LAKE PLACID - Approximately 2,000 figure skaters filled the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid on Saturday, Feb. 2 to celebrate the successful conclusion of the 2013 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships.
The event was held from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, and was hosted by the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Skating Club of Lake Placid. The Eastern Synchronized Sectionals included athletes from the Eastern section of the country and included teams as far south as Florida and as far west as Pennsylvania.
The championships served as a qualifier for the 2013 US Synchronized Championships in Plymouth, Mich., which will begin Feb. 27.
Photo by Christie Sausa
The Mystic Ice team competes in the final round of the Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships Saturday, Feb. 2 in the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. The Potsdam-based team placed third.
Usually, the most anticipated event is the senior level competition, the highest ability level in skating. However, this year's field consisted of only one team, Team Excel from the Skating Club of Boston. Notably absent were the 20-time national champion Haydenettes, who received a bye to the National Championships by US Figure Skating, and were in Rouen, France, preparing to skate at the French Cup. The Skyliners, another Eastern Section team, joined them in France.
In the Junior event, the winners were the Synchroettes from the Essex Skating Club of New Jersey with a score of 83.17. The Capitol Steps from the Skating Club of Northern Virginia (66.88) placed second, followed by Team Delaware of the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club (63.30) in third place.
In the open adult category, the Potsdam-based team Mystic Ice placed third overall in the final round. Mystic Ice - and their club's Juvenile team Rainbow Connection - was the only team in the area to compete in a synchronized skating event of this caliber. Mystic Ice team member Michael Bartow, who trained in Lake Placid in his youth before becoming a skating coach, was very happy with his team's performance.
"When we took the ice for the final round, we came out with more energy, determination and pizzazz - we left it all on the ice and left knowing we skated one of the best routines to date," Bartow said. "Now, we prepare to return to Lake Placid for the Empire State Winter Games to show everyone why we love this sport."
Team member Angela Gavin, who coaches for the Skating Club of Lake Placid, was also happy with her experience at the event.
"We put out our best performance to date in the medal round and came home with a bronze medal," Gavin said. "I had a great time skating, and we have a great team ... something special always happens in Lake Placid."