Auxvasse teen skates her way into national competitions

Contributed photo
Emma Trent, Auxvasse, and her skating partner, Aaron Taylor of Racine, Wis., won first place in the Team Dance category of the 2010 USA Roller Sports Figure Skating National Championships.

Contributed photo Emma Trent, Auxvasse, and her skating partner, Aaron Taylor of Racine, Wis., won first place in the Team Dance category of the 2010 USA Roller Sports Figure Skating National Championships.

There’s nothing Emma Trent enjoys more than tying on her skates and rolling around the rink.

“I’ve been roller skating ever since I could walk,” Emma recalls.

Emma, a 15-year-old sophomore from Auxvasse, isn’t content with just regular roller skating. She competes at the national level and dreams of soon being a part of the World Team USA.

“I hope to make the world team in July of next year,” she said.

If she makes the team after July 2011 try-outs, Emma will travel with the World Junior Artistic Team to compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In her most recent skating tournament, Oct. 23 in Union, Emma placed first in all three advanced-level events she competed in. She also placed first in this year’s USA Roller Sports Figure Skating National Championships in both the Sophomore Figures and Team Dance categories.

“I’ve never had a student who’s as dedicated and hard-working and has achieved as much as she has in the time we’ve worked together,” said Emma’s skating coach, John Peck.

Peck has coached skaters from all over the country for almost 30 years. The Trents make the six-hour drive to Chicago, Ill., where Peck works, about twice a month to learn from his coaching. Peck has worked with Emma for about four years. She said she believes his help is “absolutely” the reason she’s gone as far as she has with her skating.

“My coach is like family; he really is,” she said.

Sometimes Emma’s skating partner, Aaron Taylor from Racine, Wis., meets her in Chicago, so they can train together. Emma said all the traveling and time spent training is worth the effort.

“It takes a lot of commitment,” Emma said.

Emma’s parents, Lisa and William Trent, own the Empire Roller Rink in Columbia. The rink has been in the family since it was built in 1938. Lisa Trent, head coach at the rink, said that since Peck lives so far from them, she tries to help her daughter train at the rink.

“As a mom and a coach, I always say, ‘Look, the most important thing is that you’re enjoying your sport,’” said Trent.

Peck said coaching Emma is a “community effort.”

“I’m the guy who does the finishing touches, but there always has to be a driving force at home,” he said.

Emma agrees that her family has been a big support.

“My parents are 110 percent on board with everything,” she said.

Emma trains an average of three hours a day, six days a week.

The next time Emma will skate in front of an audience there will be less pressure, as it will be locally at the Empire Roller Rink. She will skate on her birthday, Dec. 18, at an exhibition show where skaters will show the public different skates they do to music.

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