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    November 21, 2022 Wesley Chapel, Fla. RSS |

    Competing in its first Southeast Sectional meet of the season, Liberty University’s figure skating team placed second out of 11 teams on hand for Saturday’s and Sunday’s Intercollegiate Skating Classic at the University of South Florida in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

    The Lady Flames scored 223 points to finish runner-up to Delaware (259) and ahead of Penn State (189), among other colleges and universities.

    “We had all 30 starts filled and they all performed well above my expectation,” Liberty Head Coach Dawn Harter said. “Their attitudes were great, and they used their skates as learning opportunities as well. Whether they placed well or at the end of their group, they came away with a positive attitude, wanting to get back on the ice to work on things to make them better.”

    Sophomore Greta Snukis turned in standout performances, placing first in her Intermediate long program and third in the long program.

    “Last year, she came in at the bottom of her group, and this year she’s starting at the top,” Harter said. “Both of her starts were very strong finishes and proud moments for her.”

    The Lady Flames dominated the solo free dance competition, with senior Senior-level skaters Jamie Gordon and Olivia Walker and senior Juvenile-level skaters Marissa Harter and Sarah Hicks placing second and third in their respective divisions.

    “We just blew it away coming right out of the box,” Dawn Harter added. “Greta’s teammate, (sophomore) Rachel Berger, won the Intermediate short competition and in the Preliminary short program, (senior) Hannah Bruckner and (sophomore) Shaeleigh Stewart came in first and second (respectively).”

    Marissa Harter and Hicks finished first and second, respectively, in the Pre-Juvenile free skate and Claire (Rivas) Cook placed second competing in Bronze Pattern Dance for the first time while junior Kristine Neumeyer placed second and third, respectively, in the Pre-Silver and Silver Pattern Dance events. Walker finished first in Pre-Gold Pattern Dance in her first time skating in that division.

    Liberty’s Low Team Maneuvers quartet of Hicks, Neumeyer, Carrera, and Marissa Harter won the competition for Juvenile and lower skaters and the Lady Flames’ High Team Maneuvers trio of Walker, Cook, and senior Courtney Kirschke came in fourth.

    Sophomore Kamden Carrera showed improvements in confidence and artistry within her Pre-Juvenile free skate program, placing second. The Lady Flames closed out Sunday’s competition with High Beginner skaters Olivia Anderson and Anna Holloway, a freshman, placing first and second, respectively.

    Off the ice, the team had an opportunity to serve at One More Child ministry in Tampa, Fla., sorting clothing for children in the foster care system or for others coming out of the sex trafficking industry.

    “We met up with the organizers of the ministry, which offers a boutique, not just a clothing closet, a space to help the young ladies feel special and to give them a purpose and to love on them,” Dawn Harter said. “We got to help the ministry workers do whatever they needed us to do, from sorting clothes to cleaning windows, and we had an opportunity to pray over the boutique and the ministry workers as well.”

    She said the four team members who traveled to the USF competition but did not skate will likely have the opportunity when the Lady Flames travel to Delaware on March 11-12 for the second of three Southeast Sectionals, or the third at Mercyhurst (Pa.) University on March 24-25.

    “I put a few freshmen out there to see how they did in the collegiate atmosphere,” Dawn Harter said. “For the next one, I will take my top 30 starts who I think need to be out there. It comes down to work ethic, health, making sure their injuries are not prevalent and their academics are good. We will have to do a rotation and I will be excited to see the girls who were in the stands not competing (this weekend) skate at the next competition.”

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer