Figure skaters compete at collegiate nationals in Colorado
July 30, 2016 | Westminster, Colo.
Rising sophomore Cami Burkhardt and incoming freshman Chelsea Henry represented Liberty University at this past weekend's United States Collegiate Figure Skating Championships held at the Ice Center at the Promenade near Denver.
Burkhardt, from Wake Forest, N.C., participated in the competition for the second consecutive summer and finished 16th in the Senior Ladies division while Henry, from Carlsbad, Calif., placed 20th in her first time skating for the Lady Flames.
"It was definitely a good experience for them," Liberty first-year Head Coach Dawn Harter said. "The ladies had some tough competition as well as altitude issues to deal with in the mile-high city of Westminster (Colo.)"
Ashley Wang, a nationally ranked figure skater and student at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, was the overall champion with 172.73 points.
Burkhardt was in 10th place after posting a score of 30.81 in Friday's short program and landed in 16th following Saturday's 40.09 performance in the free skate for a cumulative total of 74.90. Henry recorded a short program score of 19.37 and a free skate mark of 26.79 for a combined 46.16.
"Cami knew the ropes and how to get around and it was good for the teammates to be able to meet each other and have time together," Harter said. "This was the first time I had seen Chelsea skate and I am looking forward to her skating with us and progressing on some of the skills she has already. She is excited about having (the LaHaye Ice Center) close by and working with our team and coaches."
Harter said nerves may have affected the skaters' routines, competing on such a grand stage so early in their collegiate careers.
"They didn't skate the way they wanted to but they are learning how to get more mentally prepared," Harter said, noting they will be focusing on that this semester while creating more technically advanced programs.
Burkhardt has recovered from a back injury sustained in early October and hip surgery that sidelined her for much of her freshman season at Liberty. She skated to "Time to Say Goodbye" in her short program and "The Fight Song/Amazing Grace" by the Piano Guys in the free skate, which she said served as her personal fight song during her comeback.
"Cami looks strong on the ice, back to where she was at the start of last year," Harter said. "She was under the weather, dealing with a virus prior to arriving in Denver, but her skating quality looked good."
Henry is one of 10 recruited athletes coming into the Lady Flames' program this month, joining close to 15 returning skaters for tryouts set for Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. Walk-ons are welcome though they must have a program prepared and bring their own music as well as a copy of their program content sheet for levels Intermediate to Senior.
"We can take up to 30 skaters but we won't keep that many," Harter said. "We will review their performances at tryouts and decide."