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A Sherwood Middle School student will compete in an elite BMX world competition.

GAZETTE PHOTO: BLAIR STENVICK - Joshua Trerise will compete in the 2018 BMX World Championships this June. He's a seventh grader at Sherwood Middle School.When a seventh-grader travels for athletics, it's usually to a neighboring town. Maybe to another state, if they're exceptionally talented.

This summer, Sherwood Middle School student and BMX racer Joshua Trerise will go a bit farther than that.

Trerise qualified in February to represent Team USA in the BMX World Championships — happening this June in Baku, Azerbaijan. There, he'll compete against other BMX racers in his age group for the top spot, and also ride in support of his elite team, ThroDown.

Trerise had been a BMX racer since he was five years old, when his father searched for local tracks so that he'd have somewhere safe to ride his bike. He won his first race.

"And I've just been hooked ever since," he told the Gazette.

The young BMX racer's trophy case includes first place in the President's Cup, a national meet sponsored by the American Bicycle Association. He's also won several regional Golden Cups, and once placed third in the nation for his age group.

When asked what makes him a strong BMX racer, Trerise answered that "part of it is that I started when I was young. But most of it is the work that I put in, and training all the time to be better than what I am."

His schedule includes training five days a week. In the off-season, he'll train at home, and in summer he'll practice on tracks in Newberg and Molalla. The excitement of the sport, both on and off the track, keeps him motivated.

"I really like that not only is it competitive, but you also get to travel different places, and you get to meet different people," Trerise said. "I've met all kinds of people. I have a friend in Connecticut, I have a friend that lives in South Carolina. Last year, I met a kid from the Czech Republic at the World Championships."

Besides a trip to Canada, this June will be Trerise's first international trip for BMX racing. He said he's looking forward to experiencing a new culture. His dad will travel with him, and his mom Kristin will be cheering him on from Oregon.

"I'm just really proud of him for putting in the hard work to get there," said said. "It's just really fun to watch him doing something he enjoys so much."

Trerise isn't sure yet whether a career in professional BMX racing is ahead of him. He has other ambitions, including being a veterinarian like his dad.

"But if the opportunity comes up," he said, "I know it would be really fun."

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