LOOKING SHARP: Chippewa Valley Figure Skaters Named to Team USA
Ella Piltz and Paige Southworth will compete in Italy in February with their synchronized skating team the Northernettes, who were just named to Team USA
A pair of decorated local figure skaters are set to skate overseas next year with the American flag on their backs.
Ella Piltz, a 16-year-old Memorial High School student, and Paige Southworth, an 18-year-old from Elk Mound, are set to represent Team USA at the 2022 Spring Cup in Sesto San Giovanni, Milan, Italy on Feb. 18-20. The two young women are members of the Eau Claire Figure Skating Club, as well as the Minneapolis-based synchronized skating organization, The Northernettes.
“This really means a lot to us,” Piltz said. “Not many people know much about figure skating, so it’s cool for people to recognize that I’m a part of Team USA Figure Skating even though they might not know much about the sport itself. It’s an honor most people never get to have.”
The Northernettes are a high-level competitive synchronized skating organization which competes nationally every year. The 21 members of the junior-level synchronized skating team were named Team USA for the Italian event, and Piltz and Southworth being the only members of the team from Wisconsin.
In order to be named Team USA, the team had to meet a certain International Selection Pool score at their first three competitions in California, Massachusetts, and Michigan this fall, which they exceeded at each meet. In order to be involved with the team, the two skaters started training in May and have driven three hours a day, three times a week, to practice with their teammates in Minnesota.
This amount of energy and time devoted to the craft of skating has been worth it for the skaters, as Southworth said being named Team USA was an end goal for her.
“It doesn’t seem real to me,” Southworth said. “We’re very humble about what we’ve accomplished and we don’t take it for granted. I’m just excited to get there and actually start competing.”
Piltz and Southworth will compete with the Northernettes again in January in Chicago, in Italy in February, and lastly in Colorado in March in the U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championships.
For more information on The Northernettes, you can visit their website northernettessynchro.org.