Kent Valley Figure Skating Club’s Sydney Thayer-O’Brien, Elaine Jurun, Lillian Wood and Sasha Desaunois-Mullen mug after their “Jersey Boys” mini production program. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Club skaters tune up for nationals

It was an exhibition, a tuneup for the bigger stage.

Members of the Kent Valley Figure Skating Club dazzled the audience during its Summer Showcase at the Kent Valley Ice Centre last Saturday.

Skaters, young and old, of all skills and abilities, took turns performing short routines choreographed to music.

For many skaters, it was an important rehearsal for next week’s U.S. Figure Skating-sanctioned National Showcase in Santa Rosa, Calif. The showcase is a more expressive, open-type competition than customary pressure-packed technical events for qualified individual and teams.

Kent Valley is sending 17 to nationals, led by the dynamic foursome of Elaine Jurun, Sasha Desaunois-Mullen, Lillian Wood and Sydney Thayer-O’Brien. Skaters will compete in solos, duets, on small and large teams, which will be recognized by division, age and skill level.

“This is my first nationals, so I’m excited,” said Wood, 18, an Auburn Riverside High School graduate who will be competing individually and collectively with the club on Santa Rosa ice.

Jurun, the club’s production team coach and a national-class adult and masters skater, is understandably giddy. She likes what her group will bring to the Aug. 9-13 nationals.

“This one’s so much more fun,” Jurun said of the nationals.

Dressed as The Jersey Boys, Jurun and the three younger girls skated to a medley of music from The Four Season, Franki Valli’s ’60s rock ‘n roll group. They will bring the same mini production routine to the nationals and join the club’s larger production team in performing Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Summer Showcase served as a fundraiser for the Kent Valley Figure Skating Club, a nonprofit organization that is about 50 strong, The club’s focus is to improve, encourage and advise the sport of figure skating for all ages and abilities.

“We let (parents) know it’s not always about competition, it’s about fun,” said Diana Tristani-Gaztambide, a coach and standout skater.

For more information, visit or find the Kent Valley Figure Skating Club on Facebook.

Diana Tristani-Gaztambide, above left, dances to “Ava Maria.” MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Elena Briscoe moves to “What Does the Fox Say” during the Summer Showcase. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

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