Skaters hit the ice

Mid Winter program takes place Friday

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— Patrons of Howelsen Ice Arena's Mid Winter Skating Exhibition will find plenty of seating and inexpensive tickets to the figure skating performance this year.

Kim Haggarty, Steamboat Springs Figure Skating Club director, said people will no longer have to stand all night freezing to watch solo and pair figure skaters from Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs.

Last year's skating exhibition brought in about 400 people, Haggarty said.

Although the skating exhibition falls on the first weekend of Winter Carnival, the ice arena show is not directly related to the event.

The Mid Winter Skating Exhibition is 7 p.m. Friday at Howelsen Ice Arena. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 for adults and $3 for children. Those 5 and under are admitted free.

Howelsen Ice Arena recently completed construction of the stadium-style benches that seat 580 people. And with heaters above to take off that icy chill, Haggarty said people are much more comfortable at events in the arena.

"People are saying, 'You wouldn't believe how nice it is.' I'm even seeing people take their jackets off," Haggarty said.

The skating exhibition features seven figure skaters from the Colorado Springs World Arena, including Ryan Jahnke, Tiffany Vise, Larry Ibarra, Stephanie Cuban, Brittany Vise, Andrew Speroff, Eric Reinhart and Roger Corvasce.

"(The Colorado Springs World Arena) is the training center for the Olympics in figure skating and (Jahnke) is the most accomplished skater coming," Haggarty said of the man who has been on the U.S. International Team for six years.

Jahnke placed ninth in the senior men's division at nationals in 2001.

The program for the event will begin with an Olympic theme number featuring members of the local Figure Skating Club followed by a diverse lineup of the visiting solo and pair figure skaters, local soloists and a synchronized skating team.

"This is the first year we're putting together a synchronized skating segment," Haggarty said of Team Volant.

Haggarty said figure skating is reaching new heights with synchronized skating.

The four soloists from the local club are Carly Earp, Ariel Tredway, Alex Morrison and Jenny Spencer. Haggarty said she chose students from each level of skating to give people a range of skills.

The local skaters will perform their competition programs in preparation for the Mid Winter Invitational in Pueblo.

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