Members of Hamilton’s Figure Skating team will compete at the Eastern Intercollegiate Competition at Liberty University in Virginia this weekend. The Hamilton team of 20 skaters has been participating in intercollegiate and synchronized skating competitions for the past four years.
Four team members will travel to the Virginia competition. Erika Craven ’14 will compete in senior short program and pre-silver ice dance; Hannah Tessler ’14, novice short program; Marta Antoniv ’17, preliminary ice dance; and Sharon Di ’17, preliminary ice dance.
Craven, the team’s captain, said members are encouraged but not required to try competing. The skating team participates in other events besides competition, such as performing during Hamilton hockey games.
“This competition will be the first ever for two of the girls -- they just started skating last semester,” Craven noted. She has been competing for 16 years and now competes at the senior level. The team participates in about two intercollegiate competitions a year, and, when they have enough members for a synchronized team they enter a competition for that as well. Hamilton’s skaters compete in ice dance and freestyle events.
Craven explained that “As figure skating is an individual sport, it’s a new experience to compete as a team. Each skater skates individually for each event in their level,” she said, “however you can earn points for your school if you place in the top five in your event.
“I’ve been competing since I was six and the experience I have competing for the school instead of just as an individual is really different. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and positive where everyone cheers for everyone,” Craven remarked.
Although it's difficult for Hamilton to compete with schools like Dartmouth and the University of Delaware who send about 20 skaters to a competition and thus have more opportunities in each level to place, “it's such a positive experience regardless,” she concluded.