Trenton High School’s C level figure skating team, coached by Sandy Moss, took first place March 27 in Ann Arbor at the Michigan High School Figure Skating Championships. Team members include seniors Carol Ann Scarborough (left), Sarah Kowalski, Stephanie Frank, sophomore Erica Mehrhof, freshman Karly Ford (standing, right) and senior Julie Donaldson (seated, right).
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
Three local C level high school figure skating teams took top honors March 27 at the Michigan High School Figure Skating Championships, held in Ann Arbor at the Ice Cube.
Trenton High School took first place, Cabrini High School earned the silver, and a Dearborn skater from Livonia Ladywood High School helped her team tie for third with Ann Arbor Pioneer.
The Michigan High School Skating series, introduced in 1999, has grown from 10 teams to 50 in the last 13 years. It gives high school figure skaters a chance to participate in their school’s athletic team sports program.
Michigan, with five geographical districts, has A, B and C level teams that compete in jump, spin and move elements, with A being the most difficult skill level and C the least difficult. A skater’s team level placement is based on his or her United States Figure Skating Association test results in jumps, spins and moves. Schools may field figure skating teams on all three levels or just one level.
Trenton’s C level team, which took first place in District 2 to qualify for the state competition, scored the highest of the 10 C level teams at states in spins, with the second-highest point score in jumps and third highest in moves.
Coached by Sandy Moss, the Trenton C team includes seniors Julie Donaldson, Stephanie Frank, Sarah Kowalski and Carol Ann Scarborough, sophomore Erica Mehrhof and freshman Karly Ford. Frank said the win was a great way
to finish her senior year. “This team was really close and we had a fun time skating together,” she said. “We really couldn’t have done it without our coaches. I know everyone says that, but it’s so true! They were amazing and there for us every step of the way.”
Officials at Cabrini, a first-time figure skating team entrant, said they were thrilled with a C team silver medal. Coached by Shelly Kowalski, C team members include freshmen Jacqueline Donahue of Allen Park, Erica Sams of Lincoln Park and Alexandria Nieten of Romulus.
Livonia Ladywood’s two-skater C team, coached by Allison Heitjan Pace, consisted of senior Katie Suchyta of Dearborn and sophomore Kaylyn Scott of Farmington Hills. They took first place among the C teams in District 3 to qualify for the state competition.
The duo, which as a team tied for third with Ann Arbor Pioneer, also did well in the individual events. Suchyta took a silver medal for her showcase solo while she and Scott took second place in a qualifying round and fourth overall for their showcase duet.
“We went to states determined to make an impact and we did,” Suchyta said. “By the end of Saturday (our team) had four gold and two silver (medals) for individual events, placing our six-member team (two on the C and four on the A level team) in the top 10 individual event high score bracket, a place usually reserved for teams of 20-plus members.”
She said the C team winning the bronze on Sunday “was merely icing on the cake.”
Ladywood’s four A team members include sophomores Melissa Yax of Taylor, Catherine Garber of Livonia, and Bridget Hillman of Northville, and junior Becca Camilleri of Redford Township.
Pace said she was “proud beyond belief” at the great performance by all of her skaters.
For additional results and standings for the Michigan High School Figure Skating Championships, go to www.mihs.sk8stuff.com.
Breaking down the divisions
Teams in the Michigan High School Figure Skating Championships compete in three rounds in each district.
An A, B or C level team is scored for three events at their respective level for jumps, spins and moves. The top three teams for each level in each district then are eligible to compete in the state tournament in March. C level teams have been eligible to compete at state competition only since last year.
In addition to the team competition, individual competitive events, such as freeskating, dance and showcase, took place March 26, the day before the team competitions.
This year’s local teams with high individual event score totals included Dearborn Divine Child, in second place with 92 points, and Livonia Ladywood, in sixth place with 55 points.
No distinction is made with respect to team size or skill level; all individual event points for each school are tallied at the end of the first day. They do not impact the team score outcomes on the second day.