Competitive Edge

Taylor Anderson, 15, a Sinclairville native, will compete in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series at the grounds of Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel today.

Anderson, who began racing when she was 10 years old, will compete in the regular women’s class races beginning at 10 a.m. She’ll also race two heats and a final before the end of Sunday.

According to Anderson, she hasn’t had the opportunity to race so close to home in a couple years, so she is very excited.

“It’s really nice to finally be close to home again because last year the race was canceled at Peek ‘n’ Peak and all my folks at home couldn’t see how much better I’ve gotten at racing,” said Anderson. “My parents are really excited to see me in Salamanca, and that their family can be with them too.”

Anderson is a member of Team Southside Polaris, sponsored by Bruce Gaspardi Jr. The team has about 13 riders.

“We have the biggest Snocross team because we had some quad racers join us,” said Anderson. “We’ve been doing pretty good. It’s some of the quad racers’ first time on a sled and they are doing excellent. We’ve all had a couple injuries, but nothing has held us back. We just keep pushing forward and are very determined.”

Over the course of the last year, Anderson has broken her arm four times, she said. The first time it happened was while practicing for a national competition in Duluth, Minn.

“I landed kind of hard and we didn’t know it at the time, but I had broken my arm,” said Anderson. “I thought it was just a sprain so I raced like three more races with a broken arm.”

Since then she broke the arm three more times. The most recent was about a month ago when she thought she was close to being back to 100 percent, she said.

“It’s been really hard for me to get back to where I was with racing,” said Anderson. “So, instead of racing in the pro women’s class I’ll be racing in the regular class until I get back to 100 percent.”

Anderson’s first exposure to racing came when her father, Nels, introduced her to his friend, Rick Faulkner, who had a son named Andrew that raced motocross. Andrew then began sledding in Gerry at the Rock’s Maple Racing series and at Peek ‘n’ Peak. One day while watching Andrew race, Nels asked Anderson if she wanted to give the sport a try too.

“I started out on a little 340 and began progressing,” said Anderson. “I really love the sport, but I wasn’t the best at first so I didn’t give up. Then I ended up getting a Polaris 550 sled and I got really good I guess you could say. So, I began getting recognized and Southside gave me a call to ask me if I’d like to ride with them.”

Anderson is now riding a 2012 Polaris 550, which she loves, she said. And, she is currently living in Chershire, Mass., with her mother. For more information, search for “Team Southside Polaris” on Facebook.

The Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel is located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca. Ticket price for an all-day pass is $25 and the Sunday all-day pass is $15, but note that only amateur races are held this day. An all-weekend value pass is $30 and admission is free for children ages six and younger. Tickets are on sale at the Logo Shop inside Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel as well as online at www.senecaalleganycasino.com. For more information call 945-9300.