Two CFSC members recently competed at US Figure Skating’s Midwestern Sectionals. To qualify for Sectionals, a skater must place among the top four skaters at his or her level at Regionals. The top four skaters at Sectionals, then qualify for Nationals. (US Figure Skating organizes the country into Regions and Sections.) Intermediate skater, Jonathan Butler, attends Olentangy High School and is 14 years old. He placed 3rd at Regionals and 11th at Sectionals. Novice skater, Livvy Shilling, attends Ohio Virtual Academy and is 15 years old. She placed 1st at Regionals and 5th at Sectionals.
What is the best thing about Sectionals, and what makes it different than Regionals?
JB: The best thing about sectionals is I got experience so next time I go I will be better prepared. What makes sectionals different from regionals is that everybody can go to regionals. You don’t have to qualify, but for sectionals you do, so you will see a lot more experienced skaters there than in your region. Also some regionals are easier to get through than others. So if you have a easy time getting through regionals it might not be the same way at sectionals.
LS: Everyone at Sectionals has worked really hard to get to there and is supportive of each other. The off-ice atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than regionals which makes it so fun, but when it comes to skating, everyone is in their zone and focused on doing their job. Sectionals is also a great experience because there are so many amazing skaters to be motivated by, and many beginners who look up to you. Plus, Team USA jackets are everywhere, and you get to skate on the same ice with skaters who are contenders for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Describe your training schedule.
JB: My training schedule is simple. I mostly skate for about a hour and 15 minutes everyday, except for Sundays. I have off-ice for one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
LS: I skate 5 days a week, for about 2-3 hours a day. I workout with a trainer twice a week and take ballet at the Chiller on Tuesdays. I do some cardio and stretching at home, too.
If you weren’t a skater, what would you enjoy doing?
JB: I would probably play soccer.
LS: I would be a downhill ski racer (like my cousins) or a golfer. I golfed a lot this summer. It’s really hard, but it was nice to be out in the sunshine so much this summer.
What is your favorite skating skill?
LS: Triple toes. I love the feeling. And footwork. It’s crazy. I take the hardest falls on footwork, but love it anyway.
What do you do in your spare time?
JB: I play video games, hang out with my friends, and do jiu-jitsu.
LS: A ton of school work. 🙂 Hang out with my brother and my friends. Volunteer work. Did I mention I do school work?
What is the most important thing you learned about skating this year?
JB: Skating isn’t easy. If you want go anywhere with skating, you need to work.
LS: I couldn’t jump for about 10 weeks this summer. Because of this I learned that everyday is an opportunity to improve the little things in skating and that when I could finally jump again, I was grateful to skate and do what I love.
What is your goal for next year?
JB: Make it to nationals!!!!
LS: Make it to nationals!
Jonathan is coached by Tatiana Ratchkova and Misha Sorochinsky
Livvy is coached by Mary Anne Williamson, Valérie Marcoux-Pavlas, Annette Schaefer