The state's success has broadened the sport's local scope in recent years. O'Connor says he receives more emails each year from people interested in competing in BMX. This year marks the third time the Chesapeake BMX track — which is located in Severn-Danza Park, tucked behind four softball fields — has hosted East Coast Nationals.
The first two East Coast Nationals in Severn, held in 2008 and 2010, went well enough that USA BMX has decided to return for the event this year, O'Connor said.
But for so many local riders, like Ethan, success in events doesn't matter much compared with the experience. The Shreves spend countless hours at the track in Severn or traveling to other competitions simply because they enjoy doing it, Ethan said.
BMX gives the Shreve kids an opportunity to ride their bikes and compete with friends, something Ethan can't take for granted. And Chesapeake BMX, Coral Shreve said, fosters a close-knit environment that will be put on display during this weekend's East Coast Nationals.
"It just has a great family atmosphere," Coral Shreve said. "And our kids love to be [at the track] and be around their friends like they will be this weekend."
USA BMX East Coast Nationals
Friday through Sunday