Southport High School senior Hannah Garrett began roller skating competitively when she was only four years old.
She never has competed overseas; however, that opportunity presents itself for the first time this summer in the World Roller Games in Barcelona, Spain.
With her longtime training on a well-known skating rink in Lynwood, Ill., Garrett and three Illinois skaters will compete as a quartet in artistic roller-skating July 13 in Spain. They are members of the 36-member USA World Figure team.
“I’m not sure yet how many other teams we will face,” she said. “I’m hoping we will do well.”
The quartet, “Bollywood Beauties,” qualified for the world meet in a Great Lakes district meet on their home rink in the village south of Chicago.
Garrett has finished fourth in solo in nationals sanctioned by USA Roller Sports (USARS); the same organization that sanctions figure skating, roller derbies and speed skating.
Their routine and their colorful costumes show the passion and love of India. Two routines are tricky, one where three girls form a rolling pyramid and a solo skater comes from behind and underneath them.
The Southport student began skating as a young girl at Wheels of Wonder on the Southside and at the historic Melody skating rink on the eastside.
Members of the quartet from Lynwood, Ill., include Cheyanne Lowery, Addison Schmidt and Mattie Hyde. Their outfits range in color from purple, yellow, blue and red.
They expect to arrive a few days ahead for practice and some sight-seeing. The Southport skater expects to return from Spain just in time to compete solo in the USARS nationals in Washington.
This is the first year that artistic qualifications were held during Easter weekend instead of fall to accommodate school-aged skaters. She practiced in Lynwood on Wednesday nights and Saturday and Sunday mornings, being driven round-trip by her parents or driving herself.
Her father, Rick Garrett, was a world-class skater and is one of her coaches. Her main coaches are John Peck and his daughter, Rachel Schrum, who co-owns Lynwood Roller Rink.
“He (her father) is the reason I’m in skating, and he’s still active in some meets but doesn’t do the jumps or the spins,” she said.
Peck put the senior quartet together for the synchronized skating.
‘In artistic roller skating, we have the same jumps as ice skating and we are judged the same way,” she said. “We are judged on degree of difficulty of lifts and spins, footwork, presentation and artistic ability.”
They have practiced together since 2018.
“I am anxious to see the international skaters and see how they compete,” she said. “I want to see how other countries do this type of skating.”
During the interview at Southport High School, Garrett hinted at retiring after competing in Spain. She plans on majoring in interior design at Ball State University.
Roller skating has made me figure out how to manage my time,” she said. “I love to hang out with my friends, so I know how to handle that, time-wise. I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices. I grew up being shy, but by skating in front of thousands of spectators brought me out of my shell.”
She played basketball in middle school and through her sophomore year in high school when roller skating competition became more serious. She is features editor of The Journal, the high school’s news magazine.
She is the daughter of Rick and Mindy Garrett. She has an older brother, Matthew, who is a junior at IUPUI
(Editor’s Note: Hannah Garrett seeks funds on GoFundMe to help finance her trip to Barcelona and represent the USA. The link to donate funds is: https://www.gofundme.com/help-hannah-represent-the-us-in-the-world-skate.)