Meet this CPS National Figure Roller Skating Champ
STUDENTS | January 10, 2019
Meet this CPS National Figure Roller Skating Champ

Darius Sanders, a junior at Butler College Prep, says he first developed a passion for skating at the age of six after watching his mother perform at a local roller rink.

He says the jumps and spins that she and other skaters performed with ease persuaded him to put on his first pair of skates.

His coach, Julie Jessup, who says she has known Darius ever since he was “a little, tiny boy running around the rink with his mom,” says his skill set was impressive from the start. He just needed one extra thing: a partner.

Jessup introduced Darius to Samantha Krusza six years ago, and the pair has skated together ever since.

“Darius was a really shy child, and when he skated by himself, he was great,” says Jessup. “I’d known Samantha and we wanted to pair her with someone with just as much talent. We found that in Darius.”

Samantha says she couldn’t “wish for anyone better” to have as a skating partner.

“Darius is amazing,” says Samantha. “He never lets me fall and he does everything he can to make sure we perform amazingly.”

Together, Darius and Samantha competed in the National Figure Roller Skating Competition, where they placed first, and the World Figure Roller Skating Championship, where they placed fourth.

Check out some of their moves as they prepare for this year’s competitions.