The girl on the ice

The+2013+Speed+Skating+Nationals+are+held+in+Oklahoma%2C+Nebraska%2C+where+Stacy+Caprilli%2C+11%2C+goes+to+compete+with+two+world+champions+and+placesin+third+on+March+13-15.+Caprilli+is+the+2012+California+state+champion+in+the+Junior+Women%E2%80%99s+Division.

Cindy Macias

The 2013 Speed Skating Nationals are held in Oklahoma, Nebraska, where Stacy Caprilli, 11, goes to compete with two world champions and placesin third on March 13-15. Caprilli is the 2012 California state champion in the Junior Women’s Division.

Rodas Hailu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Junior Stacy Caprilli participated in the United States Nationals Age Group Speed Skating competition during the week of March 11 in Omaha, Nebraska, winning four medals in her meets.

After originally practicing ice skating at the age of nine, Caprilli switched to the sport of short track speed skating after watching 8-time Olympic winner Apolo Ohno perform during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Although Caprilli transferred to a different sport, she was thrilled to be able to partake in a new arena.

“I was excited because I was able to see the advanced skaters, and I wanted to be able to do the same already,” Caprilli said.

Everyday of the week, except on Thursdays, Stacy practices certain regimens, such as technique, sprinting, and speed. Her endurance allowed her to get one step closer to the competition in Nebraska.

“I practiced every day,” Caprilli said. “I did more off ice training, like going to the gym and exercising at home. And whenever I had free time, I ate right and went to bed earlier.”

Although the practicing may be rigorous, Caprilli tries to get past her struggles and think positive.

“It’s really hard for me,” Caprilli said. “I get really frustrated, and think negative but then again, I have four words to fix it for me: Positive attitude, perseverance, and patience.”

With those words implemented in her mentality, Caprilli made it to the national competition. The weekend of her stay, she participated in events and placed in the top four of each that she competed in.

“Friday was the 1500 meter. I got 4th place,” Caprilli said. “Saturday, I got 1st in the 500 meter. Sunday, I did the 1000 meter, and got bronze. After that [Sunday’s competition], was the 3000 meter, which was 27 laps. I got 3rd out of 12, as well as a bronze medal.”

Caprilli’s Chemistry teacher Paul Coe was taken aback by the fact that she holds a national title.

“I was actually quite surprised that I had someone in my class that was basically a professional athlete,” Coe said.

Junior Graciela Rodriguez, a friend of Caprilli’s, is always there for emotional support whenever the speed skater needs it.

“I’m always supporting her whenever she texts me and says ‘I’m doing bad,”’ Rodriguez said, “I say ‘Just do your best, and if you do your best, something will come out.’”

Although Caprilli holds much success at such a young age, her determination and perseverance will only get her closer to her dreams of competing on the world stage.