Supercross: Q&A with FOX Sports pit reporter Jenny Taft
Jenny Taft, a former Boston University lacrosse player and multi-sport reporter, joined the FOX Sports Monster Energy AMA Supercross broadcast team as a pit reporter in 2014, teaming with the veteran trio of Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig and Ricky Carmichael.
With a season under her belt, we checked back in with the Minnesota native, who covers a wide variety of sports for FOX Sports 1, to see what that experience was like and what she expects to see as the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross season kicks off LIVE Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO:
You hit the ground running in your first Monster Energy Supercross season in 2014; what was the experience like?
TAFT: Joining the FOX Sports 1 supercross broadcast team for the 2014 season was such a rewarding experience. Not only was I excited about the opportunity to cover a new sport, but I also grew so much as a reporter throughout the year. After my first race, I was absolutely hooked on the sport. Throughout the season I continued to educate myself about the riders — their backgrounds as well as their accomplishments. In every race I learned something new and developed a stronger passion for supercross. Now, I tell my family, friends and co-workers, that if they haven’t experienced a supercross race yet, they are definitely missing out.
Going into 2015, with a little more time to prepare, how have you gotten yourself ready for the season opener in Anaheim this weekend?
TAFT: It is hard to believe that the 2015 supercross season will begin in less than a week. Supercross riders train and race year round so I continue to study up on the riders and their lives, keeping up with injuries, team affiliations and any other pieces of news I can relate to the FOX Sports audience. Last season, I was able to take my first motorcycle riding lesson, and this year I’m looking forward to another chance to get back on the bike.
Looking back at 2014, what/who was your favorite interview and why?
TAFT: Over the course of the season, there are so many rider interviews that I thoroughly enjoyed … it would be difficult to pick just one. The interview that stands out the most was off the track, as I had the opportunity to sit down with former freestyle motocross rider Carey Hart along with his wife, Alecia Moore (better known in the music world as Pink), learn about their family, their passion for supercross and the RCH Racing team. It was a great and very memorable experience that I will cherish for many years.
Which rider(s) do you expect to be interviewing a lot in 2015 and why?
TAFT: With Davi Millsaps fully recovered from his injuries, it will be fun to watch him race this season. Another rider that has been training extremely hard during the off-season is Ryan Dungey, and I have high expectations for Ken Roczen. As a rookie last year, Ken really stood out and, with a year of experience under his belt, I’m anxious to see him race and how successful he will be with the RCH racing team. (Follow the battle for the championship on Twitter with the hashtag #WhosNext.)
You have covered a wide variety of sports. Where does supercross fit among your experiences?
TAFT: I love all sports, but I am absolutely hooked on supercross. When I’m talking about the sport of supercross — I rave about the skill level, superb fitness and mental toughness of these extraordinary athletes. To compete at this level, it takes a tremendous amount of skill to be a high-end rider, but it’s not only the skill level; these riders need to be in unbelievable physical condition to compete every weekend. Racing every weekend takes a huge toll on the mind as well as the body and the more I learn about the vigorous training these riders go through every day, the more impressed I am by how hard they work to be successful.
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