Larson Free Skate draws students for evening of fun

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

On Nov. 30, approximately 300 SDSU students-ranging in age from freshman to senior-crowded the Larson Ice Center for the opportunity to ice skate for free.

The event, which was sponsored by Weekend Stuff!, only required an SDSU ID to enter. This helped to draw the 300 students and another 50 who left after discovering all the skates were gone.

Zach Lutz, the Union Services manager and the event’s organizer, was pleased with the turnout, saying it exceeded his expectations. “To get 300 students to an off-campus event is pretty awesome,” he said.

Getting students out of their dorms and off campus for a night was one of Lutz’s objectives for the evening. “I wanted to give students a chance to get off campus and see what Brookings has to offer,” he said.

Students also had some goals for the evening. Many first-time skaters, like Amanda Beyer, freshman biology major, wanted to try something new, and most students, regardless of age or ice skating ability, wanted to stay on their feet and not fall. Unfortunately for some students, their dreams were shattered.

Chelsea Lira, a sophomore interior design major from Glendale, Ariz., was one of those students. At one point in the night, Lira tried to skate backwards, and when she tried to turn back around, she ended up doing a 360 and falling on her hands. Lira felt lucky that she did not completely wipe out, but she said the incident still “felt a little intense” and she was “a little scared.”

Organizers were happy that all incidents of the evening that they had heard of were small like Lira’s. At some past free skates, though, the incidents have been serious.

Kayla Borgstrom, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major, said that last year at a free skate hosted by an SDSU organization, her friend had a fairly serious accident. “My friend from Jordan, the country, had never been skating before,” she said. “He had been doing pretty well ? when he fell. He was unconscious for a while.”

Borgstrom and her friends took their injured friend to the emergency room, where they found out he had suffered a concussion and needed stitches on his eye. Later, hospital workers told the group that about 10 to 15 students had come in from the free skate that evening.

Other students also had vivid memories of skating stories from their younger years. Blake Gipson, a freshman wildlife and fisheries management major, said, “A girl skating next to me caught the front of her skate on the ice. She split open her chin and had to get six stitches.” Gipson still remembers the image of the blood stains on the ice.

Andrew Martin’s story is a little more humorous. Martin, a freshman mechanical engineering student, went ice skating with friends one evening. On the last lap of the night, Martin started to fall. He tried to prevent a female friend who was skating beside him from falling too by pushing her up. His actions may actually have done more harm than good, though, because in the end, “She fell too.”

#1.883034:288843609.jpg:freeskate1_sb.jpg:Brittany Hutt, a high school senior, skates with Jordan Strandberg at the free skate at Larson Ice Center Nov. 30.:Stephen Brua