After winning their sixth National title this spring, the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team emerged victorious at this weekend’s Eastern Intercollegiate figure skating competition at Liberty University. Dartmouth scored 115 points, beating out the University of Delaware with 100 points and Boston University with 95 points.
Eighteen of Dartmouth’s 26 skaters flew to Virginia on Friday, along with their coach and the club sports director. Fourteen other colleges competed in the two-day competition.Courtesy of Kirsten Seagers
“We’ve carried over the energy from winning Nationals in the spring,” said co-captain Joseph Miller ’14. “We took that standard, implemented it at the start of the season, and built off of it – both technically as skaters and with an enthusiastic and energetic feel which definitely helped us with winning this competition.”
Multiple Dartmouth participants placed first in their individual competitions. Kirsten Seagers ’15 earned first in the junior championship and junior short, Caroline Knoop ’15 won the intermediate dance, and Pinar Gurel, a graduate student, won the senior free skate. In addition, Iris Yu ’14 won the juvenile dance, Maria Sperduto ’14 won the senior championship, Isabel Hines ’13 won the pre-juvenile free skate and Kelsey Anspach ’15 won the novice dance.
About the team’s remarkable success, Miller said, “We have an overall standard of excellence. We do expect a lot from our skaters.”
This competition was the first of the two required qualifiers for Nationals. The next will be held at the University of Delaware on March 17 and 18. Points are accumulated from the two competitions, with three teams from each region (East, Midwest and West) earning a spot at Nationals. After submitting a bid to host the competition, Dartmouth was chosen to host this spring’s Nationals, which will take place on April 13 and 14.
Last year, although Dartmouth placed third in their first competition, the team still won Nationals, with the two other eastern region teams taking second and third. This year’s first competition results are promising for Dartmouth, especially considering that this qualifier usually happens later in the term when skaters are more prepared, according to Seagers.
J. Michael McGean ’49, winner of two National Ice Dancing Championships, founded the Dartmouth skating team in 1997. In 1991, McGean and his wife Lois were inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. McGean passed away last fall and the team dedicated their winning season to him, in recognition of the strong foundation he laid for the team and the fund he created to sustain the skaters.
In addition, the team has received a considerable amount of support from the college and alumnus.
“Dartmouth has been so supportive of us by giving us funding, which helps boost team morale,” co-captain Hines said.
Since Dartmouth students normally are unable to watch the team’s competitions, they are hosting a skating exhibition open to campus on November 4 in Thompson Arena. The exhibition will feature programs made to current songs and a group number featuring all 26 team members, according to Hines.
Follow the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DartmouthFSC
(2012 Nationals, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~skating/)
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