Kennedy's McKenzie Vick sets high bar in figure skating

HS journalism: Cougar freshman wants to do a quadruple flip

The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — McKenzie Vick, a freshman at Kennedy High School, has a big goal for her future in figure skating.

She wants to land a quadruple flip — one of the hardest jumps in skating.

A quad is a jump with four rotations in the air. A flip is the jump with the third highest base value in scoring.

To achieve her goal, Vick started taking lessons at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena last May. She been causally skating since November 2015.

She is working toward her goal one stroke at a time.

“For now, I’d just like to be able to do a one foot turn,” Vick said.

Vick attends lessons once a week with her coach, Lizzie Haars. Haars, a junior at Jefferson High School, has been skating since she was 5 years old. She has been teaching children how to skate since she was 13 and teens and adults since she was 15.

“With the younger kids we always have a structured lesson, telling them exactly what to do,” Haars said. “Everyone does the same thing all at once. So basically with the adults, I let them do whatever they want to work on because they know a little bit more. They know how they learn.”

Vick is working on backward crossovers, which is where skaters cross one foot over the other to maneuver around corners, and one foot turns.

Haars stated she has seen major improvement in Vick’s skating since she started teaching her.

“She’s gotten a lot more confident in everything she’s doing,” Haars said.

Vick was inspired to start ice skating after seeing the show “Yuri!!! On Ice.” She fell in love with the sport and also was inspired by real-life figure skaters Yuzuru Hanyu, the current No. 1 male figure skater in the world, and Johnny Weir, two-time Olympian and the bronze medalist at the 2008 World Championships.

“I like how it’s graceful and how you can do almost anything on the ice,” Vick said.

In the future, Vick hopes to compete in figure skating as her skill level progresses.