It’s a story of chance that got TCNJ’s Figure Skating Club on the ice.
Junior Katelyn Klinck, a figure skater since the age of four, frequently practices at Ice Land, a rink in Hamilton, New Jersey. One day she noticed a girl from one of her classes was there as well—Emily Conforto, a sophomore, who as it turned out had been skating just as long as Klinck.
“We recognized each other and from there we talked about starting a club because we wanted to continue skating [competitively] in college,” Klinck said. “So we wrote up a constitution for the school board, presented in front of Student Government, [which approved] our club.”
The Figure Skating Club, which is recognized by the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA), is still relatively new, with only two competitions under its belt. The team’s first competition proved to be invaluable in getting them introduced to college-level events. “In our team maneuvers we came in fourth place out of nine schools,” Klinck said. “None of us medaled in the individual events but we all skated respectfully. It was our first time out.”
Klinck and Conforto used the first competition as a model for improving their club. “We are looking to go into competitions much stronger having practiced and recruited new members. We’re looking to do better and put [TCNJ] on the map.”
In preparation for competitions, the team members practice two to three times a week, usually on their own. “We all take lessons with different coaches,” Klinck explained. “We try and get a team practice together and that’s once a week, otherwise we go on our own to practice.”
The team consists of five skaters. Alongside Klinck, co-treasurer and co-founder, and Conforto, president and co-founder, is junior Craig Segall, who serves as co-treasurer, and freshmen Alicia Daniels and Stephanie Robotin.
At the team’s second competition at the University of Delaware in February, Segall placed fourth in the senior men’s short, the highest level to compete at, and placed second in the junior men’s long.
“Even though we have a small team some of our friends [came] with TCNJ signs,” sais Klinck. “It’s exciting and it’s different,” she said about competing as a team. “Everything we do represents the College.”
Expanding the club is the next step for Klinck and her fellow team members.
“We put ourselves out there as a student organization so maybe other figure skaters can join the club,” Klinck said. “Aside from that we’re looking to continue with weekly practices, developing the team, an getting ready for the next season.”
More information about TCNJ’s Figure Skating Club can be found here: http://tcnjfs.weebly.com/.