SportsLocal Sports

Actions

Heiner skating for next Olympic shot

Maryland figure skater competed at U.S. Nationals
Jill Heiner
Posted at 5:10 PM, Feb 14, 2022

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — When Jill Heiner is at the rink that’s when she is the best version of herself. That's when she feels:

"Happy, excited, ready to get some work done," said the 19-year-old figure skater.

She’s been happy, excited and working at her passion for over a decade. The North Beach, Md. native has been skating out of the Naval Academy ice arena in Annapolis since she was six years old. Now she’s one of the best figure skaters in the country.

"I was able to put out two great programs and I’m so proud," she said of her 11th place performance at the U.S. National Championships last month. That is the same competition from which our Olympians are chosen.

"It was great. It was so cool. It was amazing. It was very daunting at first but it was super fun."

Four years from now she doesn’t want to be eleventh. She wants to be top three and on Team USA. She has a good shot.

"The goal is definitely the Olympics. Definitely Milan," said Heiner. "I got to train. We have a long way to go but we’re not too far off."

Until then she’ll continue to make the drive to Northern Virginia to skate twice a day perfecting her craft. All the while she'll be doing it for those closest to her.

"For me I want to skate for myself but I also want to skate for people who have been there for me since day one."

Like her former coach, Kristan Waggoner.

"I knew her at six but when she was 12, when she was 14 she was such a good skater and she has always been a very kind person," said Waggoner. "She is a real good person and all the girls look up to her."

From North Beach to Annapolis to Olympian? That’s the plan. Heiner wants to let every figure skater know they can do it too.

"If you really work hard, you train every day, I think if you have to be aware of your competition but you also focus on yourself, work on the drills, you can do it. You can really do it. It doesn’t matter where you are from."

It only matters where you want to go on that clean sheet of ice.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook