Elk Grove skater achieves dream of heading to world championships
By Raina LeGarreta - Lifestyle & Editor
Meranda Detlefsen, 15, has excelled in sport of roller-skating since she was 8.
For the past seven years, the Elk Grove High School sophomore won many awards in roller figure skating; including having placed or won at the state and national skating championships.
Meranda is now preparing to take on her biggest skating challenge yet.
She recently placed second in the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, which earned her a place on the World Class USA Roller Sports Junior Competition Team.
The team will be headed to Reuse, Spain on Sept. 29 for the 2014 World Roller Figure Skating Championships; the highest event of Roller Artistic Figure Skating.
“I’ve never left the United States, so this will be a fun, new thing for me,” said Meranda, who is the youngest member on the team. “I don’t really ever get nervous. I just love getting out there and skating.”
This was Meranda’s first attempt at the big event after placing third in the freshman women’s figure event his year held in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Although the young skater began competing in the sport at the age of 8, she began tinkering with roller-skating at the age of 5.
“Seeing skaters do cool tricks in pretty outfits, and just seeing other skaters in general made me want to start doing it,” she said. “If roller skating is ever added to the Olympics, I’d love to be a part of it.”
Meranda’s mother, Elizabeth also spoke about her daughter’s early beginnings.
“I’d put her in gymnastics and ballet early on,” she said. “But she started to lose interest in those; she started to see them as more of hobbies than challenges, and wanted to do something that was more competitive”
Elizabeth said Meranda then began taking morning roller-skating classes at Cal Skate, and the rest is history.
Meranda is a member of Kings Skate Country’s artistic figure skaters team in Elk Grove, where she often practices the craft.
Skaters on the Kings team are trained by Pringle Skating Academy, and Meranda’s longtime coach, James Pringle spoke about the spark that makes her a force to be reckoned with on the rink.
“She’s trained in the physical and mental aspects of the sports. So she’s quite a good, disciplined skater,” he said. “She’s also an A-student in school who practices skating just about every day; four-to-five hours a day.”
The semi-retired figure skating coach trained Meranda since her beginnings.
Now at 80, Pringle continues to give the skater tips and, along with her parents, will accompany her to Spain next month.
The world championships will begin on Sept. 29.
Elizabeth spoke further about her daughter’s recent accomplishment.
“We didn’t expect her to be on the world team this year. We just wanted the judges to get familiar with her,” she said. “But she ended up getting on the team on her first try. This has been her dream from the beginning. We’re very excited.”
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