Four Portland area figure skaters selected for national events
PORTLAND, OR – Four local figure skaters will travel to Nashville early next year to compete in the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and National High Performance Development Camp, according to KGW.
Samuel Mindra of Happy Valley, 18, Tia Hilbelink of Beaverton, 15, and Andriy Kratyuk, 16, are all part of the Portland Ice Skating Club (PISC), based at the Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver, Washington, and the Lloyd. Ice rink center in Portland.
Mark Williams, 16, of Lake Oswego, skates for the Carousel Sherwood Figure Skating Club (CSFSC), based at Sherwood Ice Arena.
The quartet earned their trips to Nashville based on performances at qualifying events.
“Kudos to Samuel Mindra, Andriy Kratyuk and Tia Hilbelink for their excellent performances throughout the Championship Series! Their scores earned them each a ticket to Nashville, Tennessee in January,” IPCS wrote on social media. “Additional kudos to local CSFSC member Mark Williams on qualifying for camp as well! “
Mindra is the only local skater to compete at the National Championships, which will take place January 3-9, 2022 – where he will compete in the junior men’s division. He has reached the competition in five of the past seven years, winning a bronze medal in 2020 and being named to the United States squad in 2019.
“I’m (still) nervous at every competition, even though it’s small,” Mindra told KGW. “But I shrug and get ready. You can’t hold back.”
Kratyuk, who is two years younger than Mindra, has said he would like to find himself in Mindra’s place – and at her skill level – in a few years.
“I admire him a lot. He’s a good skater, he’s been to nationals more than me, he can do jumps better than me and I admire him. He’s good,” said Kratyuk.
Although Kratyuk, Hilbelink and Williams will not compete in Nashville, they are part of a small group of elite skaters – only a dozen in each division – invited to the development camp, which runs concurrently with the national championships. .
The camp gives some of the best young skaters in the country a chance to hone their skills, while receiving feedback from judges and officials.
“(At camp I want to learn) how to be a better skater, how to jump better, hit those quads, triple axis,” said Kratyuk, who said his ultimate goal was to qualify for the Winter Olympics. from 2026 in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Hilbelink also seems to have a bright future. She started training at the Lloyd Center almost 10 years ago and is currently training in Irvine, California.
“I really like to play and compete, not just to get medals and win. I like to play for everyone and jump and show what I can do,” said Hilbelink.