By Abigail Russell
Last weekend, Colorado College’s figure skating team hosted its annual “Tiger Challenge,” a U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned intercollegiate competition against 12 other teams in the Pacific Coast region. The Tigers hosted teams from five states: California, Utah, Washington, Arizona, and Colorado.
The event took place in Honnen Ice Arena over the course of two days.
Six skaters from CC’s team participated. All told, they competed in 10 out of over 40 events. The small squad definitely placed well overall against some staggering competitors like University of California at Berkeley and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The competitions are categorized by style of skating, individual and team competition, and ability. Such wide variety speaks to the inclusivity of the sport on the collegiate level. “You can be a total beginner … [but] I skate like three or four times a day,” Julia Fennell ’22 said.
Marco Berg ’21 highlighted the small team’s success last weekend.
“I hope more people will come to skate and have fun with us,” Berg said. “I’d always want my team to be the best they could be, but since it’s so small, even if we won all of our events, I don’t think we could place much higher. I’m happy.”
Tiger Challenge was the first of three competitions in which the Pacific Coast Region will participate this year. At the end of the third competition, the four highest ranking teams will qualify for the National Intercollegiate Final and will have a chance to compete against the top teams in other regions.
Fennel is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“We have skaters who are more committed to doing more events [than in the past],” Fennell said. “Although I don’t think we’ve ever qualified for nationals [before], we’re hoping to this year.”
In the end, two Tigers placed in the top three this weekend. Arielle Gordon ’21 earned first place in the Juvenile Solo Free Dance, and Berg took second place in both the Senior Men Short Program and the Excel Senior Men Free Skate events. Additionally, CC brought home three fourth places and one fifth place finish.
The Tigers’ next competition is scheduled for early February at UC Berkeley.