As the recently crowned NorAm tour winner, Team Breck's Dylan Walczyk was probably a safe bet to win the junior national title in freestyle moguls at Steamboat last weekend.
However, 14-year-old Anna Park, also of Team Breck, skiing to a win in the dual mogul contest was a bit more of a pleasant surprise.
"To say she expected to win would be a stretch," said Team Breck coach John Dowling. "Probably her hardest dual came in the round of eight. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing to the
semifinals and finals."
Park took second in the single moguls event to U.S. Ski Team member Ali Kariotis, who was also competing in the duals. In recent memory, there haven't been any 14-year-olds who have fared quite as well at the junior national championship.
"Right now, she's getting a lot of exposure and she's performing really well," Dowling said.
Park, a Davis, Calif.-native, has been splitting time between her home state and Breckenridge this year, but she's expected to train with the team in Colorado full time next season.
With NorAm champion Walczyk also claiming a junior national championship in single moguls, it was a very nice weekend for the Summit County transplants. (Walczyk has been here for about five years.)
"It's great. Dylan performed really well all year and junior nationals were one of the goals he had for a while now," Dowling said. "This year, he finally rolled in with good preparation as the front-runner.
"For Anna to do so well, it was also great," he added. "We knew she was capable of good results, and for her to actually get the national title, it's amazing."
Both athletes are set to compete next week at junior worlds in Italy.