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Leading the pack

MOTOCROSS - Gaston youth gets his chance to shine this year at the top of the Pac West circuit
by: Tommy Whitcomb, Adam Metzler, who is currently starring on the Pac West motocross circuit, takes a corner during practice in Gaston.

Two years out of high school, Adam Metzler is taking on riders twice his age and sending them home in shame on the Pac West motocross circuit.

Metzler, 18, of Gaston, started small but is now getting his shot at the big time on a truly big stage, riding in a pair of professional circuits on the Pac West Motocross Series. Although he is one of the youngest competitors on the Pac West circuit, he is also one of the best, currently sitting in the top five points-wise on both the 125cc and 250cc pro series.

Metzler, who attended Yamhill-Carlton High School before being home schooled, picked up his first two wins of the season three weeks ago in Washougal, winning the 250cc race on Saturday, June 17, then following that up with a win in the 125cc event on Sunday.

And while those two wins were nice, it has been Metzler's consistency that has kept him near the top of the Pac West points standings all year. The Gaston teen has failed to finish in the top five just twice - the first time was a sixth-place finish in the first race of the season and the next was an eighth-place finish stemming from a wreck on Sunday at Washougal. Since the Pac West season kicked off on June 3 at Albany Motorsports Park, Metzler has two wins, two second-place finishes, three thirds, a fourth and two fifths.

Not bad for one of the youngest competitors on the series.

Things did not go so well two weeks ago at Burnt Ridge Motorsports Park in Cinebar, Wash., but Metzler will be looking to end on a high note when the Pac West season draws to a close this weekend in Albany with the final race of the schedule.

And after that, Metzler will take his talents back to Washougal for the 2006 AMA Toyota 125/250 Motocross Championship, which will feature many of the top riders in the country. A strong showing there and sponsors will be beating down Metzler's door not long after his 19th birthday.

And after that - well, the sky is the limit for Adam Metzler.