Padua Franciscan High School’s Figure Skating Team won the Ohio High School Team Figure Skating Championship on Sunday, February 5, 2023 at Thornton Park in Shaker Heights. They claimed their 11th state title in school history. (Past championship years include: 2022, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2008.)
This year in addition to winning overall first place, Padua also took first place in the Production Ensemble event, in which teams of eight or more skaters performed a themed group number. The team performed to music from Newsies. (The numbers are judged on illustration of character, music interpretation, costuming and audience appeal.) Additionally, the team finished first in the Free Skate and Moves in the Field to Music events, along with third place in the Maneuver Team event. For the first time ever, Padua’s middle school skaters won their portion of the competition.
Overall, the Bruins won 33 medals in 45 events. The girls earned 17 gold medals, 10 silver and 6 bronze. Padua’s top high school skaters were Debbie Groth ’23, Alexis Martin ’24, Ava Schmidt ’25, and Abbey Kubit ’26.
“I am so incredibly proud that we were able to pull off another state win,” said senior captain Debbie Groth ’23, who just finished her sixth Padua season. “Being a part of this team has had the biggest impact on my high school experience and life. I met so many new people through this team and I have no doubt that these friendships will last a lifetime.”
Padua’s head coach is Alex (Miranda) Babb ’11. The assistant coaches Allison (Margevicius) Vega ’10 and Alexis (Hipkins) Flinn ’10 have been part of the successful program, since its inception in 2007, along with team manager Lori Margevicius.
“We went into the last day of the competition down by 10 points,” said Margevicius. “The girls rallied and skated their hearts out to push us over the top. Our Maneuver Teams ‘put the nail in the coffin’ and we won by 16 points.”
With each new state title earned, the program has become more popular. They receive year-round inquiries from area skaters and their parents about when their daughters, and occasionally their sons, can join the team as junior varsity members, during seventh and eighth grade.
For more information, please contact Lori Margevicius at firstname.lastname@example.org or Director of Recruitment Katie Martin ’08 at email@example.com.