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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Tight-knit club figure skating team gears up for second semester

Marquette figure skating practices every Monday from 6:30-8:00 am at the Kern Center. (Photo courtesy of Marquette figure skating.)

It is an early Monday morning in Milwaukee, and while most college students are sleeping, Marquette’s club figure skating team laces up their skates and hits the ice ready for practice.

Because there isn’t an on-campus ice rink, the club practices every Monday from 6:30-8:00 a.m. in the lower-level ice arena at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center. The arena is 1.5 miles off campus and club members carpool with each other there and back.

The club decided to go with the Kern Center because other rinks are further away and more expensive.

“We talk with the person in charge of ice maintenance via email,” club president Kristina Chen, a junior in the College of Nursing, said. “He’ll give usually about 90 minutes of ice time for $10, which is a great deal for the ice. We work with him to figure out specific practice time(s).”

The club has been around since 2011 but has been looking to grow their following through social media platforms, such as Instagram and a future TikTok account. 

“We post a lot of reels of us doing stuff on the ice rink at practice, having fun,” social media manager Veda Vanerem, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.

On social media, the club has fundraised to create custom apparel for competitions, highlighted by ice blue Lululemon jackets with a gold “Marquette Figure Skating” wordmark emblazoned on the back.

The back of the club’s jackets reads “Marquette Figure Skating.”

“The competitions are quite expensive. I make sure that we’re covered through MUSG and fundraisers like the merch,” treasurer Olivia Wang, a senior in the first year of the graduate DPT program, said. 

Vanerem, who became a club member last year, said that she decided to join the group because she enjoys the companionship that comes with it.

“I wanted to make more friends in college, and I’ve always been on a synchronized skating team,” Vanerem said. “I like that camaraderie feeling of being together.”

Vice President Sophia Troyan, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, said she joined the club as a sophomore on a whim.

“I was looking for another sport. I’ve always done a sport in high school and was looking for something to continue in college,” Troyan said. “I had a different story because I stopped skating for five years. I’ve gotten back into it out of nowhere really, and I’m happy I did.” 

The club competed last November in Western Michigan’s Bronco Challenge Cup, which took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Vanerem said seeing other routines and familiar faces is a highlight of the competitions. 

“It’s really fun to see the other girls, people that you could have skated with in high school if you’re from the surrounding areas,” Vanerem said.

The club has two upcoming competitions at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Feb. 16-18) and Ohio State (March 8-10). Troyan said the team will need to be confident and support each other. 

“We need to do our best, there’s not much pressure, and everyone’s cheering each other on,” Troyan said.

With figure skating being an individual sport, the club has tried to build a sense of community through team bonding.

“After practice, we usually get Dunkin, every year we do Secret Santa and other team bonding activities,” Chen said.

But with being student-run, there’s a feeling that the group is much more close-knit. 

“It’s much more personalized. Everyone knows each other. I like that it’s a smaller group of people that go every single week so that you get to know them better,” Troyan said.

As the club gears up for its endeavors this semester, Chen said that continually going through routines and technique will pay dividends come competition day.

“We continue to run our programs on the rink, focusing on our routine, team and techniques,” Chen said.

This article was written by Mikey Severson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @MikeySeversonMU.

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Mikey Severson
Mikey Severson, Sports Reporter
Mikey Severson is a first year from Saint Charles, Illinois studying journalism and minoring in sports management. He is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. At St. Charles East High School, he played football, tennis and managed the boys' basketball team. Outside of the Wire, he enjoys professional football, playing tennis, trying new foods and meeting new people. He is excited to cover Marquette athletics, go to games and interview players & coaches post-game.

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