Two-Time National Figure Skating Champs?
Second big win may be just a Lutz jump away
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Members of the BU Figure Skating Club are headed to Delaware this weekend to defend their national championship title. Learn more in a video from last year, featuring Schuyler Eldridge (ENG’10) and Sarah Stone (SAR’12). The BU Figure Skating Club (below) with their good-luck talisman — a cardboard cutout of Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Photo courtesy of Meghan Chura
“We’re taking Jonathan Papelbon with us,” says Chura (SAR’12).
The cardboard cutout of the Boston Red Sox closer has become the team’s mascot and good luck charm. “We bring him to every competition,” she says. “The one time we forgot him, we ended up getting fourth place.”
Her theory could be dead-on, but Chura acknowledges that the team’s success is more likely a testament to its talent. “We’ve worked really hard,” she says. “If everyone skates as well as we’ve practiced, we’ll give the other teams a run for their money.”
Their season got off to a slow start. Several skaters from last year’s championship squad didn’t return, and the team placed fourth at its first competition.
Renovations to Walter Brown Arena further complicated matters. The arena closed the week after students returned from spring break, leaving club members with nowhere on campus to practice. Instead, they skated at MIT’s rink for two weeks before alternating between rinks in Boston and Newton.
“We generally practice for a few hours at least three days a week,” says Schuyler Eldridge (ENG’10). “With Walter Brown closed, we’re down to one practice a week.”
But the team makes the most out of its limited resources, says Alice Murphy (CAS’11). “A good thing that’s come out of this is that it requires everyone to practice at the same time,” she says. “So it’s been a great bonding experience.”
The skaters are quick to credit the Department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance for its support. “They’ve been terrific about loaning us vans and finding other rinks for us to use,” Eldridge says.
This weekend’s competition is at the University of Delaware, which is the school to beat, according to Chura. “They’re ranked first on the East Coast,” she says, “and they have the home-ice advantage.”
Although the team has fewer skaters competing this year (17, down from 23), Eldridge believes the current group is better trained. “We’ve had a year to hone our skills, perfect our programs,” she says. “My coach back home always says, ‘Proper preparation prevents poor performance.’ We’re prepared — we’re going to beat them.”
The idea isn’t a big stretch. Murphy points out that last year’s coup in Colorado Springs put a halt to Dartmouth’s 10-year winning streak.
Still, a little superstition never hurt anyone, which is why Chura plans to find a seat in the stands for Jonathan. “It can’t hurt,” she says. “And because we’re driving to Delaware, we don’t even have to worry about smuggling him in our carry-on luggage.”
The 2010 Intercollegiate National Championships are at the University of Delaware’s Fred Rust Ice Arena, 547 South College, Ave., Newark, Del., on Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18.3 Comments