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Setterberg soaring on the slopes

Joelle Milholm Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted Photo Glenwood resident Whitney Setterberg, 15, races down the giant slalom course at Steamboat Springs on Feb. 3. The sophomore, who takes classes at Bridges and Glenwood Springs high schools, will compete at the Junior Olympics this week at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Whitney Setterberg has a busy schedule for a 15-year-old.Between classes at Bridges and Glenwood Springs High School, the sophomore skis six days a week. Four of those days the Glenwood resident makes the commute to Vail, driven by her mother, Sherrie. Then on the weekends, she’ll journey all over the state, county or even world to compete.And it’s all worth it.Not only in terms of how much Setterberg loves to be flying down the slopes, but also because she is so good at it.After skiing for the United States Skiing Association since she was 6 years old, Setterberg also joined the FIS (Federation International of Ski), an international skiing association where she competes against the best skiers in the world, this winter.

She also participates in the NorAm circuit, which is the highest level of ski racing in the United States behind the World Cup, against U.S. ski team members and skiers from all over the globe.Setterberg is currently ranked No. 1 in downhill in the FIS List Five rankings in her age group. In the same division, she’s ranked third in super G, sixth in slalom and 35th in giant slalom.”I have been doing pretty well at all of (the disciplines),” Setterberg said. “The speed is always fun (in downhill) and the adrenaline is so much fun.”Setterberg has earned enough points to qualify for this week’s Junior Olympics at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Setterberg, who is one of three members from the Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail at the event, arrived in Oregon on Friday and will begin competing on Tuesday.”I’ve been doing a lot of training and been in a lot of races this year,” she said. “We came up (to Oregon) a couple of days early to get some practice in up here because the snow is different here from at home.”

One of 20 selected from the Rocky Central Region, an area encompassing New Mexico to Michigan and every where in between, Setterberg holds a No. 7 overall ranking in the region.In the classroom, Setterberg receives the majority of her education from Bridges and takes two classes at Glenwood.”It’s a freedom that allows her to ski six days a week,” Sherrie said.Setterberg usually goes to class each day until 11:30 a.m. when her mom drives her to Vail. She skis until 4:30 p.m., then has a dry-land session (where she works on conditioning and strengthening) for another hour. Then Setterberg, who competed for the Sunlight Ski Team for six years before switching to Vail, comes home and does her homework. “The teachers have been great. They work with me really well and help with missing as much class as I need to,” Setterberg said. “My mom drives me to Vail every day, and I am very grateful for that.”



Despite the hectic schedule, it doesn’t affect Setterberg’s grades, as she is a 4.0 student.Setterberg’s focus on the slopes is just as impressive. Skiing with the best in the country this week, she’s set a high goal.”Truly my goal is to go to U.S. Nationals (which you would have to win one race to get to.) But I would be happy with a top-five and podium would be amazing.”Her success has taken her to New Zealand last summer to train, and she is scheduled to go to Norway in April. While Setterberg is proud of what she’s accomplished, her thirst to succeed is not yet quenched.”What I really want to do is make the U.S. Ski Team and then eventually go to the Olympics,” she said.


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