Snoqualmie 17-year-old Anna Mounsey is among the top skiers of her age group in the nation.
Mounsey took her fourth national championship title by winning the Super G, Downhill and Overall titles at the 2013 Marriot U18 National Championships in Mammoth, Calif. Along with the 2012 Slalom title, Anna becomes one of the most decorated U18 (16- and 17-year-old) champions of all time. Anna competes with Team Alpental Snoqualmie.
“Anna is an all around skier, champion and ambassador for the quality of our local team. Her skills were sharpened on Alpental’s world class terrain and it is satisfying to see her execute her skills on the national level,” says Evan Weiss, director of Team Alpental Snoqualmie.
“I am proud of myself for how I skied and how calm I kept myself after the downhill to secure the Super-G win,” said Mounsey. “I am grateful for the support and love I am feeling from everyone. This is all so unreal, and I’m really trying to just soak it all in.”
Mounsey took a moment to answer a few questions about her progress this week:
Do you think you are peaking now?
At races this year, I am right with the pace of the U.S. “D” team girls, and actually qualified to go to the try-out camp this May and try out for the United States Ski Team to be on the “D” team. I don’t think I am peaking now. I have had good results but in the skiing world, I am still extremely young and underdeveloped.
What goes through your head in a race? At the start of a race, you stand in the start gate where you listen to the timer count down from 30 seconds until you are allowed to go—when it starts counting down from 5 to 0. During the 30-second countdown, I am mostly nervous and thinking about what to do when I get on course. On the course you just think about executing your plan from inspection, and going faster. Its more of being in the zone. Sometimes it can be terrifying when you go off jumps or get into a sketchy section, but that passes by pretty quickly.
What has skiing done for you?
This sport has definitely defined me. You don’t just learn how to ski around gates in this sport ... it’s so much more. So far in my life, I have been all around the U.S. and Canada; I have been to Europe twice now and Chile once. In ski racing you grow up very quickly. Sometimes there can be 12 kids to one coach and you need to take care of yourself because usually the coaches are only there to drive you to the hill and register you. Currently, I am in California and I have been here since March 3 and won’t return until April 17. I am down here with one other girl from Bonney Lake, Wash., in our own car, traveling from race to race by ourselves. I have learned to be independent and manage my own career. On top of all this traveling and a grueling race schedule, I have to graduate by June 7th! Luckily I have online classes, but it is such a different experience from my high school peers who go to school day in and day out. I am not sure how many days of school I have been to this year, but I know I have missed more days of school than I have gone to!
What’s your training regimen like?
Usually when you race on the circuit that I’m on you don’t get that much training in the winter. I do most of my training in the summer at Mount Hood, and then have a fall camp in Chile. Then I head to Copper Mountain, Colo., for a month or so of training in November. By the start of December or late November, I start racing full time and don’t stop until the middle of April. By the time I am done racing after a long season, I will have done around 60 races. The peak of the season is March, which is known as the “championship season” or “March madness.” This is a time period where you go from race to race, and it is exhausting. I had a great series at U18 Nationals and now I am just trying to make it to the end of the season.
What’s ahead for you, long-term?
Ahead of me, I have graduation. But since I qualified to try out for the U.S. Ski Team in May, I will see what happens. If I am named to the national team, I plan to commit to college and take a gap year to follow my dreams and see how far my talent and hard work can take me. Long term, I want to see myself traveling the world and ski racing on the World Cup. If that doesn’t work out, then winning an NCAA title would be pretty awesome, too, along with getting an education to fall back on. I haven’t committed to a college yet, but I have the University of Alaska, Montana State and the University of New Mexico in mind.
Do you still wear a good luck charm?
No, I think I lost that on the river! Right now, I just have a good warm-up and mental routine that help me perform at my best every day.
• You can learn more about Anna Mounsey’s team, Team Alpental Snoqualmie at www.tasskiracing.org.