Trainer Profiles

“Good Technique Knows NO Gender”

Debbie Matthews – Founder- President WSMX-Women’s School of Motocross, POWR-Profession al Organization of Women’s Racing

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Debbie Matthews began her career in the Motorcycle industry working in the parts department at a dealership and became one of the motorcycle industries first female Parts Managers, and Dealership owners.

Debbie received her motocross training by some of the most Elite and Renowned Legends of the sport. Rolf Tibblin was the first European World Championship Factory rider to come to America to train the American’s in the art of Motocross and Debbie was one of the first in line to receive his instruction on not only proper technique but also sports training and nutrition. Debbie also received training from Factory Riders Russ Darnell, Warren Reid, Doug Dubach, Jeff Emig, Mike Keidrowski, and Greg Albertyn and has become known as one of the most technical riders in the world with her smooth, effortless style and tenacious attitude.

Debbie has worked within the industry alongside riders such as Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, Mike LaRocco, David Bailey, Rex Staten, Micky Dymond, Broc Glover, and Danny “Magoo” Chandler in media functions, charity events, public relations, promotions, and in assisting in the creation of opportunities within the sport.

A successful off-road Amateur and Professional competitor, Debbie was Nationally ranked as the number 2 Amateur racer in the country in 1976, and turned Professional in 1977. Debbie quickly advanced earning multiple top 5 National rankings as a professional and earning a coveted National title in 1988. Debbie’s finished 5 times in the top 5 Pro’s Nationally during her career, as well as 4 times as a vet pro, and 3 times at the Ladies World Cup. She also holds the record for the longest consecutive pro and amateur career span in Women’s Motocross competition (26 years). In addition, Debbie holds the record for top 15 Women Professional National rankings in motocross finishing inside the top 15 national pro women in the country every year from 1977 to 1997. (20 years!!)

In 1981, the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) District 37 honored her, for her dedication to motorcycling. In 1982, she was chosen to represent the United States of American in at the Tokyo Supercross in Japan. In 1994, The U.S. Women’s Motocross Team (later known as the U.S. Women’s Motocross League) contacted Debbie to assist in the development of the team as their Promotion/Race Director. Within a year, Debbie became co-director of the TEAM effort, and in 1996, Debbie Co-Founded the Women’s Motocross League, developing, organizing and promoting the first ever-Free Women Only Motocross schools taught by men professional champions Doug Dubach, Mike Kiedrowski and Greg Albertyn. She also promoted the Ladies World Cup events from 1995 -1999. In addition, she Co-created the first Women’s Stadiumcross Championships with the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group in 1995 and the WML/AMA National Championship Series in 1996-1999 run in conjunction with and AMA Men’s Outdoor National MX events.

In 1997, she met with members of the AMA congress to ratify changes in the constitution giving women “A” Rider classification for the first time in history, and she was a keynote speaker at the inaugural AMA National Women in Motorcycling Conference in 1997 speaking on in women in competition. In 1998 she received the AMA MVP award for her contributions to enhance female participation in the sport. With the growth of the women’s market now firmly established, Debbie retired from the WML in June of 1999 to dedicate herself to the promotion, marketing and teaching of women’s motocross full time. The result WSMX, Inc. Debbie is the chief instructor for WSMX. Debbie is also active in her church. She has given presentations at hospitals and local schools on Career Day on Motorcycling as a career.

During 2000-02, Debbie was a member of the AMA advisory committee for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum and conducted a MX schools and off road motorcycle demos during the 2000 and 2002 AMA Women’s conference. The school and demo was so popular that the class sold out and over 200 women street riders demo’d off road bikes during the conference and an invitational Women’s Motocross event! 2002 also marked a nomination for the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award. In 2012, Debbie was honored by her Racing Peers during the So Ca Pro Reunion with a Lifetime Appreciation Award for her dedication and commitment to Motorcycling, specifically to the Women of the Sport with over 30 years as their advocate! In 2014 Debbie founded POWR-Professional Organization of Women’s Racing to further develop Women’s racing opportunities across the globe.

Debbie has been featured on multiple television, radio, newspaper and magazines spanning her career and was dubbed by AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross Race Announcer Erv Braun as “The Voice of Women’s Motocross” because of her tireless efforts to promote and position Women’s Motocross into mainstream America. Debbie has been host to two weekly Women’s Extreme Sports Radio shows, was a Board Member of the Mid-Atlantic Fallen Riders Association, was the first female motocross trainer for the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes MX Camp, is a strong supporter of the Brraap Fund which helps injured and fallen riders and their families as well as assisting up and coming riders to reach their full potential. Debbie is also an accomplished writer. Her most recent work is entitled “Excelling Through Adversity.”

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Heather Majcherek – S. California-WEST-Beginner Coach

California – Learn to Ride, Beginner’s Coach-MX, OFFROAD

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Heather Majcherek loves working with Kids and Women, but has also worked with men including an AMA Pro. She has worked extensively with WSMX since 1999 as an Office Assistant, Track Assistant, Photographer, Demonstrator, Public Relations manager and as a coach.

Heather was also a student for many years, and her experience with coaching by the WSMX staff led her to many titles and honors which include: Women’s World Cup Mini Champion, and WML Mini National Champion. Heather holds the record as the Youngest Women’s National trophy holder at age 4, and was also the youngest rider in history to receive an outside corporate sponsor (Natures Recipe Pet Foods) at age 8.

Heather is also the founder and President of WMN Racing a grassroots national organization for women in Amateur competition!

Heather is continuing her academic pursuits with independent study through Brigham Young University (BYU) where she is attaining her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a Minor in History. Heather is married and has a daughter which by the tender age of 2 already is showings signs of following in her mother, and grandmother’s footsteps as a talented rider.

 

Heather looks forward to each school, meeting new people and is always excited about racing!

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Chrystal Ponsock – No. Nevada-ROCKY MOUNTAINS

Nevada – MX, AX, GP, DESERT, OFFROAD
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Chrystal Ponsock began riding and racing BMX at the age of five with the help and encouragement of her parents. Her father races motocross and is a big part of Chrystal’s story and success. Chrystal achieved the #1 plate in the girl’s class on bicycles and then started transitioning onto dirt bikes in 1985. By 1990 Chrystal competed in the CMC Golden State and CMC Trans Cal series on a Suzuki 80 finishing 2nd overall in the Trans Cal North series out of 45 competitors, both male and female. Chrystal finished 7th overall in the class following the two-day finale at Marysville CA. Later that year, Chrystal broke her right femur during practice. Within one year Chrystal was back on track in a big way scoring Sportsman of the Year at the Northern Nevada Dealer Challenge and taking the Women’s class championship. Chrystal also won the women’s class during the first Arenacross put on by On Trac Events and was also the top women racer in Northern Nevada from 1989-1992. In 1992 Chrystal attended a MX school and raced Mammoth, finishing 4th in the women’s amateur class.

Chrystal competed in the invitational San Diego MTEG Ultracross in 1995 on the U.S. Women’s Team (WML) finishing 11th out of 22 women, Won the prestigious Virginia City Grand Prix, NV, was featured in Team Green Magazine with Ty Davis and Larry Roesseler, competed in the Women’s West Coast National at Glen Helen and won the AMA District 36 Women’s “C” class. By 1996, Chrystal’s time was divided between Motocross and Offroad racing, competing in the Moon Rocks, AMA Nat’l Hare n Hound in Reno, NV winning in the Women’s “B” class and a 4th Women’s Amateur at the Mammoth Mountain Motocross and the Women’s Amateur class win at the AMA Hangtown National.

The following year in 1997, Chrystal continued her string of strong performances with another win at the Virginia City Grand Prix, NV in the women’s “B” class, capturing the AMA District. 36 number 1 plate for the women’s “B” class. 2001 marked Chrystal’s return to racing after having her second child. Crystal raced 3 rounds of the AMA National series and finished 16th at Glen Helen, 9th at Hangtown and 16th at Washougal after sustaining an injury. Chrystal also raced the prestigious Mammoth MX placing 2nd overall. Chrystal continues to compete in the MRAN events and Women’s Motocross events and is always a threat to win. Chrystal is one of the original instructors for WSMX since 2001 and continues to be a valuable member of the WSMX team and an avid motorcycle rider and racer.

Chrystal in Action

Dannielle Russell – Michigan-MID WEST & CANADA

Michigan, Illinois – MX, OFFROAD
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Dannielle Russell began riding three wheelers at the age of 6 with her family around the farm in Michigan. Danni took to the 3-wheeler rather quickly and began racing 4-wheelers with the boys by the time she was 11, which continued through High School. School was important to Danni so she took a few years off to finish school and go to college. When Danni turned 20 she bought a dirt bike and renewed her love and passion for the sport. In 2000 Danni was at the top of her game racing all the local Michigan races, and looking for a new challenge in 2001, Danni entered the Amateur circuit racing the DM Sports Women’s World Series MX Championships where she finished 3rd overall. It was there Danni met WSMX CEO Debbie Matthews who was promoting the series and began to train her.

Danni made her first attempt to qualify for Loretta Lynn’s that year and finished 2nd in the area qualifier, but just missed a seated gate at the Regional qualifier by one spot finishing 9th. Danni made it her goal to work hard and be racing at Loretta’s the following year. Danni raced Loretta’s for the next 6 years with many good finishes, her best an 8th place at the renowned Championship. In 2002 Danni set her sights on racing with the WMA series for the following season. Danni trained and raced the Michigan District 14 series with the women and the men’s class as well, earning the respect among not only the female riders but also the men. Danni finished inside the top 10 in the men’s B class and top 3 in the women’s class.

In 2003 Danni set off to race the WMA series as an amateur in order to earn enough points to get her pro card for 2004. In 2003 Danni raced not only the WMA series but also competed in enough of the races in the Michigan District 14 series to secure third overall in both series respectively. Danni completed this feat, despite suffering a double femur break and missing the final four rounds, costing her the title. Because of her hard work and determination in her run for the Amateur title, the AMA honored Danni with AMA Rider of the Year!! In 2004, just 6 months after her femur break, Danni was back aboard the bike building her confidence, and hitting the gym. Danni’s recovery went so well in 2004 that she actually made her pro debut In November at the WMA International Cup. In 2005 Danni raced the Michigan District 14 series again and hit the Canadian Nationals where she finished inside the top ten, despite running a limited schedule.

In 2006 while preparing for the AMA/WMA Nationals, Danni suffered heartbreak again breaking her shoulder and tearing her AC joint. While Danni recovered, Debbie Matthews approached her to become a trainer for WSMX, where she was able to hone her passion and provide skills and guidance to upcoming riders.
In 2008 Danni began riding again. Danni raced the Michigan District 14 series again finishing top 5 and also raced the Canadian Nationals finishing 6th. In 2009 Danni raced the Canadian Nationals again finishing inside the top ten, and set a goal to race the X Games 2010.

A severely broken back in 2010 derailed her dream, but not her spirit. Danni is not sure what the immediate future holds for her motocross racing days, as she continues her recovery. But one thing is certain you cannot keep this woman down. Danni continues to give back to the sport she loves so passionately and knows what it takes to be the best.

Her passion, work ethic and love for kids continues to propel her and those she trains forward as she helps them achieve their goals and to give to them the same type of support that she received from great people involved in Motocross.

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