Janesville65.4°

Janesville Figure Skating Club to host Saturday skating event

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
May 16, 2008
— You’ve watched the athleticism, gracefulness and elegance of figure skaters on national TV.

But Saturday you’ll only need to take a short trek to the city’s ice arena, where you’ll have a chance to watch the future talent of Wisconsin skaters in this worldwide sport.


Like many Olympic figure skating medalists, skaters get their starts at local clubs, which host events that advance skaters in their quests to become the best.


Such is the case here, where the Janesville Figure Skating Club will host the annual basic skills competition, SK8N On the Rock, as part of the first Wisconsin Series approved by U.S. Figure Skating.


“We have about 70 skaters from all over the state participating,” said Deb Tatroe, co-president with Tina Matykowski.


Tatroe explained events of the morning competition:


-- Artistic, which includes costumes and props.


-- Interpretive, where skaters know nothing of the songs they are about to skate to, but after hearing them only three times, skate and interpret the music to their best ability.


-- Compulsory, which are short programs that contain required elements and are skated without music on a half sheet of ice.


Afternoon competition will feature various freestyle events that are about 90 minutes long and skated to music on the entire sheet of ice.


“In freestyle, you can find a beginning 5-year-old skater to a more experienced skater, 10 to 11 years old, landing her axel in the preliminary category,’’ Tatroe said.


The Janesville Figure Skating Club was recently featured in LifeSkate Magazine, a national publication for the figure skating profession. It was the first club to be featured in this magazine’s new series about local figure skating clubs.


The club also has organized the free November Spice on Ice Show, sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, the past four years.


“The event also is an opportunity for higher-level skaters to run through their programs before regionals,’’ according to the club’s Web site, www.janesvillefsc.org.

Club skaters also earned 14 medals after competing in the Badger State Winter Games that are open to Wisconsin residents, making them eligible to compete in the State Games of America that take place every two years. The 2009 State Games of America will be July 30 through Aug. 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Previous State Games’ athletes included Nancy Kerrigan, two-time Olympic figure skating medalist and 1993 U.S. champion, and Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic silver medalist. Both at one time trained in Janesville.


IF YOU GO
Who: Janesville Figure Skating Club.
What: SK8N on the Rock, an annual basic skills competition.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Janesville Ice Skating Center, 821 Beloit Ave.
Featured: About 70 skaters from throughout Wisconsin.
Admission: Free and open to the public.

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