (students) will be like, ‘oh you race BMX, that’s so stupid,’” she said. “That’s just because I don’t play basketball or do soccer.”

But those pressures hardly faze her: she’s in the hunt to make a name for herself among those who are also interested in BMX.

There are a few teens in Munster who participate bicycle sports. Her brother Jacob, 17, is one of them. He introduced her to BMX in 2007.

Besides support from her family, Mirowski now has material backing and the respect of like-minded youths as a new member of Badd & Company Racing of Crown Point.

“It’s all gone uphill from there,” she said.



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