On January 16, 2017, Malden High School’s Figure Skating team competed in an annual competition against the eight other figure skating teams from different cities in Massachusetts. The competition was held in Gloucester at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., hosted by the Shoreline Skating Club. Overall, the figure skating team placed fourth, placing second in their team maneuver with Allyson Kummins winning her free style event, and Alyssa Ardai placing third in her free style event.

Malden High School Figure Skating Club members. Photo taken by Elizabeth Gibbons. Retrieved from Malden HS Sports.

Elizabeth Gibbons, MHS math teacher and coach of the figure skating team, explained that the maneuvers included, “a couple of jumps, a couple of spins, and a couple of footwork elements,” and later, in order for the three judges to give the teams their scores, “all of the teams send out one representative out for each element, and then they are analyzed.” They are judged based on the quality of their jumps and spins and footwork, the amount of power they exhibit out on the ice, their artistic expression, and by how they interpret the music.

To analyze the elements in each maneuver, the judges have each team perform one after the other. Then for the free-style program, each figure skater can perform with the music of their choice. Kummins skated to a Betty Who cover of ‘I Love You Always Forever,’ and Ardai skated to a cover of ‘I Raise You Up’ by Josh Groban.

When asked about the performances of each girl on the team, Gibbons praised Kummins, saying that, “[she thinks] that Allyson skated her program better than she’s ever skated it before,” and how she was, “really proud of her.” Over the course of the figure skating season, Gibbons said that throughout the season the girls had really improved on their “artistic expression and their power on the ice.” Aside from the athleticism in figure skating, there is also an artistic component that comes into play as well. Gibbons believes in the importance of training both the artistic and technical aspects of figure skating, especially since every program revolves around these two components.

At the competition there was sportsmanship shown by all of the teams, regardless from which high school the teams came from. Gibbons testified to the sportsmanship, saying that it felt like there was, “a big sense of community among the teams,” and that “everyone cheers for everyone.”

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