Anna Marno stands in front of Howelsen Hill with her skis. The 16-year-old is a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and she is working toward joining the U.S. Ski Team in the next few years.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Anna Marno stands in front of Howelsen Hill with her skis. The 16-year-old is a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and she is working toward joining the U.S. Ski Team in the next few years.

Smallest no more: Teenager stands out in Alpine skiing

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— Anna Marno is used to being the smallest and youngest.

It started while growing up in a small town in Wyoming, trying to keep up with her older brother and his friends. Now, the 16-year-old Marno is trying to keep up with the top-level Alpine skiers in the nation.

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member has spent the past two years attending multiple U.S. Ski Team development camps, putting her name on the radar as one of the brightest and best young skiers in the nation.

Her winters have been spent skiing across the country, while the summers have included dryland training, lifting weights and going to U.S. Ski Team camps. Add school to all that, and Marno sometimes has a tough time just finding enough hours in the day.

But Marno wouldn't have it any other way. She's loved skiing - and racing in particular - since she could barely walk.

The hope is, she said, that the trips to Snowy Range Ski Resort in Centennial, Wyo., someday will give way to World Cup starts and Olympic dreams.

"Mostly, it's fun," Marno said Friday amid final exams at The Lowell Whiteman School. "It occupies me, but you build a community around you the whole time. It turns into your family and lifestyle. Once you get used to it, it doesn't seem different. I like competing. It's just the atmosphere where everyone you're friends with are your competitors."

The past year has been especially busy and exciting for Marno. In addition to posting some top results, she's been to multiple U.S. Ski Team developmental camps. While she's always the youngest at the camps, the experiences have given her perspective on what it takes to ski at the top level.

"It's nerve-wracking sometimes," she said. "You don't know what to expect, but at the same time, you're there to try your hardest."

Marno's talent hasn't been lost on her coaches.

Alpine director Deb Armstrong and head ability coach Anje Worrell said Marno's ability on snow could land her on the national team.

Although a lot of young skiers have talent, they said, what separates Marno from the rest is her work ethic and no-fear attitude.

Armstrong, who started with the Winter Sports Club earlier this year and won a gold medal in 1984, said that when she took over the program, Marno instantly stood out.

"It's still the early stages of her career, but there is tremendous potential," Armstrong said. "She knows it, but I know she will keep doing the work."

Marno starts her year off Dec. 2 at Loveland in a North American Cup Series, or NorAm, event. It will be the first NorAm event she's done and will include some of the top alpine racers in the country. While Marno is likely to be one of the youngest - if not the youngest - competitors at the race, she said she's taking it all in stride.

While she admits she wants to be on the U.S. Ski Team in the next couple of years, her focus is on getting better every day.

"That's hopefully where I'm headed now," she said. "I don't know how everything will work out the next two years, but I'm going to be working as hard as ever."

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