Pan American Track Championships
by Missy Erickson
The first time I touched a track bike was in September of 2008 while racing collegiate. But it wasn’t until May of 2012 that I actually had the chance to take it on. About 8.5 months ago, I moved out to LA to join the US training session with Jamie Staff. After the new time standards were released prior to nationals, I became one of three girls who are in the national program, and one of two who were selected for the Pan American Championships. It’s been a dream come true.
The ultimate goal is Rio 2016, and possibly the 2020 Olympics as well. I just have to see where time takes me. A big focus for me is the team sprint, as well as the keirin, mostly because I love that race so much. But really, it’s every race. Every time I get on the track, I want to be faster, stronger, better.
Pan American champion, national champion, Olympic champion, world champion. Those are all goals, but there are steps to attaining them. Since I’m still really new to this sport, there’s a lot I have to learn. There’s a lot of speed I need to gain, a lot of tactics I have to learn, and a lot of patience to gain. Having coaches like Jamie Staff, Travis Smith, and Mark Tyson is amazing. There’s so much I can learn from them. I’m truly blessed to have them as resources.
The Pan American Continental Championships was my very first international race. It was exciting. I was nervous, but it was so much fun. I dropped 1.5 seconds off my previous 500m PR, 0.5 seconds off my flying 200 (which qualified me 4th), broke the US National Record in the team sprint, and made it to the major final in the keirin to take 4th place. I exceeded a lot of people’s expectations. I’m very proud of how I raced.