It doesn’t take long for Sophia Palmquist to get comfortable.
In her first Alpine skiing state meet in February at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, the Eagan eighth-grader wasted no time making an impact. Palmquist finished in first on the opening run. Then she held on in the second and final run to claim a state championship by fending off defending state champion Peyton Servais by a quarter of a second.
“I have known most of the racers for a while, so I wasn’t intimidated,” Palmquist said. “I’ve been to a lot of big races before.”
Palmquist is now the second skier in her family to be honored by the Star Tribune. Her older brother Camden, currently a junior at Eagan, was honored as the metro’s top boys’ Alpine skier two years ago after a second-place finish at state. Her seventh-grade brother Jevin raced at this year’s Alpine state meet as well, finishing 34th. Due to their racing obligations, the children are home-schooled.
Since the state meet, Palmquist raced in the Regional U-16 Championships in Winter Park, Colo., where she qualified for the U-16 nationals. However, Palmquist won’t be racing anytime soon. The competition — hosted in Sugarloaf, Maine on April 1-5 — was canceled due to concerns of COVID-19.