Steamboat Springs The news that Emiko Torito has been named to the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team came as no surprise to Winter Sports Club mogul coach Bobby Aldighieri.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," Aldighieri said. "She was fifth on the points list and I saw this news coming since before last year."
Torito, a senior at the Lowell Whiteman School, learned she had made the team in a telephone call Monday night.
Torito becomes the fourth current or former Lowell Whiteman student to be named to the current U.S. Freestyle Team. She joins fellow mogul skiers Travis Mayer, Ryan Riley and aerialist Parker Schmidt.
Aldighieri said Torito had been on course to make the team for the past two seasons. A second at the World Juniors this year and a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Nationals gave Emiko all the momentum -- and the points -- she needed to make the U.S. Team. She was No. 5 on the national points list. The top six skiers are normally named to the team.
"I'm really going to miss Emiko," Aldighieri said. "But she has some great things in front of her. She is a great skier, has a great work ethic and an excellent attitude. She has the potential to be one of the best."
Torito started skiing with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club two years ago. Before that, she commuted between her home in south Denver and ski training in Winter Park.
At that same time, Torito enrolled at the Lowell Whiteman School. Since then, she has enjoyed success on the ski slopes and in the classroom.
Torito has been on the dean's list at Whiteman several times in the past and was named the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club Student of the Month in October. She has been accepted by both Colby College and the University of Colorado. Her college plans, however, will be put on hold while she continues to pursue her skiing career.
"It's (being named to the U.S. Ski Team) is going to be kind of an adjustment for Emiko," Aldighieri said. "She has a lot of friends in Steamboat and on the (Winter Sports Club) team."
Aldighieri added that he thinks Torito will make plenty of new friends on the U.S. Ski Team next season, and he expects her to visit Steamboat often as she continues to move up the ladder.
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