Johnstown native Livvy Shilling's ice skating abilities recently landed her in the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.

The event is used to determine the U.S. teams for the World Championships, World Junior Championships, Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and Winter Olympics.

Shilling, 19, earned a place to compete at nationals Jan. 14-22 by placing first in regionals in Wenatchee, Washington, and taking third at sectionals in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Among 19 competitors Jan. 17, she finished 13th, said her mother, Mel Shilling.

"She's the only skater who isn't in the international selection pool, and the only skater who had never been to nationals before," she said. "It's wildly exciting. Getting to nationals was a long-time goal. This had been a longtime dream to accomplish."

Livvy Shilling, who graduated from Ohio Virtual Academy in May 2015, attended Johnstown-Monroe schools from kindergarten through fourth grade.

She graduated second in her class of about 700 students at the academy, Mel Shilling said.

Since January 2015, Livvy Shilling has resided in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while training at the World Arena-Ice Hall, U.S. Olympic Training Site.

"I must admit, I can't recall when I fell in love with skating," she said via email. "It seems I loved it before I started (at 7 years old). The daily work is precise and the improvements are incremental -- some days not at all."

She said some people might find the daily grind boring, but she loves testing what her blades can do.

"I love learning to go faster, jump higher, and spin in creative ways," she said. "And the beauty! I am inspired by the artistic side, too. Creating a program that captures the audience and judges makes my heart soar."

She said the art of the sport is important to her.

Her main coach is Christy Krall, a World and Olympic Team member and World and Olympic Team coach.

Krall attended four Olympic games in three different capacities: in 1964 as an athlete in Innsbruck, Austria; 2002 as a USA team leader in Salt Lake City; and 2010 and 2014 as a Canadian coach in Vancouver, Canada, and Sochi, Russia.

Mel Shilling said she believes a dream of any skater is to go to the Olympics.

"Her (Livvy's) goal is to work on technical content next year," she said. "She wants to up the technical content and ideally would like to be on Team USA and receive international assignments."

Livvy Shilling said she wants to continue to push her mental, physical and artistic limits.

"I moved to Colorado because I knew I had more to give and wanted to be in a place where I could fully test those boundaries," she said. "Honestly, I feel I am just getting started and know that exciting events are in my future."

Her mother said she's very proud of her daughter as is her father, Scott Shilling, and other family members, including grandmother Ruth Ann Booher, president of the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District's school board.

Livvy Shilling said she's also studying computer science at University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

"Due to my training demands, I can't take a full load but I really like my calculus class," she said. "My professor is so incredible that at the end of last semester, I rearranged my spring skating schedule so I could take his class this semester."

Ultimately, she said she believes she will find a way to use technology to improve people's lives, whether it be in the energy sector where she can find ways to reduce energy costs and allow people to have more disposable income or in some other way.

"I enjoy math, science and creating ideas," she said. "I'm sure there's a way to combine them to enhance the world around me."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla