Albert Lea skaters advance

Published 1:29pm Saturday, February 1, 2014

Four members of the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club passed on-ice tests to advance in the sport. The U.S. Figure Skating Association encourages members to test their skills to challenge their abilities. It also requires members to pass tests to qualify for competitions.

Tests are the measurement of progress in the various branches of the sport. Each level has required elements, and they become more difficult as skaters move up the levels.

Maddie VanBeek of Albert Lea, a freshman in the Minnesota Virtual Academy, passed juvenile free skate, the fourth of eight levels in freestyle figure skating. A four-year member of the Albert Lea club, VanBeek is a junior coach with the club. She is coached by Lori Voepel Brakke, a skating professional with the Rochester Figure Skating Club. VanBeek also enjoys swimming and roller-blading.

Carine Rofshus, an eighth-grader at Albert Lea High School, passed preliminary moves in the field, the second of eight levels. She has been skating with the local club for six years. She is coached by Anne Sternhagen, a skating professional with the Albert Lea club, and Mandy Wagner, a skating professional with the Rochester club. Off the ice, Rofshus participates in the Albert Lea High School choir, Just for Kix and community theater.

Christy Crom, an eighth-grader at Albert Lea High School, passed pre-preliminary moves in the field, the first of eight levels. She has been skating with the club for six years. She is coached by Anne Sternhagen, a skating professional with the Albert Lea club, and Paul Paprocki, a skating professional with the Rochester club. Crom is also a member of ALHS orchestra, volleyball and Hartland 4-H.

Marissa Mortenson, a sophomore at NRHEG, passed pre-preliminary free skate and moves in the field, the first of eight levels. She is coached by Suzanne Olson of the Albert Lea club. In addition to skating, Mortenson participates in horse sports, 4-H, FFA, cross country, track and field and school plays.

These skaters will all perform in the local figure skating show, “Home on the Rink,” March 22 to 23 at the Albert Lea City Arena.

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