McHenry skater to represent northern Illinois area at Midwestern Sectional
A Northern Illinois area standout athlete, 14-year-old Brooke Gewalt of McHenry, is poised to represent the area at the 2019 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Championships on Nov. 13-17 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Gewalt earned this opportunity after finishing in fourth place and a pewter medal at the 2019 Upper Great Lakes Regional Championships in the Intermediate Ladies event.
The "Intermediate Level" is the second of five competitive levels within the U.S. Figure Skating qualifying system. Only the top 4 highest overall scores advance to the Sectional Championship.
A McHenry West High School student, Gewalt hopes to secure a spot in the top four at the sectional championships, so she can advance to the U.S. Figure Skating Nationals in Detroit January 2019.
The regional qualifying championships consisted of 78 intermediate skaters, each skating a short program and a free skate long program for an overall total combined score.
At the upcoming sectional championships, Gewalt will compete against other regional medalists at her level, to vie for a top four finish, which will secure her place at the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 18-27, in Detroit, Michigan.
On a daily basis, Brooke competes as a member of the Wagon Wheel Figure Skating Club -- an organization recently best known for Olympian skater Gracie Gold. She trains 6-7 days a week -- minimum 20 hours per week -- under the direction of her head coach Lars Jensen and Choreographer Julia Elikman.
Her main training rinks are the Crystal Ice House in Crystal Lake and the Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove. Brooke's typical day begins with a 4 a.m. alarm, on the ice for daily lessons, off to school midmorning, then back to the rink for afternoon practice. She also juggles homework responsibilities and works hard at being a normal teenager.
Brooke started skating at the age of 3 with her first competition at the age of 4. She hasn't stopped pursuing her skating dreams since her early beginnings. According to her parents, skating is not just a sport, it's a way of life.
"Brooke envisions herself skating for the rest of her life. She sacrifices a lot to pursue her skating goals and we think she is unique in this regard. She has a goal in mind and is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve her lofty goals," said Karl Gewalt, Brooke's father. "During this journey, she has missed numerous birthday parties, sleepovers, and other social events due to her demanding training and competition schedule. But even these sacrifices haven't altered her drive and determination to become a better skater. We're just very happy to see Brooke living her dream and given her young age, we feel as though her future is very bright."
Once the competition begins, follow Brooke's progress and track her results on U.S. Figure Skating's Fan Zone by clicking on usfigureskatingfanzone.com.