NIU’s Figure Skating Team pushes forward at Skate-on-Wisconsin

The Figure Skating Team took to the ice on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5, at the Skate-on-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Figure Skating Competition sanctioned by the U.S. Figure Skating Association and hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, placing eighth out of 18 teams.

All seven girls on the roster competed this spring. Christi Helm, a senior sociology major who is graduating this May, competed in the preliminary free skate event. Della Carlsen, a junior history major, and Stephanie Knoth, a freshman accountancy major, moved up a level and competed in the pre-juvenile free skate event. Caitlyn Lorr, a junior meteorology major, competed in the juvenile free skate event as a new member of the NIU Figure Skating Team. Haley Kootstra, a senior biological sciences major, who has been skating for fifteen years and was on the Chicagoland Ice Theatre team out of Crystal Lake for seven years, competed in the intermediate free skate event as a new member of the NIU Figure Skating Team as well. Ashley Grazutis, a junior double majoring in Spanish and middle level teaching and learning, who is currently the treasurer of the team, placed sixth in her junior short program but came back strong in the free skate to earn a second place finish.

“I always feel so proud to represent the Huskies in intercollegiate competitions. Every time I compete, I think of all the people at NIU who support me as well as proving wrong all those that have ever doubted me. I am looking forward to doing my Huskie family proud as a senior skater next year!” said Dana Sivak, a graduate student working toward her master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is currently the president of the team and placed first in her senior short program.

As a team that is always pushing each other to improve their individual skating as well as their team results, NIU Figure Skating made a big push this competition to have more girls compete in the ice dance events. They are proud to have had four out of the seven girls competing in ice dance events along with their free skates. Carlson, Knoth and Sivak competed in the Preliminary Dance event. Grazutis and Sivak competed in the Juvenile Dance event. Sivak placed first in both the Preliminary Dance event and the Juvenile Dance event and Grazutis placed second.

Last, but not least, NIU Figure Skating also had all of their members compete in the low team or high team maneuvers events. Lorr, Helm, Carlsen, and Knoth competed in the low team maneuvers event and Grazutis, Sivak and Kootstra competed in the high team maneuvers event.

“As founder of this team, I am so proud of all our accomplishments to date as a newer sports club on campus. We continue to accomplish our goals and I am looking forward to seeing the growth of the team in years to come,” says Sivak.

For more information about the team or to join, contact Ashley Grazutis.

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