Introduced in 1999, and continuing to grow every year, the Michigan High School Skating series offers great opportunities for skaters to participate in team sports and to be part of their school’s athletic program. Starting with 10 teams and a single competition in 1999, the 2010 series has 50 teams and 16 competitions.
High School Figure Skaters in Michigan compete in 5 Districts, each composed of 6-12 teams. Each school may field any or all of “A”, “B”, and “C” level teams and each level team competes separately (i.e. A teams compete against other A teams, B teams against other B teams, etc). A team must have at least 3 skaters from 1 high school. C team skaters must have passed no higher than Preliminary Moves and Pre-preliminary FS. B team skaters must have passed no higher than Intermediate Moves and Juvenile FS. There are no restrictions on A Team skaters. The “A” teams have the most difficult elements, “C” teams have the least difficult. Teams participate in 3 initial-round competitions within their own District, then the victors from each district meet in a final State Championship Competition in March.
The initial-round competitions in each district are Team Compulsory competitions. At these competitions, there are 3 events at each level – a Jumps event, a Spins event, and a Moves event. Each event has 4 “elements” – elements are performed by a single skater from each team, in team rotation. The specific elements may change from year to year. Each competition lasts about 4 hours, and teams compete against other teams within their own district to earn a position in the State Championship competition. An “Invitational Competition” is also offered each year which is optional and is in the same format but is open to teams from any District. No points are earned toward State Championships.
The 2-day State Championship offers a final Team event in the same format as described above. It also offers a large variety of “Individual” events such as free skating, dance, and showcase which allow skaters to earn State Individual medals.
The Traverse City Combined High School Team is made up of 9th through 12th grade TCFSC skaters from several area high schools. Some high schools designate the teams as varsity or junior varsity and skaters may earn a school letter for team participation. Depending upon the number of skaters and their test levels, there may be an “A” Team and/or a “B” Team each year. The teams have qualified for the State Championship several times and the TC Combined “B” Team won the state championship in 2008 and took 2nd place in 2006.
Front Row: B Team: Hannah Zielinski (TC West HS), Kristen Krantz (Glen Lake HS), Emily Cain (TC Central HS), Savannah Rancour (TC West HS)
Back Row: A Team: Nicole Helmboldt (TC Central HS), Tess Kohler (TC Central HS), Emma Davis (TC West HS), Rebecca Gamelin (TC West HS), Amanda Shoemaker (TC West HS), Allison VanderKolk (St. Francis HS), Mara Thompson (St. Francis HS)
Coach – Ann Manning