Acton’s Iris Zhao Qualifies for U.S. Figure Skating Championships

By David Li,

Acton, Mass., Nov. 23, 2013, — Washington Figure Skating Club (WFSC), the largest U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned Club, is the host of the 2014 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships, November 19-23, 2013, at Ashburn Ice House. In the Juvenile Girls completion on Nov. 20, 12-year-old Iris Zhao from Acton, Mass. finished at fourth place, and qualified for Prudential 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be held in Boston from Jan. 5 to 12, 2014.

Iris Zhao won silver medal of the under 13 group at last year’s New England Regional Championships (photo provided by May Liu).

With 2nd place finish at New England Regional, Iris Zhao also made to the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships last year. In this year’s New England Regional, Iris Zhao won the championship in the juvenile girls division with a perfect routine.

May Liu, mother of Iris Zhao, made the trip to Ashburn, Virginia along with two coaches of the Colonial Figure Skating Club. “Iris finished in the 6th place last year at Eastern Sectional Championships, and didn’t make to the U.S. Championships. She made strides over past 12 months, and finally makes the cut this year. It’s even better that the 2014 U.S. Championships is right here in Boston,” said Ms. Liu during a phone interview.

The following is a youtube video of Iris Zhao’s performance at this year’s New England Regional by her father Mr. Shugang Zhao.

According to May Liu, Iris is working hard to prefect some of her skills for the program. Right now she skates 16+ hours per week plus several hours of off-ice training. She is also trying to be more consistent with her double axel jump so that she can incorporate it into her program during National competition at Juvenile Girls division.

Iris Zhao’ performance at the U.S. Championships will be on Jan. 8, 2014, at 11:30AM. The arena is inside Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Her sister, Rose Zhao, a member of state champion girls tennis team of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, will help with group ticket coordination and order. The regular ticket is $25, with discount for 10 or more tickets. The website for Prudential 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships is “She is definitely aiming at gold for National. The more supporters to go, the merrier!” said Ms. May Liu.

The following is the final score of the Juvenile Girls group at 2014 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships.

Place Start No. Name Score
1 12 Annabelle Morozov, Ice House of New Jersey FSC 50.62
2 10 Hannah Jo, University of Delaware FSC 48.75
3 2 Audrey Shin, SC of New York 46.93
4 4 Iris Zhao, Colonial FSC 46.93
5 9 Kathy Mai, Washington FSC 46.89
6 5 Kassandra Carpentier, Colonial FSC 45.37
7 3 Lara Annunziata, Panthers FSC 44.74
8 11 Moriah Oliveira, City of Palms FSC 43.36
9 8 Brooke Barrett, SC of Boston 41.65
10 1 Liza Hayes, SC of Boston 40.01
11 6 Nikolett Albrechtovics, North Jersey FSC 37.63
12 7 Karen Nakao, Ice House of New Jersey FSC 36.29

The top four finishers from the 2014 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships will compete at the nationally televised Prudential 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The members of the U.S. Olympic Team will be chosen from the winners of the senior events at the National Championships.

With more experiences of competition at the highest level, Iris Zhao is well on her way to realize her dream of representing the U.S. in international competitions, and maybe one day qualifying for the Winter Olympics.