2020 Mini O’s Amateur Coverage
KATIE BENSON - GIRLS (11-16)
With nearly a full gate of riders listed to compete in this Girls (11-16) division, much of the industry waited in anticipation to see who would emerge as champion, following the respective two moto format. Much of these young women had garnered immense experience on the national scale, waltzing to the line here in Gainesville as if this were simply another practice session. That sort of confidence radiated throughout the entire field, but it was Katie Benson initially who seemed to leap toward the green flag. Hitting numerous rhythm sections with daunting bursts of speed, her ability to double and triple every obstacle in front of her paid-off tremendously as the field merged toward the halfway point. Adilyn Malcolm, hailing from Elizabeth, Colorado, would charge hard in the second-place residency; pushing the suspension of her KTM machine to the absolute limit, blitzing through both rollers and braking bumps, with absolutely no regard for anything else. Kyleigh Stallings, was an unfortunate recipient of a bad start; yet would put her head down immediately, charging toward the front of the field. Passing riders in bundles, her swift course of action, would lead to her setting the fastest lap of the moto; on circuit three. With a daunting one minute and ten, it appeared as though she and Katie Benson were riding on the same wave of momentum. However, Benson’s lead had allowed her clear track, and ample room to breathe over the crowd behind. The South Carolina native in front of the field kept her eyes focused forward, leading the five-lap process in its entirety. Adilyn Malcolm, registering second, wore the silver medal proud as the moto would cease; while Kyleigh Stallings, fighting extremely hard to third, was eager for redemption in the final run-off of the week. It all then came down to the second moto; where Katie Benson and Kyleigh Stallings would immediately partake in battle. The outright aggression these two displayed, was tremendous; showing respect to the highest regard, but racing each other with a fierce integrity. Side by side as they hit the roller section, Stallings would keep Benson behind her for the portion of four laps. Things would begin to erupt on the fifth circuit, where Benson saw the smallest of windows to make a move! Could she do it? The crowd would question with anticipation, as the referee stood tall atop the finish line. In the final seconds of the moto, Benson would make a miraculous pass to take the championship! With Stallings just behind, the two, were inseparable as they landed the finish line jump. With a top-three listed as Benson, Stallings, and Vaughn, all in the field had something to feel accomplished about.