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Race to the top Allison K. Sampite | Sat, May 21 2011 12:00 PM

Shayne Lewis is not an average 10-year-old. Just Google his name with "BMX rider" and you'll quickly see why.

Shayne has been riding bicycles since he was 2 years old, shed the training wheels before the age of 3 and has traveled around the country to compete since he was 4.

He said he realized that bicycle motocross racing was a special sport early on and today is recognized nationally as an expert in his age group.

At last week's Chula Vista City Council meeting, Shayne was honored by Mayor Cheryl Cox for winning the U.S. Cycling national championships in his division. The victory made him eligible to represent the U.S. at the BMX world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, in July.

Shayne said winning was awesome. "I realize it means I'm a pretty good racer," he said.

Before a race, Shayne stays focused. "I think of doing something that will make me faster," he said. "I imagine what I am going to do and I stay positive."

Shayne's game plan for Denmark is to stay positive and get over jumps smoothly.

His father Alonzo Lewis has been coaching him since the beginning and said he is more than proud of his son's achievements thus far. Lewis said he supports his son because the competition helps him develop character.

At 5, Shayne won his first 2500 national grand race held in Oklahoma. "I got a trophy that's taller than my dad," Shayne said.

But you won't find a trophy room at Shayne's house because he trades them in for stamps. "Eagle stamps are used to buy bike parts," Lewis explained.

Stamps are given to those who finish in the top three spots. Lewis said Shayne has won more than 50 trophies at nationals around the country for BMX events. "And that's probably being modest," he said.

Despite Shayne's many exciting moments as a result of riding, he said the "coolest" was when he met Mayor Cox. "I've never really met a person that was kind of famous," he said.

Former BMX hall of famer Eddy King is someone who took an interest early on in Shayne's ability. Shayne's mother Lara Cruz said King is the reason he is going to Denmark.

Greg Romero is a coach at the Olympic Training Center. "At 10 years old, Shayne possesses an awesome attitude, as well as something that's rare for kids his age: emotional stability," Romero said.

"He's got the wherewithal to compete at the highest levels and will be one of the stronger contenders in Denmark," he continued.

In addition to being at the top of his sport, he is also a top student at Rosebank Elementary School in Chula Vista. A fifth grader, Shayne is enrolled in the school's Gifted and Talented Education program.

Shayne said when he reaches 15 years old he will focus more on academics. Eventually, he said, he'd like to work at Apple as a software engineer and design video games.

"We want him to succeed and go to school and have opportunities that we didn't have," Shayne's mother said. "Our ultimate goal for him is to go to college and have a career."

Shayne said the key ingredient to succeeding is simple: Believe in yourself and it just might come true.

The roundtrip to Denmark will cost $5,000, which his family is currently raising money for. Any donations in excess will be donated to Children's Hospital.

Donations can be made by visiting shaynesbmxworlds.com.

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