By Ryan Touhey
The Sacred Heart University club figure skating team is in fifth place in the U.S. Intercollegiate Figure Skating Eastern Conference.
The team competed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Qualifier in Boston, which was held on the weekend of Feb. 3.
The tournament consisted of 26 Eastern Conference teams and was ultimately won by Boston University, who finished with 84 points. Sacred Heart finished with 36 points, two points behind the University of Connecticut (UConn) for fifth place.
“I was not happy with fifth because I knew this team could do much better,” said head coach Lisa Fedick.
The MIT Qualifier was formatted differently this year compared to previous years. Typically, the tournament allows the participating teams to compete in 35 event starts.
This time around, the teams were limited to 20 event starts due to scheduling constraints. This led to many skaters competing in one event start instead of two.
“I think that hurt us,” said Fedick.
Despite the misfortune, the coach was proud of the team’s overall effort and performance. She was especially impressed by the freshmen who made their MIT debuts.
“The highlight was watching our freshmen,” said Fedick. “Just not knowing what
to expect when they stepped out on the ice and just being so pleasantly surprised and overjoyed.”
Some teammates were also excited for the freshmen.
“They all stepped up to the plate and really were a big part of getting the team a lot of points,” said senior co-captain Kristen Lahaise. “It was really exciting to see how they started their college skating career in a very positive way.”
Others believe that the freshmen have an ability to easily connect with the upperclassmen.
“We’ve already created so many long lasting memories with them and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the future with this team,” said senior co-captain Helen Serafini.
Fedick instills the mentality of being a family within her skaters and that they skate for each other instead of themselves.
“When the girls are all on the ice together there’s a certain energy that they radiate and they all feed off of it,” said Fedick.
This method has eased the pressure of competition for the skaters, including freshman Tessa Peredy.
“We work really well as a team,” said Peredy. “Everyone is really supportive, which makes it so much more fun when we go to these competitions.”
The skaters are grateful for everything Fedick has done for them and they don’t take anything from her for granted.
“She’s like a mother to me,” said Serafini. “She’s not only helped me with skating, but also being a well-rounded person.”
The team’s next competition will be at Liberty University on March 4 and 5.