Figure skaters' second-place showing secures nationals bid
March 11, 2020 | Newark, Del.
Liberty University's figure skating team accumulated 111 points in this past weekend's final Eastern Sectional competition, hosted by team champion Delaware (171) at the Olympic-sized rink at Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Del. The Lady Flames clinched one of four bids to the U.S. Figure Skating Intercollegiate National Championships set for March 27-29 in Minneapolis, Minn.
"The team had a great weekend … with lessons learned while competing and the relationships that were strengthened on the road," said Head Coach Dawn Harter, who will travel with Associate Coach and Synchronized Skating Head Coach Tatiana Payne and 18 of their skaters to nationals.
Prior to Saturday's and Sunday's skating events, the Lady Flames had an opportunity to encourage high school student "street leaders" at an inner-city youth ministry, Urban Promise. After joining them for a pizza dinner, freshman skater Sarah Yoder shared her life journey that inspired and encouraged many of the students and ministry directors.
"She has had severe medical issues that have caused her to lean in towards God and strengthen that relationship," Harter said. "We hope to return to Urban Promise in the future. Overall, it was a God-appointed visit, and not only were we able to bless the street leaders and directors, but they in turn blessed us and encouraged us."
Then, on the ice, sophomore Abbie Steelman experienced a sensational weekend, finishing first in both her Intermediate short program and her freeskate program. Senior Jill Holste placed first in the solo preliminary dance pattern, followed by freshman Marissa Harter in fifth and junior Haley Gram in seventh. Gram also captured second place in her Juvenile freeskate.
Junior Emily Wilson landed a second-place finish in solo silver dance pattern and Holste placed third in the solo pre-bronze competition with junior Angela Bosher finishing fifth. Bosher also placed third in both her Novice short program and Junior freeskate program.
Freshman Sarah Hicks took second in Preliminary freeskating followed by Harter in fourth. Meanwhile, Pre-juvenile skaters Aviana Dettmer, a sophomore, and senior Mya Pritts finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Junior Hope Lassiter placed third in her Senior solo freedance and sixth in her solo gold dance pattern performance.
Sophomore Abigail Judson tied for fifth in Intermediate solo freedance while Bosher placed sixth in her Senior solo freedance debut with Wilson following in seventh.
Freshman Claire Revas finished fifth in the Senior championship level freeskate followed by senior Chelsea Henry in sixth. Henry also placed seventh in her Senior short program.
Senior Kimberly Joe skated her Intermediate freeskate for the first time and finished fourth despite an illness. Similarly, senior Emma Henderson placed fourth while competing for the first time this season in the Junior freeskate.
Sarah Embry landed another silver medal in the High Beginner freeskate and fellow senior Christa Lesher placed fifth in her Pre-Preliminary freeskate.
The Lady Flames solidified their second-place standing after hosting the first Eastern Sectional on Feb. 16 at the LaHaye Ice Center. They finished ahead of Carnegie Mellon (86), Penn State (83), Princeton (66), Pittsburgh (64), and 10 other schools n the competition.
Complete results are available online.