Sports

One earns a shot at international glory Local girls make their mark on the slopes

North Bend’s Linnea Baysinger competes at the Junior Olympics in Idaho. Baysinger won the J4 division and earned a trip to an international competition in Canada. - Photo courtesy Shelly Schur
North Bend’s Linnea Baysinger competes at the Junior Olympics in Idaho. Baysinger won the J4 division and earned a trip to an international competition in Canada.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Shelly Schur

It has been a remarkable season for two young Valley skiers. Linnea Baysinger, a seventh-grade student at Chief Kanim Middle School in Fall City, finished first in the J4 division at the Junior Olympics March 22 to 24 in Bogus Basin, Idaho. Anna Mounsey, a seventh-grade student at Snoqualmie Middle School, finished third overall in that division. Both young ladies compete with the TAS Alpental Snoqualmie team.

Baysinger and Mounsey competed in the same three events. On Saturday, March 22, the two participated in the J4 Super Giant Slalom event, and both had excellent results. Baysinger finished second with a time of 1:20.52, just under a second behind top finisher Jessica Todd. Mounsey finished fourth with a time of 1:23.24.

Things went even better on Sunday, March 23, as the Valley girls swept the top two spots in the J4 Ladies Slalom race. Baysinger won the event with a time of 1:36.59, and Mounsey was right behind in second with a time of 1:38.87.

The pair finished up their competition with the J4 Giant Slalom race on Monday, March 24. They struggled a bit, but still did very well. Baysinger finished fifth, with a total time over two runs of 2:01.75, and Mounsey finished ninth in the event with a total time of 2:03.74.

Baysinger’s victory at the Junior Olympics earned her an invitation to compete at the Whistler Cup April 4 to 6, an event in Canada where she faced top international racers.

At Whistler on Tuesday, April 4, Baysinger finished eighth overall among all the international competitors, and fourth among the American contingent, with a time of 55.07 seconds in the K1 Kombi race. The following day, she finished 14th overall in the giant slalom with a time of 50.13. On Wednesday, April 6, she struggled in the slalom, finishing 57th with a total time over two runs of 1:25.16.

“The Whistler Cup is the premier ski race for 11- to 14-year-olds in North America,” her father, Hartley, told the Valley Record by e-mail. “It takes a huge amount of hard work, tenacity and a strong competitive spirit to make it this far, and we are very proud of Linnea.”

The Whistler event for Baysinger wrapped up several successful weeks of skiing competition for the local pair, who dominated at several recent races. They finished in the top two positions at a couple of those contests, including the February 18 Cherry Tree Charge event at Crystal Mountain, where Mounsey won the ladies super giant slalom with Baysinger finishing second; the places were reversed for the Ladies Giant Slalom competition at the Buddy Werner event at Stevens Pass held March 2, with Baysinger ending at the top and Mounsey finishing second. Mounsey won the overall title there, with Baysinger in second.

To be successful to the degree that these two have been, a lot of hard work is involved. They practice five days a week.

“It’s actually really stressful, but it really pays off,” Mounsey said.

The goal is clear for Mounsey.

“I want to make it to the Olympics,” she said.

Mounsey’s season is not over yet. She will compete in one more event this season, in late April at Mount Bachelor in Oregon.

Linnea is the daughter of Hartley and Susan Baysinger of North Bend, and Anna is the daughter of Jane and Steve Mounsey of Snoqualmie.

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