Skating competition in full swing

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - Spins and axels, oh my. It's the 14th annual Black Hills Gold Rush skating competition.

Seventy skaters from South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming are putting their skills to the test this weekend in front of local judges and some on the national level from out of state, which is a new addition to the competition.

"As a skating parent I feel like my skater is getting high-quality critiques and opinions on her skating and that is unique. We're really glad to have them here," says Val Simpson the vice president of Black Hills Figure Skating Club.

One girl has been skating since she was 5 and competing for 7 years. She comes to Rapid City from Pierre. At the competition this weekend she tested out of the preliminary category and now is a pre-juvenile skater. Competitions are her favorite part of the sport.

"The thrill of having people watching you. Showing off something you love doing and the artistic ability behind it. Choreographing what you want to do in a performance or the songs that you like listening to that you can just go out and skate to," says McKayla Gunderson a pre-juvenile skater and coach.

The competition Saturday has an interpretive skate, dramatic, compulsory moves, free skate, light entertainment and more. As for two local skaters, they're in three categories and enjoy competing on the weekends.

"I like the cold and the ice, jumps, and spins," says Hannah Baesler a pre-preliminary skater.

"I like everything," says Aya Kuroiwa a pre-preliminary skater.

The competition will end Saturday and about half of the skaters will join the skating clinics being hosted Sunday.