THOMASTON, Conn. (WTNH)–With all due respect to the girls’ basketball team that just won the Class S championship, the best athlete in Thomaston might not dribble a ball, swing a bat or run like Steve Prefontaine through Black Rock state park.
15-year old Lexi Doty tears things up at the track, where she is a national championship-caliber BMX racer. The three-time state champion and two-time regional champ has finished as high as third at Grand Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.
In fact, she’s so good, she’s changing the rules.
Doty wrote a letter to USA BMX in 2012, petitioning to race against boys because there wasn’t much regional competition for her in the girls’ division. They changed the rules the next year.
This year, Lexi raced in the main event at the national championships, meaning that she was one of the top seven racers in her age group in the country. She now races for the national Bikers’ Edge team.
Her next goal is to win a national title.
“I’ve dedicated my summers to racing,” Doty said. “I give up my fun time to go and do sprints, and I really put everything into it.”
She said that she fell in love with the sport after watching her cousin race in fifth grade. She was out on the track by age 10.
“I really love it because it’s intense. It’s an individual sport, so you can’t blame anyone else if you lose,” Doty said. “The rush you get from knowing you did it all by yourself is just a great feeling.”
Her season typically runs from May to November, and there are races all across the state about four times a week. Her father loves the fact that she’s racing, but it’s taken mom a little bit longer to come around.
“My mom is so nervous about it that she doesn’t even want to come to my races,” Doty said.
Maybe mom would feel a little bit better about it if she saw what Lexi does on the track.
“You have to be good out of the gate, take a good line on the track, stay inside, and handle turns right,” she said. “That feeling of passing someone is the best.”