Jenna Goecke, Exercise Physiology
Hometown: Bismarck, N.D.
“The faculty at UMass Lowell has supported my dream to compete in synchronized skating.”
Torn between her love of skating and the desire to go to college, Jenna Goecke decided to pursue both. In March of her senior year of high school, she realized she couldn’t bear to give up her passion and tried out for the most successful synchronized skating team in U.S. history, the Haydenettes, based in Lexington, Mass. She was thrilled when she made the team.
“I was ecstatic about making the team, but the training and travel schedule this past year have been a challenge,” says Goecke, who has been skating since she was five years old. “I’ve been fortunate that the faculty at UMass Lowell has been very supportive of my dream to compete in synchronized skating. The professors are very helpful whenever I have questions on material and are very flexible on rescheduling exams that I miss while I’m competing and performing.”
Goecke, who completed her freshman year as an exercise physiology
major, has had a successful first year at UMass Lowell and on the road performing. The Haydenettes are the 2011 World Bronze Medalists and U.S. Figure Skating’s 2011 National Champions in Synchronized Team Skating. She traveled to Switzerland in January to compete for the Neuchatel Trophy and had the incredible opportunity to perform on the Today show.
Her plan is to continue balancing both her studies and skating, with the hope of eventually earning a doctorate in physical therapy to work with athletes and train figure skaters.
“Since I am an athlete, I would love to work with injured athletes because I understand the challenges they face,” she says.
The past year of moving to Massachusetts, going to college and skating on a championship team has taught Goecke many things about herself and has challenged her to work very hard, but she says: “I would not change my experience for anything.”