Slick skating duo brings home bronze

Two La Jolla High students and their teammates came home from the recent National Synchronized Figure Skating Championships with bronze medals.

Skylar Economy and Alice Schukin are members of Team Del Sol’s Intermediate team of 13- to 18-year-olds who competed in Portland, Maine, in early March.

“Synchronized skating is a team sport in which eight to 20 skaters perform a program together,” the U.S. Figure Skating Web site says. “It uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and dance and is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences.

As with the other disciplines, all teams perform a free skate with required well-balanced program elements. In addition, teams at the junior and senior level perform a short program consisting of required elements.”

Team Del Sol’s routine at the Nationals followed a fire theme this year in honor of those who lost their property in the wildfires, Skylar said.

There are two sisters on the team whose grandparents lost their home and another girl on the younger squad whose family lost theirs, she added.

Skaters carried the theme in their costumes as well as in the music, which included “Dust in the Wind” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

Skylar, a freshman who also competes in individual events, said she has been skating since she was in kindergarten.

The girls and their 16 teammates practice at the UTC ice arena or at San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa.

Early in the season, which just ended, the team starts with Saturday workouts and progress as the season goes on, Skylar said. Team members train alone as well as with the team.

As Nationals approached, there were days when Alice and Skylar were on the ice at 3 a.m. training.

“It gets earlier and earlier,” said Alice, who has skated since she was 3.

“If it wasn’t for synchro, I probably wouldn’t be skating any more. … It’s one big family. It’s really fun.”

The commitment is a big one. “We practice our routines hundreds of times,” Alice said.

Team Del Sol’s head coach is Karen Weismiemer. Other team members are: Theresa Andrasfay, Juliette Birch, Marissa Carmarda, Kristina Graber, Sara Graber, Katie Handfelt, Courtney Heck, Alicia Hernandez, Dalenna Kessler, Julia McDonald, Rachel Robinson, McKenna Rudy, Alisa Tang, Erin Winslow, Megan Winslow and Michelle Xie.

Tryouts for next year’s team are April 25. All team members must try out again.

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