Synchronized figure skating team headed to nationals
BROOKFIELD - The Olympics may be over, but the figure skating continues. In fact the Eble Elite Edgers are going to Nationals in team synchronized figure skating and they could still use some help to fund the trip out to Colorado Springs on March 1st.
While you may see elements like the “death spiral” and other figure skating moves similar to those in the Olympics in the team’s program, synchronized skating is very different. Different and potentially more dangerous Angela Johnstad, one of the team’s coaches, explains, "You can have anywhere from 12 to 20 skaters on the ice at once so the formations, being able to skate in that tight proximity to one another creates a whole other element of danger."
Her mom Jan Seybold, who skates on the team, agrees, “Falls happen, falls happen.”
And while more skaters on the ice may increase the chance of a mistake, it also increases the friendships formed over the frozen surface. "I think gee, I'm so lucky to have all these friends, and you make such good friends doing something you all like," Berta “Bert” Haynes says. She also happens to be the oldest skater on the team, just barely into her seventies, but she’s made friends with the youngest skater, Amber Pennington, who is still in her 20s.
The team says they “cover all the decades,” with such a wide age range but their sport keeps them all young a heart Barbara Applegate says "Our motto is ‘synchronized skating, a frozen fountain of youth’ and I think it's true."
Craig Bodoh agrees, "It's a great sport, it's a lifelong sport," he’s been teaching skating for years, but this is his first time to Nationals with the synchronized skating team.
And who would know better about being in sync than a mother-daughter pair? Though their journey to skating in sync may have started off on the wrong skate when Jan Seybold first brought her daughter Angela Johnstad to the rink as a little girl, “I dragged her to a learn to skate program, kicking and screaming, she didn't want to go on the ice," Seybold says. Johnstad admits it was not a lie, “True story... I can't even deny it.”
But now Seybold’s daughter is one of the coaches. “Once I started coaching, I did all the recruiting I could and made my mom, who's also a fantastic skater, join the team as well,” Angela adds.
And Jan doesn’t mind being coached by her daughter, "Oh, it's really a lot of fun. I like the synchronized skating part of it because it was something that she dragged me to.” Just like she dragged her daughter years before.
“It was like totally the opposite, I'm like I'll do it and after the first time out I'm like this is so fun, I really like it a lot so, like mother like daughter,” Jan says. “You have to drag us kicking and screaming and then we love it and then we become very passionate about our sport,” Angela admits.
But it’s a passion that is shared by the entire team, “This is going to be the first time that this adult team, including my mother, has the opportunity to have that experience,” Johnstad says.
And making the trip together as a dynamic and diverse team makes it even better Amber Pennington says, "It's nice to be out there in the group and I think it just gives you more confidence too because you're out there together."
And together they hope to shine in their skates when they take to the ice, "We're excited, we're going to be top ten in the nation," David Redlin states.