Friday, August 31, 2007
OU skaters place second, third in championships
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
|OU student Lindsey Weber (left) finished second and OU student Ameena Sheihk (right) finished third at the National Collegiate Figure
Skating Championships at Miami University. (Photo courtesy of LIndsey Weber)
Lindsey Weber and Ameena Sheihk are at two different points in their figure skating careers. Weber is nearing the end of her competitive career and focusing more on coaching. Sheihk is an up-and-coming skater who moved to the area to train with some of the best coaches. Their paths crossed, however in Oxford, Ohio, where the two competed in the National Collegiate Figure Skating Championships at Miami University. Weber finished second and Sheihk finished third.
Everyone competing in the collegiate championship must be a full-time student. Forty-five girls competed in Weber and Sheihk’s class.
“For the collegiate competition, you go and represent your college or university,” said Weber, a human resource development junior. “Ameena and I had pompoms and we were cheering for each other. It was a really nice way to wrap up my competitive career. In a figure skating career, you don’t have a huge timeline and I’m just reaching the end of mine.”
A skater at the age of 2, Weber has traveled all over the world and competed nationally and internationally. She was the national junior bronze medalist in 2001 and competed at the senior national championships in 2003.
After graduating from high school, Weber decided to go to college part time for two years, but she didn’t want to put off working on her degree any longer.
“It’s always been something that I felt I was going to do. That’s the way my life was going. I wanted to make sure some day when I finished skating, that I would have the opportunity to find a job,” Weber said. “I’m pretty lucky that so far I’ve been able to work out skating and school. I teach skating full time at the Onyx in Rochester and I juggle my time around to make room for classes.”
Three years ago, Weber stopped training full time due to her injuries. This year, she decided to come out of retirement to participate in the National Collegiate Championship.
“This year, I decided I wanted to do it because I figured it’s be the last year I could. I was just kind of hoping to make it into the final round and I ended up winning the silver medal. It was the perfect way to cap off my career.”
For now, Weber plans to continue coaching. She coaches three to 19 year-olds at all different levels.
“It’s been my passion since I was little, so to be able to make it my career right now is great,” Weber said.
Sheihk considers her career wide open. An 18-year-old OU freshman, Sheihk has been figure skating since she was six. She moved to Michigan to further her skating training and saw OU as way to further her education.
“I skate at the Detroit Skating Club so OU is close by. Not to mention OU has a really strong journalism and broadcast program, which is what I am interested in. I also was accepted to The Honor’s College so that was another great reason to come here,” Sheihk said.
Last year, as a high school senior, Sheihk went to her high school until 1 p.m., skated for about three hours and then participated in conditioning activities. Two days a week, she took classes at OU as part of the dual enrollment program.
“When I walk into the rink, I’m focused on skating and when I’m at school, I’m focused only on that,” Sheihk said.
Sheihk has competed in the junior national competition and many national and international competitions. This past year, she had nine competitions.
Prior to the National Collegiate Championships, Sheihk was injured and barely skating at all. She was pleased with finishing third. Next year, she plans to compete again and has her sights set on a gold medal.
“I’m still considered really, really young in the figure skating world, especially for my level. I’m not scared that I’m running out of time. I just want to keep pushing myself as far as I can in skating. My goals for this year are to make it to the senior-level nationals and get on the U.S. Figure Skating Team,” Sheihk said.