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BMX soars into Prince William

- It's been six years since Prince William County has seen something like this, and even then, it wasn't this big.

Outsourcing plan halted at libraries

- Candland dissents in board's 7-1 vote.

Dreams should fly forever

- Veterans from Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor took to the skies once more last Thursday.

Time Out for June 29-July 5

- Things to do around town.

P-Nats start strong on return from midseason break

- The second half of the Potomac Nationals' season opened with a three-game sweep against the North Division first-half champion Lynchburg Hillcats.

FOIA costs spark debate

- Chairman Stewart claims 'retaliatory' requests cause problems.

Police Basic Recruit School class graduates

- The Prince William County Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law Enforcement 38th Session graduated on Friday, June 24, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.

Gainesville /Prince William Police Reports

- Woman sexually assaulted in apartment A 20-year-old Triangle woman was sleeping inside her residence when she was sexually assaulted by an unknown man. The suspect is believed to have entered the victim’s residence through an unsecured door, according to Prince William County Police who went to the apartment on Kilmer Lane in Triangle on June 22 to investigate the sexual assault report. After the assault, the suspect left the apartment. The victim reported the incident to a family member the next day and police were contacted. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The suspect is described as a man with a medium complexion between five feet and 5 foot 2-inches tall. He has a thin build, long black curly hair, and an unshaven face. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants.The investigation continues.

Arbor Terrace hosts chamber event

- The staff at Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor hosted a great evening of networking on June 22 for local business leaders.

Add edible plants to your garden mix

- Growing herbs is a simple way to add edible plants to your garden.

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BMX soars into Prince William

It's been six years since Prince William County has seen something like this, and even then, it wasn't this big.

Catching some air, like this rider did at the June 25 BMX races, will be part of the action when Prince William County hosts the Stars & Stripes BMX National July 1-3 adjacent to Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge. Admission is free for spectators but there is a parking fee. For more information, contact novabmx@msn.com. Photos by Doug Stroud.

For the first time since 2010, the county-maintained bike track sitting a mere fly ball away from Woodbridge's Pfitzner Stadium will host some high-flying BMX-sanctioned competitive bike racing when the Stars & Stripes Nationals makes its USA BMX debut on the home track.

Contestants from Florida, Connecticut and throughout the Mid-Atlantic arrive June 30 for a three-day slate of races starting July 1. Local racers and traveling competitors alike - all members in good standing with the Northern Virginia BMX, the local USA BMX chapter - will speed across the course in search of a new or improved national ranking and the glory of victory.

Admission is free to the family-oriented event, which was brought to Woodbridge through the combined efforts of NOVA BMX and the local visitors' bureau, Discover Prince William & Manassas.

Ann Marie Maher, president/CEO of Discover Prince William & Manassas, said she is excited about the potential for economic impact.

Paul Kinchloe led opening ceremonies during the June 25 BMX races at NOVA BMX.

"This is a huge coup for us that would not be possible without Prince William's investment in sports tourism," she said, noting that the incoming racers and their families will take advantage of local restaurants and lodging.

Discover Prince William & Manassas Director of Sales, Mark Kowalewski, said it was an event the bureau and the county finally succeeded after submitting several bids to host a BMX Nationals event.

"It's a vacation for some families," he said, noting that the track's accessibility and quality made it attractive. "It's great to host this event here and we hope it is back for years to come."

The Stars & Stripes Nationals will attract racers from Florida, Connecticut, and just down the road. Many are aiming to improve their rankings on the BMX National circuit, which holds events throughout the country, throughout the year.

The season culminates in a Grand National event in late November in Tulsa, Okla.

"But anybody can race," said Fredy Caceres, the track operator for NOVA BMX overseeing the local Stars & Stripes event. "You can wake up in the morning and say you want to run in nationals, come out and do it."

Each of the three days is a national-level event unto itself according to Caceres. Registration is open to the public, though certain competitions will be reserved for high-level, pre-qualified athletes.

"You're going to see some incredible racing," Caceres said. "You're going to see elbow-to-elbow racing, bikes jumping in the air at the same time, kids racing their hearts out, fighting to win. It's an adrenaline rush."

Bikes must have regulation-size 20-inch wheelbases. Extensive modifications are made to fit the youngest riders, allowing the tikes to ride on their own special track, whether they can pedal or not.

The Cruiser classification will sport bikes with 24-inch wheels, creating more of a mountain-bike feel.

Racers race two qualifying runs - called "motos" - around the temporary track, competing against riders of similar age and skill: Novice, intermediate and expert levels for boys; novice and expert levels for girls.

The motos pare the field down to eight finalists, who then race off in each day's crowning showdown. Caceres said that camaraderie among the racers, regardless of age or skill, is an inherent aspect of the event.

"You'll see an expert come up to an intermediate and help them out," he said.

The Stars & Stripes BMX Nationals event is a spectacle as much for the racers as for the spectators.

"It's an amazing experience," Caceres said. "I tell people, they've got to come out and see this."

Stars & Stripes BMX Nationals
When: July 1-3
Where: Adjacent to Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge
Racers' ages: 4 and up
Parking: $10/day or $25/3-day pass
For info: novabmx@msn.com
Spectator admission: Free
Crime Log

Recent crimes reported by the Prince William County Sheriff's Office.

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