The second day of preliminary rounds continued today at the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom. Everything from rain to sleet to snow fell from the skies, making conditions slightly better than Friday. There was even some powder to be found within the top 200 or 300 feet of the course.

While nearly every competitor thought that the colder temperatures would make for a faster course, instead times were considerably slower than the first day. The reason being in the way the course was groomed. After Friday’s heats, several of the organizers and staff slipped through the course to smooth out the deep ruts that had been laid. But in doing so, they created a series of miniature stair-like ledges. These bumps set-up hard overnight and caused a severe chattering effect for all who raced.

“I felt like I was going fast as hell, much faster than yesterday,” said Tex Davenport, a long-time Baker local and Banked Slalom veteran. “But when I got to the bottom, I couldn’t believe that it was so much slower than my first score.”

Joey McGuire of Wenatchee, Washington put in the fastest time at 1.21.44. This over 5 seconds behind yesterday’s top score, which was posted by Morrow rider Billy Anderson. Karleen Jeffery led the women’s division for the second day in a row with a 1.29.33, over 7 seconds slower than her first run. The best of the two day’s scores are used to determine the finalist for Sunday. Only the top 45 men and 7 women will advance to compete. The top ten from Friday remains the same, as not one competitor managed to up their previous day’s time.

Dave Lee of Auburn, Washington surprised both friends and fans as he showed up to race just 6 months after breaking his back in a motocross accident. Lee, posted respectable times both days, but ended up missing the cut by two places. His best time was a 1.22.81.

Although he got disqualified from today’s race after blowing out on a turn, undefeated two-time champion, Terje Haakonsen, is still favored going into Sunday. But with the weather limiting visibility and speed, it could easily be anyone’s race. And with riders like Rob Morrow, Jamie Lynn and Wes Makepeace still in the running, Terje has his work cut out for him.

TOP QUALIFIERS

Men’s Pro
1. Billy Anderson
2. Terje Haakonsen
3. Thomas Ligonnet
4. Matt Goodwill
5. Allan Clark
5. Justin Mooney
7. Peter Bauer
8. Josh Dirsksen
9. Temple Cummins
10. Rob Morrow

Women’s Pro
1. Karleen Jeffery
2. Sally Szymanizk
3. Marguerite Cossetini
4. Candace Drouin
5. Wendy Wyvill
6. Marcie Brown
7. Dawn Fidler