Opportunities Abound for Synchronized Skating in College

By Kyleigh Gaff

US Synchronized Skating Championships 2017

As a new synchronized skating season begins, athletes entering high school for their junior and senior years may start to think about skating opportunities in college. Collegiate skating serves as a popular opportunity for college-aged skaters, proving that graduating high school does not have to mean graduating from figure skating. Once athletes are enrolled in college, U.S. Figure Skating offers several opportunities to participate in special programs geared toward the student-athlete.

Being a member of an open collegiate or collegiate synchronized skating team is one opportunity for athletes looking to continue skating. Members can be first-year students to graduate students, those studying out of state or in state, or those who combine with other skaters from various colleges to form a team. Student-athletes are able to continue doing something they are passionate about while watching their teams grow, develop and reach new levels throughout the season.

Members of the open collegiate and collegiate synchronized skating community are excited to share their experiences with U.S. Figure Skating.

University of Wisconsin, 2017 open collegiate sectional silver medalistsAt the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alexis Brill, former member of Team USA and a member of the open collegiate team, touched on how skating in college is a way to meet people.

“I have skated my entire life and could not even consider stopping just because I was going to college,” Brill said. “Not only was [skating in college] a way to continue, it was also a way to meet incredible people who have become my best friends.”

Claire Temlitz, who lived at home her first two years while on the team, would travel to Madison three times a week.

“I was fortunate enough to make amazing friends on the team that allowed me to stay over some nights to make the arrangement work,” Temlitz said.

She moved an hour away from home her junior year and now rooms with another girl on the team.

Lauren Kreinces, a sophomore on the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) open collegiate team, noted that her synchronized skating team helped her grow both as a skater and a person.

“My team had become my family and I wanted to find that family at school while I left my family at home,” Kreinces said.

UNH coach Samantha Mick realizes the commitment to skate on a team requires the support of the university. The challenges that most teams face, Mick said, can be echoed by most collegiate-level coaches: “the ebbs and flows of membership as seniors graduate and new classes arrive.”

“With the opportunity to grow as skaters, students and leaders on the team, these athletes develop qualities and friendships that benefit them long after graduation,” she added. “Collegiate teams have followed these trends as the sport grows, setting a higher bar every year on the ice.”

Read more in the November issue of SKATING magazine.