Sierra’s Baker qualifies for Junior Olympics |

Sierra’s Baker qualifies for Junior Olympics

Tribune staff report

Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Team’s Jake Baker has qualified for Junior Olympics in J4 competition behind the strength of a first-place finish in slalom and giant slalom at Snow Summit in Big Bear Feb. 8.

Baker won the J4 Festival Qualifier with a perfect score of 100, followed by Will Prim of Squaw Valley in second with 75 points and Nick Daniels of Squaw in third place with 63 points in the overall standings. The top three finishers from the qualifier received invitations to JOs.

The top 15 skiers in the Far West were invited to attend the qualifier, which featured three giant slalom and three slalom runs. The lowest time was thrown out and the athlete with the best combined time for the other two runs was placed.

Junior Olympics will be held March 20-23 at Big Sky, Mont.

Baker, 13, a seventh-grader at South Tahoe Middle School, has been skiing since he was 2. He expects to outdo his performance at JOs last year at Mount Hood Meadows, where he was fifth in the super-G and seventh in GS. He fell in slalom.

“Last year, it was really fun so I’m glad I’m going again,” Baker said. “I think I can do better than I did last year because I’m a little older.”

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This is Baker’s fourth year on the Sierra team. He is sponsored by Sierra, Cutting Edge Sports, Tahoe Boot and Ski and Atomic.

Baker hopes to spend at couple of years at South Tahoe High School, then move onto a skiing academy to finish his studies.

“Hopefully I can go to Suger Bowl Academy for the last two years of high school,” he said.