OU Figure Skating Club competes in 2022


Photo courtesy of Figure Skating Club at Oakland University on Facebook

The 2021-2022 Oakland University Figure Skating Team.

The OU Figure Skating Club at Oakland University is a group of girls that compete in competitions at a collegiate level, while also continuing their love for ice skating in their college years.

The team currently has 11 girls — they all practice together twice a month at the Onyx Synchronized Skating rink in Rochester. The girls are also expected to have individual practice time during the week.

“[At group practices] we’ll pretty much run through some of our events that we have, mainly our dances,” Kameryn Everett, a senior on the OU Figure Skating Club, said. “We have a former team member who comes to the practices [and] helps us out with our dances, which is really nice.”

Each year the team competes in three competitions in the Midwest. This year so far they competed at Trine University for the Thunder Country Classic and at Western Michigan University for the Bronco Cup. They still have one more competition coming up in the beginning of March at Miami University of Ohio: the Red Brick Classic.

These competitions help determine what teams make it to nationals, using the top two placing out of the three competitions to serve as their ranking. Each year the team has been very close coming in fifth place overall, but only the top four teams go to nationals.

Oakland University has also hosted two competitions within the past four years in 2019 and 2020. When hosting, the Figure Skating Club is expected to set up the event and recruit announcers. 

“I will say Onyx and Royal Oak volunteer so that we could focus on skating while making sure we run an amazing competition and then all of our parents helped out too,” Harley Martinez, a senior on the OU Figure Skating Club, said. “It’s just amazing to have that support.”

During competitions, the team wakes up early to get to the locations and kick off the day’s events. The events are individual events that get scored collectively as a team. At each competition, there are about 20-30 starts for events, where OU will have multiple girls starting for multiple events.

The events at the competitions are all different — varying from length requirements, difficulty of levels, requiring jumps and spins or not requiring them. The team has skaters that qualify for each category, making it easier to get a teammate to start for that event.

The club competes against about 22 other schools during competitions. There are also different rankings of skaters — from beginner, pre-preliminary, permiminary, pre-juvenile, juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior and senior. 

“Everyone’s so supportive, especially competing against the other teams,” Anna Vollmer, a member of the OU Figure Skating Club said. “Everyone is just so kind and nice to each other and there’s not really any rivalry with others. It’s just a friendly environment.”

Fundraising is a huge part of this club, as they have to pay for rink time and to attend the competitions they do. For the past few years their main fundraiser has been selling sheets with Cloud Nine.

“Fundraising is a really big part because, you know, we’re all college students, and we have to pay for these competitions,” Martinez said. “We’re just fundraising as much as we possibly can to keep our costs down for skaters.”

To join the club, members need to be a part of U.S Figure Skating and then once in contact with the coach, Candace LaFerle, she will decide which level the skater will be able to compete in. 

This year the team is really hoping to make it to Nationals in April at Adrian College, after placing sixth in the Bronco Cup and eighth at the Trine Country Classic. If they place well in their final competition next month, they might just make it.

“That would mean the absolute world to us to make nationals, I’ve seen too many tears about being so close to not making it,” Martinez said. “It’s similar to all the competitions, but they’re just competing with people all over the nation and it honestly would just be such an amazing experience for all of us as a club and for us as skaters.”