JACK COUNTRYMAN - NATIONAL SPEED CHAMPION -
1965 TO 1970
I started skating in 1964, while at a session at Swank Roller Rink in Chicago, the manager Tom McKewn or so everyone knew him as Big Cid., suggested to my father to bring me to a speed practice. I did in fact go to the practice, the Coach was Virgil Dooley. I not only skated my brothers Bill and Jim also skated speed.
Rowena Rozema who was also on the speed team continued to be my life during my skating years. I won my first Nationals in 1965 speed skating, I continued to win first place in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 2nd place in 1970. I especially liked skating the invitational in Michigan and Ohio.
I skated Freestyle in 1965 – 1969, my coaches were Jim Maisey, Mel Dwellis, Sandy Rangel and Jackie Zimmerman. In Freestyle at State Championships I didn’t do well in figures, but my freestyle did bring me up to placement, although never placed at Nationals. In 1967 I skated Dance with Rowena Rozema at Fleetwood Roller Rink in Summit, Illinois.
The outdoor invitational meets at Staten Island, N.Y. were lots of fun. I skated with the team in 1974 that went to London, England, Coach Richard Levin and Don Calvano.
In 1974 I married Rowena Rozema and in 1977 we had a son, Jason, 1979 a son Adam. We had our sons skating at a young age. Jason and Adam skated competitively for a few years while Rowena Coached at Oak Lawn Roller Rink in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Our son Jason is married to Tracie and they have two children, Jason and Julia. Our son Adam is married to Lizzie and they have two girls, Devin and Addison.
Recently our son Jason said to me “Hey Dad why don’t we get back in skating and Father and Son Relay !” So yes we are skating out of USA Skate Center in Romeoville, Illinois. My Grandson Jason who is 9 will be skating his first speed meet soon. Oh yes we are on quads, Jason, Rowena and I plan on skating Nationals in July.
Rowena skated Freestyle in 1969 to 1972 at Oak lawn Roller Rink, in Oak Lawn, Illinois her Coach was Danny Lepzynski.
We would always welcome a call from out friends 708-496-3003
Jack & Rowena Countryman
7616 W. 61 Place
Summit, Illinois 60501