Steamboat Springs ski racer looking to open World Cup season with fast starts
Steamboat Springs — Anna Marno has been looking forward to this week since winning the super-G title last March at the U.S. National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“Everybody is psyched to get the season going,” Marno said. “I feel good about the way things went this summer, and that result helped put me where I am right now.”
Marno, who is entering her eighth season with the U.S. Team, will be looking for more top finishes when she steps in the starting gates this week in Lake Louise, Canada, for her first World Cup races of the season.
Marno will be starting Sunday’s super-G event and is also hoping to get a start in a downhill race later this week. She said the expectations and the experiences that come along with international ski racing are different every year, but the excitement she feels when she gets back on the snow for the first time never really fades.
“It’s a little different every year,” Marno said. “The first year I was a little bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Everything was new and exciting, back then. Now. I have a little more experience, and I’m a little more narrowly focused … I would say as far as intensity goes I’m just as dedicated and just as absolutely committed to the sport as I was that first year.”
Her win in last year’s super-G was her first national title as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. That finish along a strong showing on the NorAm circuit where she picked up the season-long title in the super-G earned her a spot on the U.S. Ski Team’s “B” squad.
Now her focus will shift to laying down fast runs on the World Cup circuit and climbing up the national and international rankings. Marno said the summer was productive, and she is hoping to carry some of the momentum from strong end-of-season results during the 2015-16 season into this year.
For the first time in her career, Marno’s main focus will be the World Cup — a place where veteran ski racers have an advantage because they know the race courses.
“Last year was my first season of going from one World Cup race to another … I think I learned that’s where I belonged,” Marno said. “I started feeling more comfortable and more confident with each race. Now I’ve been to most of the races and most of the venues, and that will be an advantage.”
“Making the progression from year to year is definitely a challenge,” Marno said. “I guess I have had some brief moments when I thought about giving it up. But I’ve always set my goals and pushed myself to a place where I left some doors open. I never let myself think about quitting until the end of the season, and at the end of the season, I have never wanted to quit.”
This summer Marno earned a slot on the “B” team, which means she received some funding from the U.S. Team. She still had to raise close to $20,000 to race this season, but she said she feels lucky she has a lot of support. She said after reaching her own fundraising goals, her efforts have been focused on helping the entire team with several fundraising projects.
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