Racing remains in Wagner’s blood

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2022

BUCHANAN — Racing is in the blood of Warsaw, Indiana’s Sidney Wagner.

After all, she has been competing at RedBud MX for more than a decade. Her father, Jay Wagner, has been racing motocross for more than four decades and married into the Ritchie family, the owners of the track, which is hosts the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series each Fourth of July weekend.

The RedBud National is the “Super Bowl” of the pro circuit, the one riders from around the world look forward to coming to and testing themselves among the best of the best.

Sidney Wagner will be a sophomore at Trine University this fall. (Submitted photo)

And while Sidney has no desire to compete at the professional level, the multi-sport athlete from Tippecanoe Valley High School, now playing basketball at Trine University, enjoys returning to Buchanan to compete each year.

“I got my first dirt bike on my third birthday,” Sidney Wagner said. “I got this little blue bike that I rode around for a little bit with training wheels. Two days after I turned 4, I had my first race. You had to be 4 to meet the age requirement. The same with my brother [Jacob] and my dad, who has been riding for 42 years now. Pretty much the entire family rides. It is in my blood.”

Wagner said enjoys being in the sport of motocross because of the bonds she has been able to make.

“The best part for me is the family I have created,” she said. “I have so many friends and family here, and I am so thankful for all them. I go back home and I go to school, and most of my friends don’t even know I have this second family. I just very thankful to be where I am and to have all the things that I have.”

Wagner said there are not a lot of things she can take away from riding that helped her become a standout in track, volleyball and basketball at Tippecanoe Valley. But there are a few things.

“Motocross has made me a very competitive person,” she said. “I hate losing. Growing up, I always raced with the guys. I never raced with the girls. I would go out there and be super mad if I finished second or third. I just always wanted to win. That carried over to basketball. I never wanted to lose. It gave me the fire to just go out and get it.”

Focus is another thing she has been able to take away from motocross and use in her other sports.

“Riding all my life definitely made me strong,” she said. “It gave me fast reaction times and coordination. It all helped me in my other sports at school. One of the things about motocross is that your focus has to be all there. When I was younger, I struggled with focus in school. That is one thing that motocross helped me with.”

Wagner said she had no expectations last weekend as motocross is now a hobby for her. The goal now is to ride well and enjoy herself.

Before long, she will be heading back to Trine University to begin preparation for her sophomore season, which begins with a home game against Benedictine out of Illinois Nov. 8.

As a freshman, Wager played in 32 games and averaged four points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists.