Lucky number 13

After competing and placing at the national competitions in the past, the Capital Ice Chips are now number one in the nation.


National title. The Capital Ice Chips have medaled at the last eight national competitions. This year, they scored high above all other teams and took first place. “It was really great to finally get that championship and be up there amongst all of these really huge large programs in the United States,” Capital Ice Chip coach Becky Gallion said.

Usually, people associate the number 13 with bad luck, but number 13 might just be the Bismarck Capital Ice Chips’ lucky number. 

The Chips have been to nationals 13 years in a row. Some ice skaters have earned a spot on the podium in the past, but this year the Chips took first overall. It is the first national championship in team history. 

“It felt amazing after we were done, even before we got our score,” junior BHS student Ethnie Zahn said.  “We all just had a feeling that we had done it.” 

With zero deductions and a total of 85.31 points, the team knew they had done something special 

“No one in our level had ever gotten a score that high and we knew it would be hard to beat,” Zahn said. “We had gotten a record-breaking score.”

“After we finished our skate at nationals I had a very good feeling in my stomach knowing that we all did our best, skated great, and put all we had out there leaving it all on the ice,” junior BHS student Kadence Rambur said. 

The team is made up of skaters from 7th grade through seniors. To prepare for the national competition, they put in hours of work before and after school, and even as late as 8 or 9 p.m. Practices last an hour or two, depending on the day and ice schedules. 

“I’m crazy proud of these girls. They have worked so hard for this and pushed us as coaches to be better,” Capital Ice Chip coach Becky Gallion said. “They were so driven to just be better.”

Team huddle. The Capital Ice Chips took home a National title this year. They have competed at Nationals 13 years in a row, and they are finally taking home the first place prize this year. “It is so fun to be on the team with these girls,” junior Ethnie Zahn said. “They all feel like my sisters.”

Gallion has coached ice skating for 28 years and has been with the Chips for 20 years. She started when the Chips had two teams and 26 skaters. Now, they have nine teams and around 135 skaters. 

“What makes our team unique is that our kids grow up together and it makes them really comfortable on the ice together,” Gallion said. 

Seven different schools come together to make up The Chips, including one skater who travels from Minot. 

“I love the friendships that I have built from this team and this club,” Rambur said. “It has created a family for me and has given me my best friends.”

The Chips laced up their skates the weekend after nationals for the annual ice show. This gave local fans a glimpse of the synchro team’s championship routine. Tryouts and clinics for the upcoming season started the following Monday. The team is anxious to get back to work and defend their national title. 

 “It feels great to be number one in the nation,” Rambur said. “I am looking forward to next year-my senior year-hoping we can accomplish the same thing,”