Figure skaters finish second in Southeast Section at Delaware, clinch bid to April 1-3 nationals in Michigan
Liberty University’s figure skating team placed second to host University of Delaware at its final Southeast Sectional competition over the weekend at the Olympic-sized Fred Rust Arena rink.
The Lady Flames totaled a program-record 242 points to finish behind the Blue Hens (259.5) and well ahead of third-place Penn State University (189.5), East Carolina (104.5), South Florida (92.5), Pennsylvania (78.5), and Pittsburgh (74.5).
“A highlight of the weekend was (freshman) Rachel Berger placing first in her Intermediate short program and second for her Excel Novice long program, which is something she has been working hard on in practices since the last competition and her hard work has paid off,” Liberty Head Coach Dawn Harter said.
Lady Flames juniors Marissa Harter, Sarah Hicks, and Kristine Neumeyer landed a 1-2-3- finish in the Excel Pre-Juvenile division before Harter won the Preliminary Pattern Dance and Harter and Hicks finished first and second, respectively, in Juvenile Solo Free Dance. Junior Olivia Ford Walker also won the Silver Pattern Dance and came in third in Senior Solo Free Dance while Neumeyer took second in Bronze Pattern Dance.
Senior Courtney Kirschke placed third in the Senior short program, freshman Emma Richards and sophomore Rebekah McBrayer placed second and third, respectively, in the Excel Intermediate division, and Richards also came in third in the Intermediate short program won by Berger.
Junior Hailey Jordan finished first in the Excel Preliminary Plus class while senior Hannah Bruckner and junior Alecia Bernau came in second and fourth, respectively, in the Excel Preliminary division. Graduate Sarah Embry was the runner-up in the Excel Pre-Preliminary class, and junior Emma Claire Rivas finished fourth in the Excel Senior competition. Junior Jamie Gordon placed third in International Pattern Dance.
Liberty’s trio of skaters in High Team Maneuvers placed third behind Delaware and UPenn while its Intermediate and Low Team Maneuvers trios finished as runners-up to the Blue Hens.
In the final sectional season standings, based on the Liberty Classic, which the Lady Flames won, a virtual Skate Princeton competition, and this past weekend’s Blue Hen Ice Classic, Delaware totaled 498.5 to edge Liberty (478), followed by Penn State (391.5), ECU (191.5), and USF (167) rounding out the top five.
With its top-four Southeast Sectional finish, Liberty will send its entire team to Adrian (Mich.) College to compete in the April 1-3 U.S. Figure Skating Collegiate National Championships, where the Lady Flames will fill 30 starts.
“For Nationals, I plan to use three other starts that travelled to the University of Delaware but did not compete,” Harter said. “They have been working hard and are hungry for another opportunity since the (Princeton) virtual competition.”