Dupratt enjoying breakout season | ParkRecord.com

Dupratt enjoying breakout season

Sam Dupratt competes in a U.S. Nationals event in Winter Park, Colorado, in 2012.

Sam Dupratt has been living in Park City since he was 13 years old.

But thanks to a strong season in the super G and downhill events for the Park City Ski Team, the native Californian has a chance to return to his hometown of Dixon, Calif., to compete at the U.S. Alpine National Championships in Squaw Valley March 20-24.

Dupratt, who started skiing at the age of 2, has plenty of experience on the Squaw Valley course.

"That’s going to be sweet," he said. "The super G is down a nasty track."

His confidence will be high going into that competition after recently competing at the Junior World Championships in Quebec, Canada.

"That was unreal," he said. "It was a heck of an experience."

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The 19-year-old said being selected to go to Canada caught him off guard.

But despite his nerves, Dupratt finished 13th in the super G at the Junior Championships, something he said he’s proud of.

"I was very excited just to be there," he said. "I’m not on the national team, so it was unexpected."

But after a solid 2012-13 season with the Park City Ski Team, perhaps Dupratt shouldn’t have been surprised with his selection for the Junior World Championship team.

He’s finished in the top 10 of two Nor-Am super G events already this season, and was a top-three junior finisher in both events.

"It’s been unbelievable," he said of his season so far. "The team is awesome and my coaches have supported me. I got a little bit lucky at the beginning of the year, but now I think I’m skiing close to my best."

Dupratt, who enjoys duck hunting and spending time on the beach when he’s not on the slopes, joined the likes of Ted Ligety, Steven Nyman and Adam Cole as PCST skiers selected for the Junior World Championships.

Before he heads to Squaw Valley for the U.S. Nationals, Dupratt will have one more chance to build his confidence. He’ll be competing in the Nor-Am finals in Nakiska and Calgary, Canada, March 12-17.

"Hopefully I can finish in the top 10 in the super G again," he said.

Next season, Dupratt will once again be eligible to compete in the Junior World Championships, and he’s hoping he skis well enough to earn another invitation. He also hopes he can improve his results in downhill to match his super G performances.

"Next year I think I can go there and do more," he said. "I got the weight off my shoulders for next year."