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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Sarabia Finds Success In BMX Sport
by Stacie Guthrie- Cherokee Phoenix Reporter
Payton Sarabia
BULLHEAD CITY, AZ. – A young Cherokee Nation citizen is making a name for herself in the BMX world, also known as bicycle motocross. Payton Sarabia, 5, has two big titles under her belt and is just beginning her biking journey.

Payton's mother, Priscilla, said Payton became interested in BMX after attending one session.

"It was very hard to find a sport that would take kids at that young of an age, and BMX was one of them. We took her one day and she tried (it) and from there she was hooked," she said. "She started on one of those little bikes that don't have pedals, it kind of teaches the kid to balance. From there she moved onto pedal bikes, which is what she's on now and competing on."

Payton said she likes the sport because she likes making friends and "jumping" her bike.

Priscilla said Payton's usual class she races with, the 5 and under class, is extremely competitive.

"For 5 years old you would just expect girls going out there and having fun, but they are very, very competitive," she said. "Something you would expect for boys, but it actually comes out in the girls."

Priscilla said this year Payton took won the Arizona championship and third place for the DK Bikes Gold Cup Regional Championship, both in the 5 and under girls class.

"This year is the first year we've actually competed for state and the gold cup," she said. "The state races, there were several throughout the state. She participated in, I want to say, six of them. Out of the state races they take the highest four scores and then they compete in the final, and whoever has the most points and the most wins at the end is the one who goes home with the state championship."

Priscilla said Payton gets to carry the first-place plate on her bike for winning state. She also received a 2015 state championship backpack.

She said Payton competed against girls in the western region of the United States to win the third place title for the DK Bikes Gold Cup.

"That's just kids her age and her proficiency to what area," she said. "They kind of race it out to see who goes home with the win."

Priscilla said she is proud of her daughter and her accomplishments with the sport.

"I was very excited. I was proud. In the end she made part of history," she said. "It's very rare to even know somebody who wins one of those because there's so many kids competing."

The Tuff Gurlz Trophy Team, an all-girl BMX team, sponsors Payton.

Priscilla said Payton is known for wearing her purple tutu over her racing gear.

"When she first started BMX she couldn't decide between BMX or dance so that was kind of how she got her name, 'Payton the Purple Pickle Flying Tutu' is because she wore a tutu over her riding gear," she said. "She still holds that name and still wears her purple tutu."

Payton said she likes wearing her purple tutu because it makes her "fast" so that she can win.

Priscilla said when parents see Payton wear her tutu they try to get their daughters involved with the sport.

"A lot of the races that we go to, some parents have their boys that race and they try to get their daughters into the sport, but you know a girl's normal reaction is, 'that's for boys. No, I don't want to do that.' So they always come up to Payton and ask to take a picture of her in a tutu so they can go home and show their daughters that girls do the sport and you can do it," she said. "She actually motivates quite a bit of people in the sport."

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