Shoreline’s roller skating golden girl recently returned home with yet another load of hardware, and she’s already off competing for more.
Kylee Berger, 14, won five gold medals earlier this month at the Northwest Regional Roller Skating Championships in Oaks Park, Ore. She took home top honors in advanced co-ed loops, freshman girls singles, freshman girls figures, junior world class singles and world class pairs.
“I did really well,” Berger said. “I felt good about myself. I just wanted to get those (first-place) plaques.”
Anna Carrier, who coaches Berger and the rest of the Everett Expressions skate team at the Everett Skate Deck, said Berger’s hard work during practice has paid off in competition.
“I think her training throughout the year showed up at regionals,” Carrier said. “She trained very hard and very consistently. That definitely showed up in her performances.
“As far as timing goes and peaking, I think she’s going to be perfect.”
Berger is currently competing at the national championships in Lincoln, Neb., where she hopes to finish in the top three in an event to qualify for the world championships for the first time.
“I have a lot of expectations for myself,” she said. “I should be able to place in everything except for junior world class singles. If I skate clean, I might be able to make it to worlds.
“I’m really excited, but really nervous. I want to make it so bad.”
Berger and her world class pairs partner, 31-year-old Trace Hansen, are trying to qualify for worlds after missing a trip by one point last year. Hansen has said he will retire following the 2004 season, so the pressure is on.
“This is Trace’s last year,” Berger said. “We’re trying to stay focused.”
“It was just so close last year,” Carrier said. “They’ve really improved a lot.”
Carrier even hired a new coach, Larry McGrew, to boost the pair’s chances. McGrew won a world pairs championship in 1991.
As Berger has grown up, she has taken on more training exercises. On top of her usual practice time, Berger’s training now follows her home as well.
“When I go home, all I do is Pilates, stretching and jumping,” said Berger, who still managed to make the honor roll at Kellogg Middle School.
This fall Berger will be a freshman at Shorecrest High School.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I just wanted to get out of middle school.”
In the meantime, Berger has plenty to keep her busy.