South Jordan’s Sophia Foresta has taken BMX racing to pro levelsSep 09, 2021 11:13AM ● By Greg James
Bingham High School graduate Sophia Foresta (No. 57) is ascending the pro rankings as a top BMX racer. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Sophia Foresta has made a name for herself amongst national and local BMX riders.
“If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think our younger racers would keep coming,” Rad Canyon BMX track volunteer Raquel Wagner said.
In 2015 and 2017, Foresta was the USA BMX girls division champion. As a junior, in 2016, at Bingham High School, she was named “Sports Illustrated” February athlete of the month. In 2021, she is a professional rider and coach at the track.
“We have been fortunate enough to travel around the country and be involved,” Sophia’s mother, Ashli said. “We told our kids school should come first. They had to earn the opportunity to race.”
Foresta began racing when she was 6 years old. Her brother, Joey, had begun his career as a racer, and she followed suit.
She is currently studying at Utah Valley University with a business management focus and deaf studies minor. As a USA BMX marketing director, she has been instrumental in a read to ride program implemented in schools around the area.
“Schools that adopt the program have prizes with reading and things like that,” Foresta said. “We have a stem program that teaches kids about soil, facility needs, and they even get to build a model track. I give them the rider's perspective on what I like at a track.”
Her teaching at the track applies to life off it too.
“I teach gate clinics (starting line), which is one of the hardest parts about racing, but those little movements can get you ahead and make all of the difference,” Foresta said. “Just like in life, the tests can make a big difference.”
She suffered an injury and is working her way back up the national ranking board.
At the annual Great Salt Lake Nationals held at Rad Canyon BMX track at the end of July, she placed fifth in Friday’s racing and seventh on Saturday.
In semifinal moto No. 2, she came off turn three in second place. She pedaled hard and ended up with the victory.
“I have learned to push all the way to the end; it's not over ‘til the end,” she said. “I followed the other girls until I knew I had a shot, and I made it happen. I have felt good about my racing. It has been a rough few years for me mentally and physically. I have worked to overcome that and make it back to where I was.”
Foresta uses rad Canyon as her home track. She teaches beginner, intermediate and expert classes there on a weekly basis.
“I have taught young kids up to 70-year-olds at the track,” Foresta said. “I love this sport and track; it teaches me sportsmanship and life lessons. I race against my friends and need to celebrate with them even when they beat me. Rad Canyon is my favorite track and my home track. I could talk for days about this sport and what this track has meant to me.”