by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River figure skater Ashlee Hidde earned double gold status by passing her senior free skate on March 8 before United States Figure Skating Association judges in Eau Claire.
Hidde, 17, coached by Sandra Johansson, is the fifth Elk River Figure Skating Academy member in the last five years to earn gold in Moves in the Field and Freestyle.
Tall for a skater at 5-foot-9, Hidde played basketball, too, until ninth grade. She’s had to overcome a series of injuries including two ankle surgeries and a destroyed nerve in her leg.
Hidde is home-schooled. She started taking PSEO this year part-time through Northwestern College.
Her performance highlights have been placing sixth at state in 2006 in the preliminary level, making Artistic Recall at the Green Bay skating competition the last two years, and winning Senior TT Free Skate at the Eau Claire competition in March, earning the Founders Trophy.
Hidde will compete Upper Midwest Regional in October. She states that her goals are to advance as far as she can through state, regional and national levels. Long term, she wants to become a coach in her club and also give private lessons. She already teaches basics to kids on Monday evenings at Elk River Arena.
Her club’s next performance will be the annual spring show May 18-19.