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Oct 27, 2014 9:08 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

An Underdog On The Surface Only

Oct 28, 2014 10:23 AM

It’s tempting to call Davis Eames an underdog, but describing her as the favorite comes closer to the truth.The 14-year-old East Hampton High School freshman first got her feet wet—or, more accurately, dirty—in ATV motocross, riding quads, before she started kindergarten, and since then, she’s racked up 13 championships in the sport. It’s a passion that was born when her father, Jeff Eames, purchased a quad for her when she was just four years old. Eames recently finished the 2014 season, which runs from April through October, racing in the New England ATV Series. At the final race weekend in Modena, New York, Eames wrapped up the season championship in the youth open division and also took second in the women’s class over the course of the 12-race series. In the youth division, Eames was the only female rider, and she left the boys in the dust, flying to first place on her hot pink quad, getting airborne over jumps with her long brown hair trailing out from a helmet with fuzzy dog ears. In the women’s division, she was competing against riders much older than she and, more notably, was the only one in that division riding a 250-cc horsepower bike. The rest of the women competed on 450-cc quads, which competitors are not allowed to ride until they are 15 years old.

Despite numerous factors that would seem to place her at a disadvantage, Eames’s mother, Melissa Eames, had to admit that she and her family were not surprised at Eames’s finish. And it’s easy to see why—with 10 years of experience under her belt, Eames has a familiarity with the sport that is uncommon for someone her age, and she’s also devoted a significant amount of time to training and improving. Every February, Eames goes down to Georgia for training sessions with ATV pro Dustin Wimmer, whom Ms. Eames said is basically her daughter’s coach, and she also attends a motocross camp every July in Pennsylvania, where she gets instruction from six different pros.

The hard work has paid dividends, and Eames said she’s proud of her accomplishments.

“It felt great to win the championship in the youth class since I raced with the guys and we were all on the same horsepower quad,” she said. “The women’s class was another story. I am extremely proud of myself for coming in second overall for the season, but I’m looking forward to coming back and racing that class again when I’m on a 450.”

Both Eames and her mother agree that she may be spending a little less times on four wheels and more time hitting the books as she starts to think about her future beyond high school. Eames said she is hoping to try to find a little more balance in general, and may try out for the track and field or lacrosse team at East Hampton in the spring.

“She’ll do a couple of races for next season, but she’s not going to be running a whole series,” Ms. Eames said. “She needs to concentrate on her future.”

Eames says she’d love to attend Colorado University when she graduates from high school, because she “loves the cold,” and added she might want to study something related to science or nutrition. And while her priorities may shift in the coming years, it’s clear that the thrill she gets from flying through the air on four wheels isn’t going to die any time soon.

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Congratulations! I wish her all the best life has to offer! Keep up the good work and I hope she reaches all her goals and dreams in her life!
By kathrb (16), Southampton on Nov 2, 14 9:53 AM