Figure skating team places sixth in competition

On Oct. 15 and 16, the NIU Figure Sfigure-skatingkating Team placed sixth of 13 teams at the Maize and Blue Intercollegiate Figure Skating Competition sanctioned by the U.S. Figure Skating Association and hosted by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

This competition served as the first of the season, as the team hopes to compete for a second time in the spring. Four of the eight currently active team members took to the ice to represent NIU.

Della Carlsen, who started skating at age seven and took up the sport again when she learned at last year’s involvement fair that NIU had a figure skating team, received second place in her preliminary free skate event.

Stephanie Knoth, who started skating when she was eight years old, placed first in her preliminary free skate event.

“As a freshman, it is completely worth joining. Competing in college is so much different because everyone is so much more supportive and the environment has much less stress,” Knoth said.

Team treasurer Ashley Grazutis, who has been skating since she was seven years old, received fourth place in the junior ladies short program and third place in the junior ladies free skate event.

“I fell on my first jump in the short program and because of that, I was super determined to place better in the free skate,” she said. “In my other event, I placed third and was proud of my ability to refocus and skate a solid program free of mistakes. Overall, I feel so honored to represent the Huskies at the intercollegiate competition.”

Christi Helm, who hasn’t competed in six years, placed second in the team maneuvers’ event alongside Carlsen and Knoth.

This marks the second year that the team has been active as a sports club organization. The team is led by president Dana Sivak, an NIU graduate student pursuing her degree in nutrition and dietetics.

“Overall, we are very proud of our growth and accomplishments this past year and we are very excited to compete at our next competition in March at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” she said.

The team hopes to continue to grow and develop over the coming years. If you would like to learn more information about the team or would like to join, please contact Dana Sivak at The team is also accepting donations at The team recognizes and appreciates all the support NIU community, friends and family members have provided thus far.

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