The Juneau Skating Club poses for a group photo after taking third place overall in the 2023 Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington at the end of April. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

The Juneau Skating Club poses for a group photo after taking third place overall in the 2023 Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington at the end of April. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Juneau Skating Club takes third overall in West Coast Championship

Team Forget-Me-Not takes first in division.

The Juneau Skating Club traveled to Tacoma, Washington from April 21 to 23 to compete in the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship where the club placed third overall.

As part of the larger JSC team, Team Forget-Me-Not, the JSC’s youth synchronized skating team, which consists of skaters between the ages of 14 and18, placed first in their teen synchro division event.

“We had 29 skaters in 59 events. All the points added up from within each event, so we were third in total points overall,” said Team Forget-Me-Not’s coach Leah Farzin in a phone interview.

Team Forget Me Not poses with coaches Leah Farzin and assistant coach Emily Bowman after taking first place in the Teen Synchro Skating Division at the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Team Forget Me Not poses with coaches Leah Farzin and assistant coach Emily Bowman after taking first place in the Teen Synchro Skating Division at the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Farzin said that with championship competitions, it’s an event that the club, especially Team Forget-Me-Not, will spend the entire season preparing for, whether that’s making adjustments to synchronized routines, working on individual skills or improving on the club’s overall program.

“We’ve been on the ice since August or September when Treadwell (Ice Arena) opened and we’ve been constantly working on our program,” Farzin said. “After January we changed our program and added 90 seconds to it because we were going from different skating associations which had different requirements, so they’ve been learning kind of a new version of the same program over the last couple of months. So, for the kids, it definitely takes all season, they’re at practice every week working on skills.”

Team Fireweed, Juneau Skating Club’s youth synchronized skating team, poses for a group photo with coaches Emily Bowman and Pam Leary after taking first place in the first place in that event at this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Team Fireweed, Juneau Skating Club’s youth synchronized skating team, poses for a group photo with coaches Emily Bowman and Pam Leary after taking first place in the first place in that event at this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Sixteen different teams from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Texas and Washington, D.C., competed in the championship in nearly 200 different events. Skaters competed in several events each day from early in the morning into well into the night, Farzin said.

“On Friday we started at 11 a.m. and it went until at least 7 p.m.” Farzin said. “And then Saturday started at 8 a.m. and went until at least 9 p.m. and Sunday started again at 8 a.m. and we finished around 5:15 p.m., and that doesn’t include practice time because for practice ice some of the kids got there at 6:30 a.m. and Team Forget-Me-Not practiced until like 10:45 p.m. on Saturday night, so definitely long, long days. It all paid off, though.”

Team Forget Me Not performing lifts during the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Team Forget Me Not performing lifts during the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Team Forget-Me-Not’s manager Nicchia Leamer said she was especially excited for the opportunity to skate with her daughter, Aliyah Overturf, a senior at Thunder Mountain High School. Overturf skated in 11 events, including the family skate with her mom, which Leamer said was a new club record.

“I’m not a real skater, so I’m just going to say that upfront,” Leamer said. “My daughter is a real skater and she graciously agreed to do a family skate with me and we did it at the last ISI competition that we went to. It was super fun but for me it was more of just a wonderful chance to do something special with my senior skater.”

Team Forget Me Not performs in the one-singular Sensation program during the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington at the end of April. Kendra Hergett choreographed the One Singular Sensation program, which came in second place in the production number event. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Team Forget Me Not performs in the one-singular Sensation program during the Ice Sports Industry 2023 West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington at the end of April. Kendra Hergett choreographed the One Singular Sensation program, which came in second place in the production number event. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Leamer said that while placing third overall for the club is on its own impressive, she noted that it’s especially impressive that the kids from Juneau did as well since they have a further travel time and as a result aren’t able to bring as many props as other teams, which leaves them to rely more on skills from both coaches and kids.

“Those events are hard for us to compete in because some of it is about costumes and props and we’re flying whereas other people are driving up in a van full of stuff but we don’t have that luxury.” Leamer said. “For us to do so well when we really only had like gold vests and nothing else, it was really a testament to the choreography of the coaches and to the kid’s skating skills, it was pretty impressive.”

Juneau Skating Club’s Young Guns program performs during this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. Aliyah Overturf and Carly Phelps choreographed the Young Guns program, which came in second place in the themed production event. (Courtesy Photo / Aaron Mar)

Juneau Skating Club’s Young Guns program performs during this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. Aliyah Overturf and Carly Phelps choreographed the Young Guns program, which came in second place in the themed production event. (Courtesy Photo / Aaron Mar)

Leamer said that Elaine Duvall is the club’s youngest new skater at 9 years old. This was Duvall’s first competition, in which she competed in four events. Additionally, Emily Bowman and Pam Leary coached for Team Fireweed, the club’s youth synchronized skating team, which took first place in its event, Kendra Hergett choreographed the One Singular Sensation program, which came in second place in the production number event and lastly Overturf and Carly Phelps choreographed the club’s Young Guns program, which took second place in the themed production event.

The championship concludes the season for the club, not Farzin said it’s not by the club’s choice, but rather because Treadwell closes its doors for the season. The city closing the rink for the entire summer proves to be an obstacle for the club with regards to keeping the kids skating.

“The rink was actually closed by the time we got back, which is really a bummer because with things like these competitions, you can see the kids after one or two events, they get off the ice, they kind of look at me or even just watching other people competing, you can really see them getting motivated to work on these things to improve,” Farzin said. “It’s a real tragedy the fact that Treadwell closes.”

Aliyah Overturf, Carly Phelps and Lydia Powers perform as the Powerpuff Girls Trio, which came in first place in the Ensemble Event for this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. Powers in pink, Overturf in Green and Phelps in blue. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

Aliyah Overturf, Carly Phelps and Lydia Powers perform as the Powerpuff Girls Trio, which came in first place in the Ensemble Event for this year’s Ice Sports Industry West Coast Championship in Tacoma, Washington. Powers in pink, Overturf in Green and Phelps in blue. (Courtesy Photo / Marianne Oelund)

For anyone interested in participating or volunteering in next year’s season, Farzin said all information can be found on the website at juneauskatingclub.org.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com

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