Area athletes preparing for figure skating championships

Staff Report

Area athletes are spending a lot of time on ice perfecting performances for the Upper Great Lakes Regional Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Regionals take place October 10-13, and are the first step in skaters qualifying for the national championships to be held January 15-24, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The U.S. Figure Skating Championships is the nation’s most prestigious figure skating event, and determines who represents the United States in the World Championships or Olympic Games.

“This is an exciting time for many of our skaters, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. It took a lot of hard work, years of practicing and perfecting skating skills, and the ability to fall and get right back up to get to this point,” said Skating Director Erin Schopf.

Skaters heading to regionals practice at Carlson Ice Arena, a facility of the Rockford Park District, and are part of the Rockford Skating Club. The Rockford Skating Club partners with the Rockford Park District, and aids members in fulfilling their individual goals in the sport, while promoting a spirit of camaraderie among fellow skaters.

The following skaters are heading to regionals: Makala Arn, Molly Budlong, John Carlson, Aaliyah Davis, Natasha Ferrero, Aleksandra Gracheva, Anastasia Gracheva, Benjamin Kies, Elyse Knoll, Anna Lindmark, Ally Lung, Madison Marconi, Samantha Montavon, Brianna Pifer, Abby Schriever, Emily Schriever, Faith Sutton, Karlie Taylor, Olivia Torre and Isabella West.

The above skaters are coached by the following:  Audra Abernathy, Jenn Caron, Gene Heffron, Charlene Guarino, David Kinser, Tarah Marzorati, Kathy Torrence and Carol Ueck.

Rockford Skating Club is hosting an exhibition skate on Sunday from 5-6 p.m. at Carlson Ice Arena, 4150 N. Perryville Road, Loves Park. Many of the skaters heading to regionals will be featured in the exhibition. The public is welcome to attend and cheer on participants.

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