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Fox Valley local ready to compete at Inline Speed Skating World Championships this fall

Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) - Skate City in Kimberly, a roller rink, hosted a fundraiser on Saturday night, October 9, for one of their former skaters who qualified to represent Team U.S.A. at this fall’s Inline Speed Skating World Championships.

To learn more about Skate City, CLICK HERE.

While it may not be the national time trials for inline speed skating, Skate City was where junior U.S.A. team member Cassie Gerdin got her start. Skating in rink races that still inspire a range of emotions.

“It’s really nerve-wracking,” Javonte Bastian, a 14-year-old competitive speed skater visiting Skate City for the first time, shared. “It’s also very frustrating,” his friend and speed skating teammate, Aidan Centner, emphasized.

In comparison, 13-year-old Bailey Hiettas-McKeithan who mostly skates for fun said, “I sometimes get nervous before basketball or volleyball games,” as her pal Josie Geurts added that she doesn’t get nervous either when skating. “Skating is just more fun,” Heittas-McKeithan concluded.

“It’s always fun just hanging out with your friends and playing here,” a 13-year-old Skate City regular Jamison Van Booven highlighted.

A self-identified sprinter, Cassie won her first national title at the age of 10, set her first record at 12, and now at 15, earned herself a spot on the junior U.S.A. team for this fall’s world championships. She said she is the youngest on the outdoor national team.

“Honestly, it doesn’t really hit me until I come to these places and these little kids are coming up to me and their parents are like, she’s on the world team; she’s on Team U.S.A. and I’m like - I am,” Cassie laughed. “That’s kind of weird because I was your age like only a couple years ago doing the same exact thing.”

Cassie started skating at about six thanks to her dad, Tim Gerdin, who used to speed skate. A competitive background that helps him understand his daughter’s passion.

“Cassie has been through a lot,” Tim shared. “She’s been hurt skating. Everyone has. If you don’t get hurt doing it, you’re not trying hard enough, I guess, is what they say sometimes. She knows the risks and she’s willing to accept those risks when she is challenging herself and moving forward in her sport.”

“She’s got a bubbly personality,” Cassie’s coach in Fort Wayne, IN at Bell’s Speed Club, Chris Keesler, said. “She loves to work with little kids and help out in that way. She’s a typical 15 year old. She’s got her lazy moments where you got to push her and then she’s got her other moments where you don’t have to say nothing and she just goes crazy.”

The World Championships that Cassie is skating in are in Ibague, Columbia from November 6-13. To learn more about the championships, CLICK HERE.

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