Heather Aseltine, was the surprise winner of the 17th U. S. National Collegiate Championships in Newark, Delaware, in August. The willowy blonde, who at five feet nine inches is very tall for a skater, won the qualifying round, the short and the long to best 31 other ladies for the title.
Aseltine, a freshman who just started college at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, still skates at the Northbrook Sports Center in Northbrook, Illinois, where she began skating at the age of four. “One of my brothers was skating when he was little and I would go with him to public sessions,” she said. “My brothers were swimmers, so Mom and Dad were either at a steamy pool or cold ice rink. I was on the local swim team with my brothers when I was young and still love to swim. I also love to jet ski. In my free time, I like to hang out with my friends and family. My family and I usually go to Marco Island for spring break and spend time jet skiing in Door County in the summer.”
Her main coach is Diana Himmel-Krewer, with whom she has trained for ten years, but she also works with Lars Jensen. Although Jackie Ziah choreographs her competitive programs, Aseltine said, “I sometimes do my own choreography for exhibitions and I do the choreography for my students. I have been teaching and coaching the past two years and plan to continue when I graduate. To improve my coaching, my focus in college is to gain a greater understanding of body mechanics, growth and development, sport psychology, health and nutrition, recovery from physical injury, and exercise physiology.” She is majoring in kinesiology. Aseltine graduated from high school with highest honors last spring. While there, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Class Board, and Video Yearbook. She was also a member of the pom pom squad.
For the National Collegiates, Aseltine skated to Victory from the Bond CD for the short and selections from Epcot’s Illumination CD for the long. “This year’s music was picked as a collaborative effort between my coaches and I,” she said. “I like powerful music because it motivates me.” A late bloomer, Aseltine didn’t land her first triple until she was 15 or 16, but her favorite jump is the double Axel. Her most difficult combination is triple toe/double toe.