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SV 8th-grader riding high in motocross

Loretta Lynns or Bust
Kylee Inman, an eighth-grader in the Seneca Valley School District, started competing in motocross in 2020 after her dad built a small track in their yard. She receives professional training and travels nationwide to practice and compete in various races. Submitted Photo

JACKSON TWP — When Kylee Inman was 4 years old, her father bought her a dirt bike.

A longtime dirt bike racer in his own right, Josh Inman wanted to see if his daughter would show any interest in the sport.

“Her first time on the bike, she ran into a trampoline,” Inman said. “That was the end of that.”

For a few years, anyway.

Now Kylee is one of the more promising young motocross racers in the country. An eighth-grader at Ryan Gloyer Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District, she competed in a number of state championships throughout Pennsylvania past year, placing first overall in the girls 9-16 age division in the Spring Series, second overall in her age division in the Fasthouse Series and fourth overall in another Fasthouse Series despite being the only female racer in the competition.

Perhaps her biggest accomplishment was in The Thor Mini O’s, one of the biggest races in the country. Kylee placed 13th in that event in the girls 11-16 age division in November.

“That was a big one,” her father said. “She finished 27th in that event the previous year. This time, she beat girls who made it the Loretta Lynns.”

The Loretta Lynns is the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship held each August in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

“Our goal is to get there this year,” Inman said. “We’re lined up to do three qualifiers. The motocross season is year-round. It never ends. We’ll race indoors at Switchback during the winter, travel to Florida, South Carolina ... There’s always something going on.”

She receives professional motocross training in North Carolina as well.

So what got Kylee back on the bike?

The COVID-19 pandemic, actually.

She was 10 years old when she hopped back on the seat to give it a try.

“My dad asked me if I wanted to give it another go,” Kylee recalled. “There wasn’t much else to do at the time, so I figured, why not? It did look like fun and not a lot of other girls do it.”

Inman built a small track in the family’s yard for Kylee and himself to ride around on.

“I rode on that track every day ... I still do, whenever I can,” Kylee said. “I got used to the bike and got comfortable with it. If he didn’t put that track in, I doubt I ever would have pursued dirt biking at all.

“Now I want to go as far as I can.”

Racing dirt bikes can be risky business. Kylee has suffered a broken ankle, wrist and hand during her adventures on various tracks.

“She just gets up and gets back on the bike,” her father said.

“If I can still go, I go,” Kylee said. “Depending on how bad the injury is, I may have to miss time. It’s part of the sport. you have to accept it.”

Inman races at many of the same events Kylee participates in.

“We do it together. It’s our father-daughter thing,” he said. “I do OK, but I focus on Kylee. Motocross is extremely competitive.

“I’ve played basketball, wrestled, played football, run track, nothing is as intense as motocross.”

Doing so much traveling for motocross, Kylee is home-schooled. She gets straight A’s, her father pointing out she was a straight-A student before getting involved in racing.

She’s kept her grades at that level since.

“Kylee knows her education comes first,” Inman said. “If the grades slip, she doesn’t race. But that’s never been an issue.”

Reaching Loretta Lynns is on Kylee’s mind now. Once attaining that goal, who knows?

“Motocross racing is my whole life,” she said in a released statement. “Being able to travel all over the country racing is the coolest thing ever and competing in national events is so much fun.

“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

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