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MTI students help run course at Salt Flats

The BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials are known all over the world by those who have a need for speed.

Many records are shattered each year at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and a number of Mitchell Technical Institute students have jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the well-known event, which was Aug. 24-29.

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Darin Maltsberger, an MTI power sports technology and farm power instructor, has taken a group of students to help run the event for the past five years.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students,” Maltsberger said. “The first year was good and it continues to get better every year after. “If you have a desire for speed and motorcycles, it’s an incredible event to be a part of.”

While in Bonneville, the students help build the tracks — 5- and 11-mile straight raceways — a day before the event begins. During the event, they help with vehicle inspections, escort vehicles with the Vern Eide-sponsored MTI van and assist with countless other needs of the event.

“They make sure bikes meet the minimum standards for the class they’re racing in,” Maltsberger said. “When setting up the track, a lot of the people that are managing that event are older, so it helps that our students are young and fit. It makes sense for these kids to do this.”

Maltsberger said he, Brian Klock and Joe Mielke, who work at Klock Werks in Mitchell, came up with the idea for the students to help. Maltsberger got the trip approved by the administrators at MTI and with fundraising and sponsorships from local and state businesses, he is able to take 10 students on the 10-day trip each year.

Laken Jorgensen, a sophomore from Kadoka who went on the trip in August, said the students work at least 12-hour days and knew she wanted to be a part of the experience the minute she heard about it.

“I was a senior in high school when I first heard about the program, and I thought it’d be cool to go out there,” the 20-year-old said. “It’s something you’ve never seen. You look out on the horizon and it’s white for miles. It looks like the sea.”

Klock, who races annually at the speed trials, said it’s a good thing to be able to see others from Mitchell at the Salt Flats.

“There you are seeing people from Sweden, Japan and Australia. Then you look next to you and see an MTI kid running the course,” Klock said. “They are such a big deal now out there, and the workers do a shout-out in the morning meetings to the MTI students.

“It’s a great experience for them. Where else are those kids going to see world records broken?”

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.