Weddington Middle School eighth grader Kendall Smith is among the top figure skaters in the state. The daughter of Scott and Michelle Hummer-Smith began skating at age six and has accumulated many medals over the years with championship performances. Let’s go Beyond The Game to learn more about Kendall

How many years have you competed and what led you to start?
“My dad, who plays hockey, took me skating for the first time when I was 6 years old and I loved it. I have been going to the rink for a long time, but I have skated for nearly 9 years. I started competing after about 2 years of lessons and coaching.”

What are your top accomplishments in the sport?
“I have participated in many competitions and have performed in many shows, but my most memorable experiences have been winning several medals, gold, silver, and bronze in the State Games of North Carolina over the past few years. It is really fun and challenging competing against skaters from all over the State of North Carolina. Also, my favorite experience was performing in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2015 United States Figure Skating Championships which took place the week of January 17th-25th In Greensboro, North Carolina! During my experience at the U.S. Nationals, I got to meet many Olympians such as Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner, Meryl Davis Charlie White, and Jason Brown.”

How often do you practice?
“I usually practice 3-4 days a week and sometimes I train more than that. I train with three coaches: Melissa Vriner, Danielle Logano, and Pam Fultz. I also do off- ice exercises such as Jump Class, and Pilates to improve my on ice skills.”

Can you describe what an ice skater does in competition?
“A Figure Skater typically arrives at competition several hours before their event. They then might attend a practice session early in the morning and then they may relax for a period of time before putting their skates on. The skaters get a warm up session and then they compete. It is a very intense day, because you are usually up really early and typically don’t get home until late at night because many skaters like to stay after they are through competing and watch their friends skate. There are many facets to ice skating competitions such as the short program, free skate, compulsory, showcase, and basic skills for beginners.”

What are your top moves?
“I love to jump and spin. My favorite jump that I have landed is a Double Loop and I also enjoy spinning. My favorite spin is a Combination Spin which is basically a spin where you switch positions. Another one of my favorite spins is a really fast Scratch Spin. It is a crowd favorite when you spin really fast at the end of a program!”

Do you have any long range skating goals?
“I would love to compete at the national level. Also, I hope to be a show skater one day and my dream is to skate with the Disney On Ice productions and tour the world performing. I also hope to skate at the collegiate level. My dream school is Indiana University, so I hope to skate for their skating team.”

Do you play any other sports?
“Skating is incredibly time consuming, so that is the sport that I focus on. But, I really enjoy watching my older brother Drake play baseball! Seeing his success is so much fun to watch and enjoy!”

How well do you perform in the classroom?
“I am in 8th grade but I do take a few high school honors classes to earn credits before I go to high school. I also am on the Honor Roll, and am a member of the Weddington Middle School BETA Club (Academic Club), and I also was elected by my peers to Weddington Middle School Student Council.”