Athletics & Recreation / Current Issue

Club Figure Skating heats up the ice

Last year DU’s Club Figure Skating placed fifth in the nation. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

If the University of Denver’s Club Figure Skating gets any hotter, it’ll need to take up swimming.

Last year the team placed fifth in the nation, but that feat was far out of the spotlight. The club is just that: a club, and not a sanctioned varsity DU sport.

But that might be one reason the team is doing so well.

“I think part of it is we just have a lot of fun. I know I don’t feel a lot of pressure, and that helps me a lot,” says Alicia Prince, a senior accounting major from Seattle who has competed all four years on the team.

Prince has been skating since she was a young girl and says she specifically sought a university with an active skating club.

“I wasn’t looking for a scholarship, just a school that had a good program so I could keep skating,” she says. “It’s a nice stress reliever for me and a good way to make friends, especially when you don’t know anyone at the school.”

That makes perfect sense to Dan Wahl, manager of student recreation programs at DU.

He says the school currently has 826 people in club sports, nearly a 10 percent bump from 2009’s 754 participants. Wahl believes participation is up because more students are playing organized sports in high school.

“Club sports lets them keep playing a sport they may be familiar with, or they can try new sports, too,” Wahl says.

Junior finance and marketing major Hannah Falvey, from West Des Moines, Iowa, says she believes the skating team should continue to do well this year, mostly because of its diversity.

“We have girls in all ranges of levels, and that lets us enter into many different events at competitions,” says Falvey, the club’s president. “Our team is so dynamic. We have about every different region of the country represented, along with every different type of major. No girl is like another, which has been great for team chemistry. We all respect each other’s goals.”

The 20-member team has no official coach, but skaters can and often do take private lessons. The club practices on the ice in Magness Arena three mornings a week for two hours. Falvey adds that most of the team does some off-ice training, too. “A lot of us have very different routines away from the ice that work well for us,” Falvey says.

Prince says figure skater Michelle Kwan (BA ’09), an Olympic silver and bronze medalist and DU alum, never competed on the team but did stop by to skate with the club occasionally.

“She was really nice, and it was cool to meet her and talk to her about skating,” Prince says.

After graduating in the spring, Prince plans to continue her graduate studies at DU so she can remain a part of the club.

“I want to stay here and skate,” she says. “That’s how much fun it is for me.”


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