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    June 29, 2021 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    After seeing the 2020 season end prematurely due to COVID-19, Liberty University's figure skating team enjoyed an opportunity to send off its four seniors and showcase their diverse talents during an "Exhibition of Hope" in late April at the LaHaye Ice Center.

    "For the seniors it was really sad seeing them all go, but it was definitely really good because it felt like we got closure for them," Lady Flames rising junior Claire Rivas said. "They got to have a final skate and we all got to see them go off as a team."

    Sammie Veloso, a professional skater from Bedford, Va., came in as a guest coach early in the spring semester to help Liberty's skaters with their choreography, which Lady Flames senior captain Angela Boscher expanded on to create a grand finale performance in the senior program.

    "It was so cool seeing all of the girls get so excited to put all of their programs together and since it was a show and not technically a competition, we got to choose more fun music, low pressure programs," rising junior Marissa Harter said.

    "The exhibition was such a fun time just seeing everyone go out of their comfort zone and really just try different things and seeing a different side of people, especially doing it on our home rink, because you don't get to do that at competition," Rivas added. "In competition, it's a lot more strict, a lot more rules and this time around it was literally, anything goes, within reason."

    Lady Flames Head Coach Dawn Harter was glad to have a socially distanced crowd on hand to inspire the skaters to perform their best.

    "They had a really great time showcasing some fun events and being creative and being able to have an audience of individuals, not just family and friends, but to have the community come in and watch as well," she said.

    Harter has 10 solid recruits coming in to join a roster of 14 returning skaters.

    "We are looking forward to the next year," she said. "We are looking for individuals that have a competitive mindset and have programs ready to go for tryouts in September."

    She and her skaters are waiting for U.S. Figure Skating to announce where the other two Eastern Sectional competitions will take place besides the one Liberty will host in February leading up to the USFS Collegiate National Championships in April.


    Video by Olivia Bergen/Club Sports Video & Media Coordinator