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The Stateline's Best on Ice

15 year old Makala Arn of Stillman Valley hopes to compete on the World Stage one day.
ROCKFORD-Who knows where the future Olympians are right now. There are youngsters everywhere who feed off the spirit of the Olympics, and they’re driving themselves to be their best.  One of them is 15 year old Makala Arn of Stillman Valley.

Arn is unquestionably the best young figure skater in the Stateline.  She’s been hitting the ice since she was three.

"I love the feel of jumping and spinning," says Arn.

Her talent is obvious from the first seconds you set eyes on her. 

"She has great style, great spins. She is choreographically very good in the programs," says her coach Gene Heffron a former Olympic ice dancer.  "So she has a lot going for her."

Three mornings each week before school Arn goes to the Carlson Ice Arena in Rockford to work with Heffron. Three other days of the week Arn goes to Chicago where she’s coached by two-time Olympian David Santee. 

All the work has paid off. Last fall she finished fifth at the Midwest Sectionals in the Novice Division making her an alternate for Nationals.  This fall she’ll likely jump up to the Junior Women’s level. She’s working on the bigger jumps like a double lutz double loop move.

Next up the triple jumps.

"Last year we had a double axel and we just missed Nationals, so we’re still working on the triples and trying to get the double axel more consistent," says Heffron. "If we can get those triples then that’s going to make her very viable."

Arn says her goal is to nail those triple jumps and eventually compete at the World Championships. In the meantime she’s watching the Olympians in Sochi absorbing all she can about their moves.

"Their jump techniques and how to improve my jump, and I’m just looking at the overall performance," she says. 
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