Nine-year-old Marathon resident Ivan Aldama Jr. is racking up motocross trophies at a blistering pace.
Just 14 months after his first trip to the Miami Motocross Park in Hialeah, the fourth-grader has amassed more than 150 trophies, plaques and awards en route to establishing himself as one of the best young racers in the country.
The most significant of those awards came on Feb. 16, when Palmetto Motorsports named him its rider of the year for kids ages 7 to 9. Palmetto Motorsports sponsors numerous motocross events.
Aldama Jr. received a trophy that's taller than he is for his 2013 effort, during which he won 13 series or races, finished second in five others and third in another. His performance allowed him to accumulate more points than any other rider his age in the state.
Aldama Jr. has already made a name for himself on the racing circuit, but his father, Ivan Sr., said his son shows extraordinary dedication to the sport.
Not even 10 years old, the boy works harder at his passion than most any grownup.
"He's put a lot of effort into it. During the week, he trains and exercises a lot," Ivan Sr. said. "He does 400 push-ups every day and he runs four miles every day."
The reason is simple: "He wants to win," Ivan Sr. said.
Aldama Jr. has advanced so much in 14 months that he requires additional time to devote to practicing and competing at various motocross events. "He's going to be practicing so much in the next year that he has to be home-schooled," Ivan Sr. said.
The boy has picked up numerous Miami-area sponsors, including Palmetto Motorsports, Lococross, Miami MX Park and Noris MX Bike Rentals.
Among Aldama's accomplishments in 2013:
- First-place finishes in four yearlong Miami Series categories: 50cc Open (ages 7-11), 50cc ages 7-9, 65cc Open and 65cc ages 7-9. Races were held at the Miami MX Park.
- First-place in the same four categories in the Triple Crown, a three-race series held at the Thundercross Motocross Park in Okeechobee.
- Second-place finishes in the 50cc Open, 50cc ages 7-9 and 65cc beginner categories at the Gold Cup series. The four-race series is held over one month in Dade City, Gainesville, Ocala and Okeechobee.
- First-place finishes in the 50cc Open and 50cc ages 7-9 categories in the Dade City Championship Series. The one-day race is held at the Dade City MX Park in December.
- First-place finishes in the 50cc Open and 65cc beginner categories, and a second-place finish in 50cc ages 7-9 at the Florida Series.