Sacred Heart University’s Club Figure Skating team has qualified to compete on its sports’ national stage for the first time in seven seasons.
As was one of the top four collegiate programs in the East, the skaters automatically qualified for the Figure Skating National Championships.
“It is a tremendous, almost indescribable honor to be invited to represent Sacred Heart University, as well as all of the other schools in the US Figure Skating Eastern Intercollegiate Conference, on the national stage,” said Lisa A. Fedick, head coach of SHU’s figure skating team. “It has taken us seven seasons to become an ‘overnight sensation,’ and this national berth is not only a validation of the strength, determination and work ethic of the 2017‐2018 team, but of all the Sacred Heart figure skaters who have come before them.”
The U.S. Figure Skating’s Collegiate Program Committee governs intercollegiate skating competitions. The teams enter one of three sections, based on their locations within the U.S. Figure Skating sectional map—East Coast, Midwest and Pacific Coast. The collegiate competitive season runs October through March, with three competitions taking place in each section.
Those competitions proceed as follows:
- All skaters must be full-time college students, as defined by the institution they attend.
- Skaters compete individually in short program and free skate singles events, solo dance, and/or as part of a team in the team maneuvers event, representing the college they attend, and earning “team points” for placement in the top five.
- Skaters compete in events based on their U.S. Figure Skating test level.
- Each team attends the three competitions in their assigned section/conference.
- The four teams that earn the most points throughout the season in each conference are invited to compete at the U.S. Intercollegiate Team Figure Skating Championships each April.
The Pioneers were one of 61 teams in the country striving for the opportunity to compete in the U.S Intercollegiate Team Figure Skating National Championships, and by reaching the top four teams in the East Section, the skaters qualified for the “Terrific Twelve.”
Fedick said coaching the Sacred Heart Club Figure Skating Team has “become my true labor of love. I believe my most important contribution has been helping these talented young women to truly believe in themselves and in their capabilities. I hope this is a lesson that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
“We are ready for Denver, well prepared, both athletically and mentally. The ultimate success there will be having every skater on our team skate a personal best performance. This is all that we can control, and then after that, who knows…?”
The competition will take place at the University of Denver. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, April 13 at 4:30 p.m., followed by the competition, which will conclude Sunday, April 15.
Before leaving for competition on Thursday, the team will have a Nationals Sendoff on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport. The sendoff will include a short performance and reception.