5-year-old Canton girl ‘best in the world,’ wins grand national BMX competition
FARMHAVEN, Miss. (WLBT) - A boy might first come to mind when you think about bike riding with lots of jumps, ruts, and rocky terrain, but a soft-spoken, 5-year-old girl from the Canton area is the best BMX rider in the world in her age group.
Family and friends know Henley Greer as, ‘Boo the Beast.”
Her grandmother started calling her boo a few days after she was born, and the name stuck. Henley’s favorite professional rider is known as ‘Alise the Beast’, but after her first big win, the social butterfly named herself, ‘Boo the Beast!”
“She’s accumulated quite the fan club with mostly her personality and love for everyone,” Henley’s mom Elizabeth Greer said. “Her being good at racing doesn’t hurt either.”
Henley is back home in Farmhaven, Mississippi, from the BMX Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she beat out 21 other girls from around the world in the five and under girls expert race. Her trophy is almost twice her height.
The win also makes her 29th overall among women.
But it’s not that big of a deal to Boo.
“It’s super fun,” she smiled.
“Whenever she won that big race last weekend, of course, I broke down in tears, and she’s like, ‘what’s wrong, daddy?’” Jimmy Greer said. “I was like, ‘do you even know what you just did - you just beat everyone in the country,’” he laughed.
So how does a 5-year-old become a national BMX champ?
Like most of us, Henley got a trike at age 3. Unlike most of us, her trike became a bike months later.
Henley never knew training wheels.
Her racing adventures began after they visited a local track.
“A friend of ours’ son was racing,” Jimmy said. “We went up there one night to watch, and she wanted to get on the track that night. It started from there.”
She began practicing once a week at local competitions before the age of four, primarily competing against boys.
After adjusting her ponytail twice, we asked Henley what it was like to race against boys.
“Yeah, I beat them,” she smiled innocently.
“She doesn’t get scared too often,” Henley’s dad said.
Since turning 5 in May, Boo the Beast has taken her fan club on quite the adventure.
Her mom, dad, and grandmoms have been able to travel the world from Farmhaven - a tiny town whose population is so tiny; it’s included in Canton, Mississippi’s population - about 13,000.
“There’s one every month; sometimes two,” Jimmy Greer said.
And there’s no stopping now.
Henley wants to be what she already is when she grows up - a BMX rider.
You can catch Boo the Beast in a local competition at 3 p.m. Saturday at Magrige BMX in Ridgeland.
Watch the track for the big blonde curls flying into the air from underneath a hot pink helmet.
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