Speed skater Mia Krone ends season with national title

Krone closes out her skating career at top of 17-21 age group

Olivia Stensberg

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Senior Mia Krone completed her speed skating career, earning the title of national champion for her age group, qualifying her for Olympic Trials.

Krone started speed skating when she was 10. She previously played hockey but hated it. Her dad took her to a speed skating practice in Evanston, where she put on skates and fell in love with the sport.

She now trains with Glen Ellen Speed Skating Company and at The Academy of Speed Skating Excellence in Milwaukee. Speed skaters practice and train within a club but race individually.

For races and tournaments, a skater must compete in four different events including the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, and 3k. Skaters win points in each event, and the one with the most points wins overall. Winning is not completely based on time but has a lot to do with strategy, including passing and blocking, too.

Being successful in races involves a lot of practices and training. Krone has to drive to Glen Ellen twice a week, and on Thursdays and Saturdays she drives to Milwaukee for practice.

Though all her hard work has paid off, she said it is hard to not be home often on weekends.

“I don’t get to hang out with my friends as much as I want,” she said.

Through her travels skating, she has met people from every part of America which she thinks is a major perk of the sport. “Some of my best friends live all over the country and because we’ve been training and racing together often, we really get to know each other well”, she said.

One of her best friends from the sport also won nationals from her age group. “It was nice to finish it together,” Krone said.

Krone won each distance in nationals and won overall for her age group of 17-21. At age 17, she was one of the youngest in her age group.

After Krone’s big win, her times qualified her for Olympic Trials. Though she has the times for the trials, she said it would be too competitive to qualify for the U.S. team. “The first question anybody asks is if I’m going to the Olympics, which I’m not, it’s just too much,” she said.

Krone was confident in her decision to not attend the trials, “I decided not to go to the Olympic trials next year because of the competitiveness for getting a spot on the U.S. team. I did decide to go to the Junior Worlds Trials, but I was one spot away.”

Part of what led to Krone’s success was avoiding injury this year so she was able to train throughout the season. In sixth grade she broke her back, which took months to come back from. Last year she had a concussion from July until Christmas.

“I did have a few injuries, but those were mostly from racing in practice, not from over-training as much,” she said. Running track also makes Krone more susceptible to injury, but she’s avoided that this year.

Being a successful two sport athlete with overlapping seasons has been stressful, but Krone manages by taking advantage of her free periods.

The Track and Field sprinting coaches helped ease the stress of two sports. “They know I’m not just missing practice to party, so they were nice about letting me go on weekends,” she said.

Unfortunately, a skater can’t go to college for speed skating without being both a part time student and going to college in Salt Lake City or Milwaukee.

Krone is attending High Point University in North Carolina where she won’t be skating. She said she’s going to miss the sport, but she is happy she’s ending her competitive skating career on a high note.

Although Krone doesn’t know if she’ll ever compete again, she said, “I love the sport and I love the people in the sport so I might come back to coach when I’m an adult.”

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