Editor’s N0te: The 2020 East Coast Nationals tournament has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cutter Williams stumbled into BMX (bicycle motocross) racing at the age of 7, and immediately showed talent, winning the first race he participated in. Today, the 15-year-old Great Falls resident and Dominion High School student is on the path to becoming a professional BMX racer, with dreams of one day making the U.S. Olympic team. He’s got the record to back up his ambitions: For the 2019 season, Williams finished as the No. 2 rider in the nation for his age group, and as the 15th best rider in the nation of any male competitors, regardless of age. This month, from Aug. 14 to 16, Williams will be competing at USA BMX’s 2020 East Coast Nationals, being held in Woodbridge at the NOVA BMX racetrack. Here, Williams gives us a peek into his world.
How did you first become interested in BMX?
When I first started, I was 7 and my dad took me to a mountain bike park. I was just riding around, having fun. Then, my friend texted my dad and said that we should come out to the BMX track. We went and rode the BMX track for a few hours and then the person who ran the track showed up, saw me riding and said that I was really good. He said I should try and race and see how I did. I ended up racing that night on a bike that they provided to me and I won.
What are you most looking forward to about competing in the East Coast Nationals?
This is home turf. I might have a slight advantage, being able to ride the track often and getting used to it.
How do you balance school with BMX?
It’s definitely hard, but I let the teachers know in advance when I’m going to be in a tournament, and they send me work to do while I’m at the tournament. Each week I practice [BMX] about five to 10 hours, and sometimes more on the weekends.
What do you love about the sport?
I love the speed, the jumping, all of that. It makes me happy. It’s fun for everyone, and no one sits on the bench. Everyone on the team gets to ride; everyone gets to be out there and have fun.