Utah Teens Prepare for National Ice Skating Competition

Utah Teens Prepare for National Ice Skating Competition

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Shelley Osterloh ReportingTwo women from Utah will be competing in the US figure Skating Championships this week. One will compete in the Senior division, the other in the Juniors; both are thrilled for the opportunity to compete at a national level.

After ten years of hard work, practice and skating, Stephanie Rosenthal will compete in the Senior Women's division of the US Figure Skating Championships. The 16-year old sophomore at Rowland Hall earned her spot at nationals by placing third in sectional competition and first in regionals.

Her coach says she is strong competitor because of her artistic expression and her ability to focus under pressure. He says it’s easy to see she loves to skate.

Stewart Sturgeon, Stephanie's Coach: "When you have that, it’s easier to get over the tough times and gets you through. And she definitely skates from the heart."

When Stephanie competes it will be against 20 other women. One of them is someone she has a lot of admiration for, Michelle Kwan.

Stephanie Rosenthal, Skater: “I’ve been looking up to Michelle Kwan for quite some time, in every aspect of her skating. I've been watching all these skaters on TV for so long and now I'm going to be skating right next to them. It’s going to be kind of weird but I'm really excited."

17-year old Erin Reed of Ogden will compete in the junior women's division, a level below senior women. For the last two years, this senior at St. Joseph's Catholic School just missed making it to nationals as an alternate. Her coaches say that just made her work harder.

Sue Nabor, Erin's Artistic Coach: "And she learns from all of the setbacks and takes them on as an opportunity to learn something, and gain more knowledge, and work harder rather than let those times defeat her."

Besides skating, Erin has done a lot of ballet, which helps her artistry on ice. And this last year she's worked with Olympic Bronze medalist Jozef Sabovcik on her jumps.

Josef Sabovcik: "She's kind of a dream to work with because she is incredibly hard worker and she has something in her legs that no coach can teach, which is the ability to jump. And so my job is to make her believe that she can do all this."

Erin Reed, Junior Skater: "I think my artistic ability is pretty up there. I really count on my artist mark in competition but those jumps, we've really been focusing more on those, and getting more consistent is the main thing. So I think I’m really prepared.”

Both skaters say they are thrilled for the opportunity to compete at nationals and hope to skate the best they can. The US Championships are held this year in Atlanta, Georgia. Both women begin competition on Thursday.

Olympic Gold medalist Sarah Hughes will NOT compete. She is a student at Yale university is taking some time off from competition.

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