Medal Stand: Firth’s Downs prepping for X Games


Last year, Kurtis Downs fulfilled a dream by competing in BMX freestyle at X Games Minneapolis.

The 2010 Firth High School graduate made the podium in the process, claiming the bronze medal with a score of 88.33 out of four runs.

In 2016, he was an alternate for X Games. He described last year’s atmosphere as nervewracking, but not without support.

“Once you get there, you just kinda zone out,” Downs said Tuesday by phone. “You’re riding the ramp with a lot of your best friends.”

Since X Games last year, he has been to Australia and New Zealand in between trips to Las Vegas and Idaho from Utah, where he resides. He has been working to stay conditioned as X Games get closer.

“I’ve been doing a bunch of mountain biking, rock climbing, anything that keeps me in shape,” Downs said.

X Games Minneapolis begin July 19. Downs automatically qualified for this year’s X Games upon making the podium last year.

The Post Register will have a full story on Downs soon.

RIRIE’S MACHEN WINS AGE GROUP AT SPARTAN NATIONALS: Stetson Machen, a 16 year-old Ririe student, placed first in the Super 14-17 age group of the Spartan Chicago U.S. National Series in one hour, 49 minutes, 38 seconds at the end of June. The Super division is a course ranging from eight to 10 miles with 24 to 29 obstacles. Machen entered the Chicago event ranked No. 1 in his age division. He next competes July 28 in Eden, Utah.

Coming up locally

The fourth annual Paddle Dash Kayathlon takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson County Lake. The event consists of a 2.5k kayak portion (replacing the swimming portion of a traditional triathlon), a 15k bike ride and 5k run.

The 38th annual Mill SV Backcountry Run takes place Saturday in Ketchum. Start times are as follows: 8 a.m. for the 15.46-mile course, 9 a.m. for the 7.56-mile course.

Team USA Update

The Columbus stop of the TYR Pro Series ended Sunday with Chase Kalisz and Leah Smith atop the series leaderboards. Kalisz, who is undefeated in the 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM, won four events at the Columbus stop while Smith won three.

Kikkan Randall, a five-time Winter Olympian who claimed Olympic gold in women’s team sprint in February with teammate Jessie Diggins for Team USA’s first Olympic medal in cross-country skiing in 42 years, shared Wednesday on her social media accounts that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She began chemotherapy on Monday in Anchorage, Alaska.