Jaxon aims to make national junior team

Exciting downhill mountain bike talent Jaxon Sawyer has done it again – he’s made the state team for the fourth consecutive year.

The Dalyellup teenager will race for national title honours at this year’s MTBA National Championships in Bright after being announced in the WA junior team earlier this month.

Sawyer will face off against the nation’s best − tackling steep hills and challenging terrain − at Bright Mystic Mountain Bike Park in April when he contests the under-19 men’s category of Australia’s premier mountain bike event.

And while he will have the finish line at nationals in his sights, on his mind will be earning a position in the Australian team.

The South West Academy of Sport athlete is campaigning to make the national junior side that will fly the Australian flag in Canada later this year.

Over the past couple of months, he has been putting himself to the test at a series of major events in order to prove he has what it takes to represent his country.

The 17-year-old has already raced at crucial national-qualifying events at Mount Buller in January, in which he placed third, and Mount Baw Baw in February, in which he claimed fifth position. The other two deciders are the upcoming nationals, along with the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships, the pinnacle of mountain bike racing within the Oceania region.

Sawyer said he loves the challenge that comes with the extreme sport.

“You need to be really strong mentally − I think that’s one of the biggest things. And physically fit, and have good strength,” he said.

“There’s quite a bit of natural ability that goes into it, but also you’ve got to train yourself up because that only lasts so long.

“You’ve got to train hard and ride as much as you can, and practice to get good at it.”