Is there a future Nancy Kerrigan or Dorothy Hamill now growing up in the Downriver area?
At least six young girls and their parents hope so. They are all members of the Wyandotte Figure Skating Club, and each took first place at her age and skill level in the 2016 Michigan Basic Skills skating competition. The six are Cami (8) and Kylie McClain (6) and Emma (7) and Ava Myers (5) of Grosse Ile and Delaney (7) and Everleigh Hale (4) of Trenton.
The Basic Skills series, introduced in 2007, offers young girls skating skills competitions with consistent rules, a friendly atmosphere and the chance to win end-of-season awards. Each skater competed in two very different types of events. One, a compulsory skills competition, required them to demonstrate their abilities in specific elements such as spin, swizzle, crossovers, and more. A second free-style program had them skating to music. “Each girl had a theme in the free-style program,” says Holly McClain, mother of Cami and Kylie. “The coaches helped them select the music and costumes.” She says Cami skated to an Hawaiian song and Kylie, dressed in a blue Cinderella dress, skated to music from the animated Disney movie.
The girls are coached by Stephanie Senterfit, Kallie Bosman, Jackie Timm, Sandy Moss, and Teresa Dentico.
Competition began last spring and featured a series of meetings throughout the summer and fall at locations that included Troy; Ann Arbor; Flint; and Bowling Green, Ohio. The girls gathered points at each competition the finals, which were held in Midland on November 5th. The Wyandotte Figure Skating Club finished in third place for total point accumulation throughout the 2016 season, due largely to these six girls.
“They are learning a great deal about teamwork, even though skating is an individual sport,” McClain says. “They encourage each other during practice and during the competitions.” Before they found skating, McClain says her daughters had tried other sports, such as soccer and basketball, “but nothing got their attention like skating.”
Bonnie Pettinga, a supporter of the skating team, adds, “It is great to see the enthusiasm of these girls. They are learning lessons about hard work paying off at a very young age. It is not work to them. They are excited to wake up early and put in time at the rink.