A young contingent of Juneau Skating Club members took ninth place in their division at the 21st Annual Foot of the Lakes Synchronized Skating Classic on Saturday.
Team Forget-Me-Not competed with 10 others in the open juvenile division, skating to their space exploration-themed program in midnight blue-colored dresses.
“We were hoping to do a little better,” Allison Hoy, a 14-year-old Juneau-Douglas High School freshman, said. “But we did go just to have fun. Skating is really fun and we enjoy going as a team.”
The program started with the skaters arranged in the shape of an “X.” After the music started, the team broke into two groups of five. One group glided slowly forward on one skate in a “V” as the other twirled in place — presumably to resemble a rocket launch and its plume of smoke.
Once in space, the “astronauts” skated forward and backward in circular patterns, often forming a centipede-like formation as teammates held each other’s outstretched arms.
The Glenview Blades representing the Chicago Figure Skating Club came out on top in the open juvenile division. Behind the Blades were Starlights, representing the Skokie Valley Skating Club in Illinois.
Some of the Forget-Me-Nots were understandably disappointed with the finish. The team learned what can be improved on next time (they will skate the same routine at the JSC Spring Show, slated for April 14). After the formal competition, the team underwent a voluntary 15-minute critique session for the judges to offer public remarks.
“Getting the feedback from the judges is a productive way to address (the low finish) for them and for me,” coach Leah Farzin said. “Most competitions you go to for your whole life, you don’t hear anything from the judges, you’re not allowed to. … It’s really beneficial to go, ‘Oh man, I thought we skated well, but how did we stack up?’”
Hoy said the judges’ feedback was to skate faster and skate with more emotion.
“Our ice is different than it was in Wisconsin,” Hoy said. “The ice in Wisconsin is softer, so you have to push harder which makes it harder for us.”
Starting in the fall, the team trained for several hours per week to prepare. The skaters were simultaneously working on their solo skills with coaches at other times of the week.
The team is looking forward to the support of the Juneau community at the April show and said the support they received in Fond du Lac was pretty good, too.
“The other teams are really encouraging because we’re from Alaska and we don’t have other levels with us,” Hoy said. “The other teams will cheer for us and say their cheers to help us feel welcome.”
This Saturday, JSC will be hosting an Olympic Open Skate to get people thinking about the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 9 in South Korea’s PyeongChang County.
The public can meet with the coaches of the JSC and learn more about the figure skating community in Juneau. The event goes from 1-2:30 p.m. at Treadwell Arena and costs $5 for each participant.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.