Skating on the national stage

Fountain Valley's Matthew Scoralle, along with partner Hadley Piper, qualified for the 2010 U.S. Junior National Figure Skating Championships.

December 15, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,
  • Matthew Scoralle of Fountain Valley and his skating partner Hadley Piper of Newport Beach qualified for the U.S. Junior National Figure Skating Championships.
Matthew Scoralle of Fountain Valley and his skating partner… (Cynthia Slawter,…)

Talk about landing on your feet. Twice, and in the most unexpected ways.

Matthew Scoralle's love for all-things ice began a few years back when the Fountain Valley resident wanted to play hockey. To get a feel for the game, and the ground beneath his skates, the now-13-year-old took up figure skating, he said, to "get on my feet."

"It was all about trying to learn how to balance myself while maneuvering on skates," he said. "It was a little hard at first, but then I got comfortable with it. After a while it became a lot of fun.

"I never went into roller hockey. I stuck with figure skating and I'm glad I did. Being out there on the ice is a good time."

The local youngster has gone from "good time," to big time.

Scoralle traveled Wednesday to Salt Lake City to compete at the 2010 U.S. Junior National Figure Skating Championships. He will compete in pairs skating with partner Hadley Piper of Newport Beach. The two are among the top 19 pairs in the country to qualify for the event.


Scoralle and Piper will compete in the Juvenile division. The duo first skates Friday.

The Junior National competition runs through Saturday.

"To qualify for Junior Nationals is an incredible feeling," Scoralle said. "It's the first time for both of us, and it's sort of unexpected."

Scoralle said he and Piper, also 13, teamed up as skating partners 1 1/2 years ago after the two had been singles skaters.

"I always wanted to do pairs skating and Hadley went to the same rink as I did," he said. "That's how we met and we teamed up, and it's been great. Hadley's a great skater and has clean footwork. I'd say as a team, we're clean skaters. We've put in a lot of work and long hours."

Scoralle said he began skating at Skate Zone in Huntington Beach before the rink closed down, then moved on to skate in Westminster before that rink, too, closed. Since then, he's been training at Glacial Garden Skating Arena in Lakewood, where he and Piper train for up to three hours a day, five-to-six days per week.

"When I first got into figure skating, I was about 7 or 8, but never really got seriously into competing until about a year and a half ago," he said. "I started with taking classes once a week and now train quite a bit."

Scoralle, who is home-schooled, has really grown into the sport in such a short time. But last year, he began to grow out of it and had to relearn his steps all over again.

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