by Eileen Viglione
It’s not surprising that ISI skaters are creative, entertaining, resilient and determined! Here’s just another example of how our skaters have been “making lemonade from lemons” during this challenging time due to the global pandemic.
Even without ice, ISI District 10 skaters stepped up to the challenge of competing in our first-ever virtual competition, which benefited the Minnesota chapter of Feed America: The ISI District 10 Virtual Spotlight Spectacular, held from 1 to 4 p.m. May 3 via the Zoom software platform.
Hosted and organized by coach Barb Yackel, ISI District 10 Director and NSC Super Rink Skating School Director Jane Schaber and coach Lindsay Johnson, and sponsored by Riedell Skates/Eclipse Blades, this unique and fun competition followed both solo and family spotlight event guidelines as outlined in the ISI Handbook. Thirty-two ISI District 10 participants competed in a total of 11 events, and performances were scored by 14 ISI judges. (ISI District 10 comprises Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska Wisconsin and North and South Dakota.)
Skaters displayed their “programs” in a variety of settings from basements and garages to sidewalks and driveways— their smiles lighting up every inch of viewers’ screens! Entire families joined in on the fun of family spotlight events as well.
“The girls loved being able to virtually connect with the skating community,” said Laura Nitti, mother of competitors Marissa and Amelia Nitti. “It was fun to watch others that are on our teams (and others we’ve competed with at different levels) from our home. Marissa has been competing for two years now, and her little sister has been a great fan but always asks when she can learn a routine. This gave them a great avenue to create a routine and was a good introduction (for Amelia) and confidence builder that they can bring to future events on the ice.”
“Addison loved being able to compete again and figuring out how to change her routine up to be able to do it off ice,” said mom Anne Eckberg.
“They liked being a part of something,” added Jacob Lingle, father of siblings Aria and Mathias. “Mathias is not a skater [he’s a hockey player]; they wanted to do something together. Even though they were fighting upon the [start of the] performance, once it started they did great, and they were very proud of themselves for doing this.”
“My daughter had a great time performing her spotlight and watching the other participants,” said Rebecca Petersen, mom of Olivia. “It was so great for the skaters to have an opportunity to stay connected to their peers and coaches, and stay engaged in the sport they love — in a way we never expected!”
Kimberly Steffl enjoyed seeing her daughter, Ella, excited and working hard. “Ella loved to get back and perform, especially since her spring show was cancelled, and show off her off-ice hard work,” she said. “We both loved watching all the other participants and cheering on our friends! The family spotlights were awesome!”
First through third place ribbons were awarded in each category and all participants received a certificate of participation — all of which were mailed to their homes. In addition, Special Overall Awards, sponsored by Riedell Skates/Eclipse Blades, were presented to the winners of the following categories: “Classy & Sassy,” for creative entertainment with the added spark of class and sass; “Dressed to Impress,” for over-the-top costumes and props; “Heart `n’ Soul,” for the performance that truly comes from the heart; and Best Family Spotlight. The four overall winners will receive a Riedell wheeled travel bag.
“The virtual competition was fun for all of the participants and you could see that the parents were all very involved both from the video/technical portion of getting the skaters filmed and with the clearing out of furniture in the rooms that were used. At the end of the day, the event raised $750 for Feed America!” said ISI Skating Programs & National Events Director Kim Hansen.
Judges included: Amy Berglund, Amy Flater, Izzie Gorowsky, Kim Hansen, Rosie Hanson, Tasia Hillstead, Alex Johnson, Talia Lerol, Liz Mangelsdorf, Amber Ramos, Jessie Santee, Sarah Santee, Amanda Truax and Mandy Whitacre.
1st Place Karkiulali Kannapiran, White Bear Lake Sport Center
2nd Place Zoe Eschenbach, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
3rd Place Anita Derubeis, NSC Super Rink
1st Place Katarina Suemnig, SportQuest Skating Academy
1st Place Emma Fleury, HealthEast Sports Center
2nd Place Marissa Nitti, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
3rd Place Maria DeRubeis, NSC Super Rink
1st Deb Shriver, Doug Woog Arena
1st Place Ashlyn Bergh, Doug Woog Arena
2nd Place Ella Steffl, Buffalo Figure Skating Club
3rd Place Grace Felth, HealthEast Sports Center
1st Place Elsa Peterson, Buffalo Figure Skating Club
1st Place Lucy Holcombe, SportQuest Skating Academy
2nd Place Erynn Bergh, Doug Woog Arena
3rd Place Maisie Vaughn, Buffalo Figure Skating Club
4th Place Sloan Stahnke, Doug Woog Arena
1st Place Addison Eckberg, HealthEast Sports Center
2nd Place Olivia Peterson, HealthEast Sports Center
3rd Place Harmon Brown, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
4th Place Ella Anderson, HealthEast Sports Center
5th Place Rebecca Bergh, Doug Woog Arena
1st Place Abigail Ingham, Sioux Falls Figure Skating Club
2nd Place Elizabeth Borgen, New Ulm Figure Skating Club
Event 10 Family Spotlight
1st Place Super Heroes Unite, SportQuest Skating Academy
2nd Place Brown Family, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
3rd Place Team Borgen, New Ulm FSC
4th Place Spicer Super Stars, Doug Woog Arena
Event 11 Family Spotlight
1st Place Sister Time, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
2nd Place Berghie Cuties, Doug Woog Arena
3rd Place Lingles Hastings, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
4th Place DeRubeis Sisters, NSC Super Rink
5th Place Stagno Wizards, River Blades Skating School, Hastings Civic Arena
Classy & Sassy Olivia Peterson, HealthEast Sports Center
Dressed To Impress Ella Anderson, HealthEast Sports Center
Heart `N’ Soul Grace Felth, HealthEast Sports Center
Family Spotlight Suemning Family, SportQuest Skating Academy