WENATCHEE — Mission Ridge Ski Team members Alec Jones and Austin Dean have been named to the Western Elite Ski Team, the Pacific Northwest Ski Association has announced.
Joining Jones and Dean, both 17 years old, on the team are three other Northwest skiers — Anna Mounsey of Team Alpental Snoqualmie, Jordan Schweitzer of Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation, and Jacqueline Wiles of the White Pass Ski Club.
The Western Elite Ski Team is comprised of athletes from five U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association divisions — the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Intermountain, Northern, and Far West — and is meant to recognize and to develop potential U.S. Ski Team members.
In addition, Mission Ridge placed seven skiers on the Pacific Northwest Ski Association’s own 20-member alpine team for this season. They include Jones, Dean, Cai Yamamoto, Kristoff Fowler, Clare Wise, Haley Hanseler and Kyla Miller.
Jones, who hails from Winthrop, captured the super-G race at last season’s J2 Nationals. Dean, a Portland native who raced for Mount Hood Academy at the time, finished second in that event. Jones also was first overall in the Northwest Cup — including first-place finishes in the slalom and giant slalom. Austin was sixth overall.
“They can step up at big events,” said Ryan Shorter, Mission Ridge Ski Team program director, of Jones and Dean.
During the 2010-11 ski season, MRST placed one racer, Brooke Wales, on the West Elite Ski Team. It had three on the PNSA team — Kyle Coxton, Jones and Wise.
“There are exceptional skiers flocking to Mission to train and race,” Shorter said.