Sophomore Sophie Hill has been competitively ice skating for eight years. In kindergarten, she would go to a rink and skate with her friend three days a week.
“On Tuesdays we would skate for hours,” Hill said.
Two years later, Hill decided to take lessons and start competing. She now practices for six hours a week on ice, and four hours of conditioning off the ice. Hill is a level five in freestyle, which focuses on jumps and spins, and is a level of intermediate (which is level five of eight) on her moves, which focuses on her footwork.
“Skating is a physically challenging competition that requires a lot of athleticism and time to succeed,” Hill said.
The way that skaters level up is by performing tests. For tests, there is a book that all skaters have to buy that tells them what they need to do. They sign up for either freestyle or field moves and perform in front of three judges, who tell them if they pass or fail once they are done.
Hill had an interesting experience during her last test.
“I was trying to do my test and my coach had a heart attack,” Hill said. “So, I didn’t pass that test. I’m going to try again in about three weeks.”
There is a rule for skating tests that says if a skater gets on the ice and begins their test, it is an automatic fail if they get off of the ice before they’re done. Hill got off the ice to help her coach and the judges had to fail her.
Hill has high aspirations for what she wants to accomplish by her senior year.
“There’s an award called the US Figure Skating Gold Medalist for skaters if they finish all of their moves before they graduate high school,” Hill said. “That is something that I really want to accomplish.”
For anyone who would like to see Hill perform, she will be performing a show on May 20-22 at St. Joseph Figure Skating Club that she describes as “‘The Little Mermaid’ on ice”.