Students to compete in synchronized figure skating world championship

By Susan Bubak, February 26, 2008

    First-year nursing student Leanne Campbell receives a gold medal.
Tara MacBournie and Leanne Campbell are hoping to skate circles around the competition.

The first-year students are members of a synchronized figure skating team that will be heading to France this weekend to compete in the Synchronized Skating World Challenge Cup for Juniors.

MacBournie, a first-year humanities student, and Campbell, a first-year nursing student, have been skating on the Burlington-based Nexxice team for the past two years. The team qualified for the world championship in January.

"I'm really excited about competing in the world championship in France," said MacBournie. "It's the first time for everyone on the team, so we can't wait. We've worked really hard for this, so it'll be really exciting."

MacBournie started skating when she was six while Campbell first donned a pair of skates at the age of three.

During the regular season, the team skates for about 12 to 15 hours a week, but they spend up to 20 hours a week on the ice when training for major competitions. Both students said their time management skills help them balance their athletic and academic responsibilities.

Their routine consists of a short technical program and a long freestyle program.

"We skate in lines, blocks and circles while completing very intricate footwork at very high speeds," said MacBournie. "Sixteen skaters skate at one time all in unison."

Their long program, entitled "African Spirit," is a tribute to Titus, a four-year old Kenyan boy the team is sponsoring.

Both skaters said one of the perks of being on the team is the traveling. The team has traveled to Boston, Prague and Milan.

They also develop strong ties with their teammates.

"What I enjoy most is the friendships you establish with the other girls on the team," said Campbell. "You get so close, which makes the team so much better."