While some students spent spring break relaxing at the beach, Alicia Warren perfected her figure skating skills at a chilly ice rink. But Alicia had an important goal to keep her motivated: representing North Lake College at the U.S. Intercollegiate Figure Skating Championships, held April 17-19 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“During spring break, I got up every day at 7 a.m. and spent about four hours a day training on the ice,” Alicia says. “That weekend, I attended a seminar so I could get ideas and opinions from different coaches.”
Alicia’s hard work paid off; she finished first in the junior ladies division. She also was able to meet the head figure skating coach from Dartmouth College, which also had a team competing at the intercollegiate nationals.
“I really want to transfer to Dartmouth after I complete my associate degree at North Lake, but it’s hard to get accepted,” says Alicia, whose ultimate goal is to earn a doctorate and become a sports psychologist.
Alicia, who has been skating and competing since age 6, heard about the U.S. Figure Skating Association’s collegiate program last year. She decided to form a figure skating club at North Lake when she started classes there in fall 2008. The club now has 11 members, four of whom are competitive skaters.
The North Lake Skating Club qualified for the intercollegiate finals with points earned at a competition held in Denver in February. Alicia won the junior ladies short program and freeskate, and Hoang-Kim Cung won the novice ladies short and was second in the freeskate.
They finished third overall in the Pacific Coast division, behind Colorado University and the University of Denver, just two points ahead of the University of California, Berkeley. The top three teams from the East and Midwest competed with the three from the Pacific Coast in Colorado Springs for national honors.
Alicia’s dad, Jay Warren, says proudly, “It is the NLC Skating Club’s first year to compete, and they have qualified for national finals and already have schools on the West Coast asking, ‘Where is North Lake College?’”
Unfortunately, because of a rule that says competitors must have participated in all previous intercollegiate competitions in a given season to be eligible for the nationals, Alicia had to represent North Lake alone at last weekend’s competition. But she hopes other North Lake team members will be able to join her at the U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships, an individual competition held in August.