The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Go figure

    Freshman Katie Stoik said she has been on the ice since she was five years old. The microbiology major and member of UW-Eau Claire’s synchronized skating team said the founder of the university’s figure skating club, Mary Summers, encouraged her to enroll at UW-Eau Claire so she could join the team.

    Now, Stoik is one of the members of UW-Eau Claire’s Figure Skating club, which Summers formed in 2002. In 2005, the club formed a synchronized skating team.

    “It’s sort of like synchronized swimming, only on ice,” senior Brianna Butera said when asked to describe the routines the team performs.

    This year, the team is skating to a three-minute medley from the Broadway version of “The Lion King” and sporting new turquoise-and-black uniforms Stoik said.

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    “It’s really upbeat,” junior health care administration major Sarah Erickson said about the music. She said she liked the way it starts out slow and dramatic and slowly builds throughout the piece.

    According to the club’s Web site, the synchronized skating team is registered with the United States Figure Skating Association as a collegiate team and is currently competing at the open collegiate level. Butera said that because the team members are all at different ability levels, the team competes at this tier.

    According to the USFS Web site, to compete at the open collegiate level a team must have eight to 16 skaters, all of whom must be full-time college students and practice about two hours per week on the ice. There are no imposed minimum moves-in-the-field test requirements for this level.

    Tryouts are held fall semester for those interested in joining the synchronized skating team with an average of 16 skaters comprising the competition line, according to the team’s Web site

    Other interested club members who wish to become part of the team, skate as alternates and are given chances to skate throughout the season at performances.

    Butera said there are nine skaters on the team this year, but no alternates.

    The team generally practices two to three times per week. She said the team not only practice at the Hobbs Arena but also works on its routines off the ice at the dance studio in McPhee.

    Erickson said the team benefits from being small. She said the team was very close-knit because all of the members know each other well.

    She said her favorite part of being on the team was “just to be able to skate together and to be a part of something.” She also said she looked forward to the competitions.

    Each year the team participates in three competitions: the Maplewood Classic in Minneapolis, the Swan Synchro Skate in Beaver Dam, Wis. and the Eau Claire Competition, which the team hosts this weekend. In addition to competitions, the team also skates between periods at UW-Eau Claire’s men and women’s hockey games and gives performances throughout the year.

    At the Eau Claire Competition – where the Blugolds will skate at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday – the women will compete against teams from Madison and Beaver Dam. Butera said the event will be interesting, since the UW-Eau Claire team fell to Beaver Dam once this year but claimed a victory over Madison.
    But no matter the results, Butera said, the Blugold team gets better and better. “We keep improving at every practice and competition,” she said.

    UW-Eau Claire Figure Skating

    President: Brianna Butera
    Vice President/Treasurer: Tracy Rancour
    Sports Representatives: Heather Srnka, Heather Johnson
    Coaches: Mary Summers, Sarah Hoepner
    Faculty Advisor: Jessica Miller

    Web site:
    Contact: [email protected]

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