Local teen enjoys competing in snocross

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Clayton Ridge ninth grader Addison Wilwert of North Buena Vista is ready to race on her 2019 Arctic Cat ZR6000sx 600CC sled purchased from Woodies Racing. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Clayton Ridge ninth grader Addison Wilwert of North Buena Vista has been competing in snocross for the past six years, and has been riding snowmobile since she was eight years old. 

"I compete mainly in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but we do travel as far as Michigan, New York, North Dakota, and South Dakota for national events. Tracks are set up on ski slopes and on raceways and fields that have been set up with jumps and turns," explained Addison. 

Snocross is a winter racing sport that involves special high performance snowmobiles on natural or artificial tracks. The racetrack often consists of tight turns, steep jumps, banked corners, and obstacles. Professional Snocross riders can race at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, and navigate jumps up to 30 feet tall. 

According to the World Snowmobile Association, snocross has become the most popular form of snowmobile racing, and officially became an event at the X Games in 1998.

Snocross is similar to motocross, but uses a snowmobile instead of a motorcycle and an icy, snow-packed surface instead of dirt. Many motocross and supercross riders frequently compete in snocross in winter. Racetracks are generally located in higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere since temperatures below freezing are required to maintain the frozen track.

The local 14-year-old was inspired to get involved in the sport after watching professional riders at a snocross race held at Sundown Mountain, Dubuque. "I met one of the professional riders and it just clicked. I knew I wanted to pursue this sport," she remembered. Although some tracks are mainly comprised of straight stretches for speed, Addison favors the ones with all the jumps. 

"I have been competing for the past six years and have come in second and third place. I just finished my first weekend of Pro Women in Ironwood, Mich., this past weekend and finished 4/3/4 on Saturday, and 4/4/3 on Sunday, which put me on the podium for my first trophy of the season," she told The Press. "Last year I raced in the nine to 13-year-old bracket. This year I will move up to the Pro Womens Bracket where I will compete with women ages 14 through up into their 20s."

Addison gets in shape for her physically demanding sport by lifting weights and running. She also follows a special diet prepared by her mother prior to race day. "I eat a lot of protein all the time, and the day before a race my mom feeds me lots of carbs, like spaghetti. On race day I eat a lot of bananas," she shared. 

The teen racer enjoys the social aspect of snocross also. "I get to meet new friends every weekend! I also like to be outside – winter is my favorite season by far," she said.  

Looking ahead..."I just want to keep going and going until I can't move anymore!" she concluded.

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