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Mitchell Blades host inaugural Figure Skating exhibition

Mitchell Blades skater Erikka Steidl performs her rhythmic ribbon routine during the Mitchell Blades 2014 exhibition Saturday at the Mitchell Activities Center. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)2 / 2

Twenty-two skaters took the ice for the inaugural Mitchell Blades exhibition Saturday at the Mitchell Activities Center.

There were no judges, no scores, just skaters of all ages having fun.

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“I think the exhibition went really well,” skating instructor Sarah Hanson said. “We brought girls in from Luverne, Minn., Brookings and Sioux Falls. Here in Mitchell this is a brand new program and we don’t have a lot of high-level skaters so we wanted to bring in other skaters so that the people of Mitchell and the skaters in our program can have something to aspire to. We hope that someday we can have enough of our own skaters to host this event.”

Hanson and Laura Gast also work with Mitchell Skaters, who are a part of the ‘learn to skate’ program as well.

One skater represented the Mitchell Blades Saturday, that skater was Erikka Steidl. The 10-year old graced the ice two times Saturday. Steidl is one of 56 young skaters, who are a part of the Mitchell Blades skating program, which is in its first year of existence. Steidl is the only Blades skater currently participating in competitions.

“It was fun to hang out with my friends and skate at the same time,” Steidl said. “I have been practicing my routine for a year.”

Steidl’s mother Jessica Steidl was integral in putting the exhibition together. She reached out to all the teams, who attended the exhibition and some who didn’t attend. Of the teams Jessica Steidl contacted, only Watertown and Yankton did not attend. Steidl said she started planning the exhibition on January 14, when she heard that there would be a ribbon cutting for the second sheet of ice at the MAC.

“I really wanted to do something to get the word out about the skating opportunities that are here in Mitchell,” Jessica Steidl said. “The exhibition shows the public what we are trying to do. In order to have a program like this you have to have public awareness and support.”

The entire exhibition happened took place on the second sheet of ice at MAC. The second sheet has been in use since December.