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What do you get when you cross a Bulgarian adrenaline junkie and Minnesota's high school Alpine skiing program?

You get a state champion.

You get a plan for the immediate future.

You get a plan for the more distant future.

You get Anthony Petkov, the Star Tribune's Metro Boys Alpine Skier of the Year.

Petkov closed out his high school career at Irondale with a state championship, secured with a two-run time of 1 minute, 15.69 seconds at Giants Ridge, nearly a full second faster than the skier in second place.

Petkov's parents, immigrants from Bulgaria, had their two older sons play hockey. Then Petkov's father volunteered on a field trip to Wild Mountain, liked it and decided Anthony should pick up skiing.

"Ever since then, I've been skiing," Petkov said.

But for a while he wasn't staying on the course. Petkov said he struggled last year, with Did Not Finish a common result across his state, national and junior national competition. He said the lack of progress took a toll on his mentality before races.

"It's really bad mentally when you're not skiing well and you keep skiing and you just keep doing bad," Petkov said.

Success arrived eventually. Petkov won four meets during the 2023-24 high school season against Suburban East Conference teams, then won the Section 5 meet and the state championship.

He caught the attention of Northern Michigan University, which extended him an offer to compete in college. Northern Michigan is a successful program, having finished fourth in the men's U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association National Championships in mid-March.

Petkov hopes that isn't his last stop in Alpine skiing.

"The best thing that could happen is for me to keep skiing past college," Petkov said. "That'd be awesome."

The route likely would involve the Bulgarian national team; Petkov is eligible because of his parents' background. Petkov already has competed in Bulgaria's national championships.

"It would be really cool to ski for Bulgaria where all my family lives," he said.

Theo Franz is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune."