Ganong climbing the ski ranks
With a move up from the National Development Team to the United States Skiing Association C Team, North Shore local Travis Ganong has good reason to be happy about his rookie season as a national-caliber Alpine skier.He did a hell of a job, said National D Team coach Tom Sell.While nearly 20 top-10 finishes last season made the year one of the best ever, as Ganong put it, the young racer is still looking forward to his first season as a full-blown national team member.According to Sell, the C Team differs from the D Team in that focus is on senior racers. The D Team is geared toward developing a four event basis and performance at the Junior World Championship.The C Team, Sell said, focuses on the Europa Cup experience which grooms racers for the World Cup.While Sell said Ganong doesnt have the experience for a full Europa Cup schedule, he will get a taste of the big time.Hell definitely be getting his feet wet, Sell said.While scheduling makes a huge difference to Ganong, the difference is in personnel and resources.According to Ganong a four-event skier he will now have all the same resources as U.S. Skiings superstars. The main thing is skiing with better skiers, like Ted [Ligety] and Marco [Sullivan], Ganong said. The same groove theyre making Im skiing.And as the only junior on the C Team roster, Ganong will benefit not only from his older teammates experience, but will also have one more shot at the Junior World Championship.Couple that with a No. 6 junior rank heading into his final season as a junior, Ganong is poised to reach his goal for the upcoming season.I want to win a race at the Junior World Championship, maybe medal, Ganong said.Sell said that maturing as an athlete will be Ganongs biggest breakthrough. According to the National coach, Ganong didnt do as well in last seasons Junior Worlds as he could have because he pushed his line too hard and tried to do more on the racecourse than he had planned out before hand. Sell said that if the young racer had stuck to his plan and had belief in it, he would have most likely medaled.He has to have belief in what hes doing, and not try to push it further, Sell said.The hurdle might prove a challenge for the 19yearold, who said he wouldnt mind skiing fast enough to earn a World Cup start. But Sell said that Ganong has been doing well in the prep period and taking the right strides to lead him into a successful 2007-2008 season.After maxing out the late season at Mammoth and Mt. Hood, Ganong took some R&R back home in Tahoe before heading off to Dartmouth to take a German class an education program sponsored by the USSA.The team will meet up at the end of this month for a cross-training hockey camp in Park City, Utah, and then in August Ganong and his new team members head south for Argentina and Chile to round out the summer.With nonstop skiing and traveling as one of the things Ganong said he loves about his year on the D team, things only look like theyll be improving for the young Tahoe local as he grabs onto another rung on his seemingly steady climb to the top of the national team ladder.
6: Overall rank as a junior2: Junior downhill rank1: Junior super G rank6: Junior slalom rank10: Junior GS rank.19: Years old19: Top-10 finishes last season1: Place Ganong finished during his best moment of last season, a NorAm Cup SuperG in February at Apex, B.C.