The talk of the day at the opening race at the 2007 US Junior Nationals was J2 Men's Champion George Cartwright of High Plains Division. George, a second year J2 from Lander, Wyoming, smoked the prelims in the morning and dominated every heat he raced enroute to winning the J2 Men's freestyle sprint title. George also won the first Gold Medal for High Plains Division which was just formed 4 years ago.
Fasterskier.com caught up with George and asked him a few questions about his winning performance.
You were the talk of the day yesterday? How does it feel?
Pretty exciting! I didn’t really expect to win. I knew I could ski well and potentially do well because I was thoroughly prepared for the race. I raced the (eventual)2nd and 3rd place finishers (Tyler Kornfield & Andrew Dougherty from Team Alaska) in West Yellowstone in November, and they both beat me in that sprint race. I knew they would be tough to beat!
You dominated in all the heats you started. Did anyone tell you to slow down at all or play it a bit more conservative?
Yeah, that’s pretty much it! [the domination)] I came down for the classic sprints in a JOQ race in January and did the same thing. My strategy worked then, so I just tried it yesterday. It worked! I was racing against big names and strong skiers and I really surprised myself. In the race yesterday, I felt like I was getting stronger and stronger as the day progressed, so I just kept going 100%. I don’t know if it’s because of how I trained or the huge rush of adrenaline or what, but I felt great in all the heats!
Tell us about your training? Rumor has it that you chuck hay bails in the summer?
[laughing] Well, that’s what everyone thought in January! They thought I was a steer rangler from Wyoming! I live in town. I ride my bike, run, and rollerski. I read stuff on training and figure out what I need to do. Dave Slovisky is my coach and he started me skiing. My family is really good friends with Dave, so in the summer and winter, I share training ideas with him. I go and train with the University of Wyoming ski team for about a week each summer.
How do you do speed work training at 9,000′ up at Beaver Creek where you train?
Same way you do it anywhere else!
Thanks George! Good luck to you and all your High Plains teammates this week!