Hazel Collier is only 13, but the young Charlestown figure skater has already shown remarkable resolve at turning in great performances just when it seemed like the chips were down in her young and distinguished skating career.
Fresh off of January’s U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Detroit, Collier – who attends eighth grade at Boston Latin School and is a Warren Prescott School alumni – has brought a Bronze medal back to the Town. Her performance there was so on the mark that it earned her the 2019 U.S. Intermediate Ladies Bronze medal.
It was a journey that saw her win gold in Boston at the New England Regionals and pewter in Raleigh NC at the Eastern Sectionals last fall.
“I really peaked at nationals this year, which was perfect timing,” she said. “I wasn’t as nervous at nationals because there was no further competition I could go to. This was it.”
At the Nationals in January, Collier earned personal best scores in both the short program and the long program (both program scores are combined in figure skating for a final competition score), which was what catapulted her to the top rung of the 12-person field that featured skaters from all over the country. It was a fulfilling victory, she said, but one that only came through perseverance.
Collier had a figurative stumble at the Eastern Sectional competition in Raleigh, NC in November when, feeling the pressure to do well, nerves caused her to miss some jumps and spins, leaving her in 10th place out of 12 going in to the long program the next day.
However, Collier said, “I took that night to re-group and re-focus for the long program. I realized I control what I do on the ice. It’s not like there is some big scary thing that somebody does on the ice. I control the jumps and I started thinking about the specific things to do to land the jumps.”
Collier ended up skating well enough in her long program to surge her into fourth place, which earned her a trip to Detroit for the Nationals competition.
“I am thankful for that experience,” at Sectionals she said. “I was able to come back after being 10th out of 12. It showed me how to compete and that it’s possible to come back.”
Collier was born into figure skating. Her grandmother is an ice dancer and figure skater, and her dad, Chris, delved into figure skating before transitioning to hockey. So it was that skating was probably in her future from a young age.
Collier has spent her entire skating career at the Skating Club of Boston where she started in the Learn to Skate program at the age of 4, and is currently coached by former Olympian Suna Murray. She trains 20-plus hours per week and has mastered difficult skills including the elusive double axel and triple jumps.
On most days, when Collier isn’t in Charlestown, one can find her at the rink where she practices six days a week – sometimes with Charlestown friend/skater Gemma Parker.
Collier is also focused on academics. She credits her success at Boston Latin to her background as a student at the Warren Prescott School – where she was motivated by her teachers and participated in many of the school plays, including ‘Emerald City,’ ‘Annie’ and ‘Hairspray.’ She also grew up playing Charlestown Lacrosse, and said the program introduced her to a sport she loves and hopes to pick back up later in life.
This weekend, Collier will skate in the Skating Club of Boston’s Ice Chips event, where she has earned a solo in the annual show. The show is at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Arena on Saturday (April 13) at noon and 6 p.m., and on Sunday (April 14) at 1 p.m.
All are welcome to attend the event, with tickets and information at www.icechips.org.
Collier is the daughter of Chris and Debbie Collier, and she has two siblings – Violet and Lincoln.