ST. CLOUD - This week's All-Star Student Kiegen Perlberg of St. Cloud, also known as Bam Bam in the racing world, sat down and went over his BMX bike with me. It's the bike he rode when he won the First Place National Cruiser Cup.

Kiegen 'Bam Bam' Perlberg
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

"I felt proud of myself", says Kiegen, "I never thought I was going to get first place."

Let's start from the beginning. Bam Bam started riding BMX after his brother took interest in the sport. Kiegen's father, Mark Perlberg, says Kiegen made his way through the ranks of the BMX world.

"He's currently an expert," says Mark, "He went through the novice ranks, turned inter, struggled a little bit. Finally he turned expert and he really hasn't looked back since then."

Of course this took a lot of training.

"I do box jumps, sprints, and I go to Pineview Park BMX to train out there," says Kiegen.

Kiegen rides with a sponsorship from Full Tilt. Mark says they've been awesome.

He's completely happy, and that's what it's all about it, him being happy. Full Tilt we couldn't ask for anything more. They've been absolutely awesome.

(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

Last month (November), Kiegen and his father went down to the USA BMX Grands National race. Mark says it's basically the Super Bowl of BMX racing.

Throughout the year, BMXers travel all around the United States to natinal events, and end the season at The Grands. Kiegan has raced in Nevada, Louisiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and many more states.

Mark says, "Grands takes your best six national scores, plus Grands, and then whatever points you earn during that, that's what goes towards you're NAG (National Age Group) ranking."

Not only did Keigan win at The Grands, but over all of the age groups, Kiegan was named number one.

He was sitting NAG 1 going into the Grands, but he was sitting National Number 12. I kind of had it figured he could probably climb as high as top three, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think he would be able to that top place, that number one.

There were five other racers that had a shot at the title, but in the end, Kiegen's win helped send him to the top.

It was pretty special. Made dad cry I'll tell you that, made a lot of people we know cry. They were all pretty happy for him.

Kiegen and his dad agree it's been a blast, and they have made a lot of lifelong friends. However, Bam Bam has no plans to quit riding even though he's has made it to the top.

Because it's fun and I want to make it to the Olympics.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

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