Pitt graduate figures into U.S. skating scene
Ryan Devereaux of Swisshelm Park and his ice dancing partner are generating a buzz in the figure skating community after a strong showing at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month in St. Paul, Minn.
Devereaux, 26, and Charlotte Maxwell, 26, of Dallas placed eighth of 14 competitors in the championship dance event.
Marina Zoueva, the head of the International Skating Academy in Canton, Mich., where they train, said the two have a chemistry that is evident in their skating.
“I think they will do well internationally,” she said. “This can be their breakout season.”
U.S. Figure Skating spokeswoman Renee Felton said based on their finish, Devereaux and Maxwell likely will be considered for a spot on a national team that will compete overseas next fall. The team will be announced in May or June.
Devereaux and Maxwell became partners in May 2014. They placed ninth last year in their first trip to nationals.
They qualified for this year's national tournament by earning a gold medal at the Eastern Sectional championships in Simsbury, Conn., last November.
Devereaux said their goal is to keep improving so they can contend for a berth on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.
Devereaux said he and Maxwell met at 2006 nationals in St. Louis and have been best friends since. Both retired from competitive skating in 2008-09 to pursue college educations before returning to the ice.
“We have a lot of respect for each other,” Devereaux said. “Charlotte is much more creative.
“I'm more technical on the ice.”
Maxwell, who is 5-foot-4, said she enjoys skating with Devereaux, who is 5-8.
“We work well together,” she said. “Ryan's always positive. Everybody (at the academy) loves him.”
Devereaux, who has been skating since he was 6 years old, joined the International Skating Academy in summer 2005. The club is renowned for producing 2014 Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Devereaux graduated from a Western Pennsylvania cyber school in 2007 and earned a degree in psychology and communications from Pitt.
He serves as a skating coach at Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island, where he trained previously.
Devereaux and Maxwell are crowdfunding at gofundme.com/fonbnk to pay for their skating expenses, which Devereaux said are upwards of $50,000.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.