With the semester coming to a close and the snow melting on the ground, winter sports have all but ended at Northern Michigan University.
While the seasons are ending, the NMU club figure-skating team has reappeared on the schedule for NMU following three years of not being on the grid. With their reappearance, one of the members of the team gained Olympic interest.
Sophomore coach Mikenzie Frost qualified to compete with Team USA, leaving Marquette on Tuesday, April 23 and returning Monday, April 29. The qualification follows the figure-skating team’s return to NMU after three years of not holding intercollegiate competitions.
Frost said the team’s year leading up to the Team USA qualification ended on a high note and she looks forward to future competitions.
“The team was a huge success this year,” Frost said. “This is our first year as an active team on campus and we are a registered intercollegiate team with the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA). We were able to compete at a competition at U of M and one of our teams won.”
In order to make it into the future Olympics, Frost must place in the top three at Nationals in February 2014. Frost said while she is thinking realistically about a possible Olympic appearance, she also needs to focus on competing with and for the club team.
“Right now, I don’t know if [an Olympic appearance] is a very sure thing to happen because I am recovering from a torn ACL,” Frost said. “My main focus right now is just getting back on the ice and training to get back where I was. Still, I can’t say that it is out of the question right now.”
Frost said the team is gearing up to return to competition next year, with plans to appear at three intercollegiate competitions and a chance to compete at the Intercollegiate Championships. The top three teams from each region compete at the Championships, including the Eastern, Midwest and West regions.
While competitions have not fully started for the team, Frost said the members have been using their time well in order to prepare for the future, as well as her own preparations for Team USA.
“I am able to use the ice time that the team has had to practice for team events, as well as train for my own skating career,” Frost said. “After Spain, I will be able to really get down and start training. My goal is to win this event.”
The event in Spain is a Grande Prix competition that does not have a connection with qualifications for the Olympics.
Frost said she is excited to take part in a strong returning effort from the team as well as possess an opportunity to shoot for the Olympics.
“Honestly, I’m just happy that I am able to be on the ice and be semi-trained enough to compete after my injury,” Frost said. “When I came to NMU in the winter of 2012, I didn’t know what to do with myself without skating.”