ASU officially joins the U.S Collegiate Figure Skating Circuit


Monse Apud

competitors practice at the ICE DEN in Scottsdale and Chandler

Monserrat Apud de la Fuente, Reporter

The first figure ice skating team at Arizona State University (ASU) became official starting this fall 2019 semester, making it the first time ASU will compete in the U.S. Collegiate figure skating circuit.

Kiki Owens a freshman at ASU this year, skated for 12 years and wanted to continue the sport at the college level. As winter sports are not prominent in Arizona, there was no way for local or out-of-state skaters to continue competitively skating if they attended ASU.

This inspired Owens to work with the university, U.S. Figure Skating, fellow skaters, and coaches from the Arizona skating community to establish an official competitive figure skating team.

Before the team was officially established at ASU, there was a figure skating club at the university that is purely recreational, which was disappointing for veteran skaters who were looking to stay involved in the sport. According to Owens, “these two clubs are completely separate and there are certain requirements needed for the competitive team unlike the recreational club”.

What these requirements might be?

“As long as you are a full student at ASU you’re more than welcome to join the team. We take anywhere from beginning skaters, hopefully someone who at least has a little bit of skating knowledge and has been maybe competitive, even at the lowest levels, but it starts at preliminary levels all the way to senior” said Karen Gesell the team coach.

The team allows veteran skaters to continue practicing as well as competing at the college level and gives new prospective skaters the opportunity to learn the sport and compete, even though competitions are optional.

“I’m from California, I skated when I was really little, and then stopped because of school, and this just seemed like a good way to get back into it” said Jillian Ayers a skater and student at ASU.

There are a set number of on-ice practices, stretching, and conditioning in order to get ready for the 3 competitions of the year or just practice. Since ASU does not have an official facility for their winter sports, the team’s practices are located at both the Ice Den facilities in North Scottsdale and Chandler.