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Skaters on track for Empire State Winter Games

February 8, 2017
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Empire State Winter Games attracted close to 1,000 skaters - figure, speed and marathon - to the Olympic Center and Olympic Oval last weekend.

There were 896 athletes in the figure skating events, which included freestyle, dance and synchronized events, and more than 100 speedskaters competed in short, long and marathon events, some participating in more than one discipline. Local skating clubs were well-represented in these skating events.

Figure skating

Article Photos


Fletcher Codd, who lives and trains in Lake Placid, competes Saturday, Feb. 4 in the Empire State Winter Games speedskating marathon at the Olympic Oval. Fletcher won the event that covered 26.2 miles with 109 laps around the track.
News photo — Lou?Reuter

Many Skating Club of Lake Placid and Tupper Lake Figure Skating Club skaters competed in multiple events, including dance and synchronized skating. Both clubs often train and compete together.

Ciana Cerruti of the Skating Club of Lake Placid was the highest level local competitor, participating in the Junior Ladies Short and Long Programs under the International Judging System (IJS). Cerruti placed seventh in the IJS Junior Ladies short program and fifth in the IJS Junior Ladies Free-skate, skating well in both and earning a new personal-best score in her long program (an eight-point increase from her previous best).

A few Skating Club of Lake Placid skaters won their respective events. Ellen Lansing earned a gold medal in the Preliminary Girls Test Track Group E event. Valerie Jahn placed first in both dances in the Pre-Silver Solo Dance event.

Many other Skating Club of Lake Placid skaters won medals in their events. Laura Shadlock earned a third-place finish in the Intermediate Ladies Short Program Group B, while Grace Ericson also won a bronze medal in Preliminary Girls Test Track Group D and Megan Quinn placed third in Pre Preliminary Test Track Group K.

Laine Ridenour won bronze in the Pre Juvenile Girls Test Track Group H category. Sarah Samperi placed second in the Preliminary Girls Test Track Group J event, and in Pre-Juvenile Girls Test Track Group J, Carly Brox earned second place.

Lili Draper placed second in her event, Beginner Girls Free Skate Group B. Lisa Wilson earned the silver in Pre Preliminary Test Track Group E. Competing in Pre Preliminary Girls Test Track Group G, Abigail Gavin won a silver medal.

Also competing on behalf of the SCLP was Dominica Sarandeva (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group A); Madison Moody-Durant (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group B); Michaela Gillis (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group C); Kathryn "Katie" Samperi (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group G); Brenna DeWalt (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group I); Robyn Rutgers (Preliminary Girls Test Track Group K); Kalina Sarandeva (High Beginner Girls Free Skate Group A); Lauryn Caldwell (High Beginner Girls Free Skate Group C); Alexa Roberts (High Beginner Girls Free Skate Group D); Addyson Colby (High Beginner Girls Free Skate Group L); and Megan Wilson (Pre-Preliminary Test Track Group J).

In synchronized skating, the Skating Club of Lake Placid's new team, the Crystal Edges, competed in the Synchro Skills 1 event and Pre-Juvenile Synchronized skating, placing fifth and seventh, respectively. Coach Angie Gavin was very pleased with their performances.

"We are a brand new team and have not competed at this level or done any synchro before this season; this was their second event this year and was a better skate than the first competition in Watertown," Gavin said. "Even though we ended up seventh in the Pre-Juvenile Synchronized Skating Event, a few of the judges put us in fifth, so I am super excited that the hard work is paying off. Each time they step on the ice they get better."

The next time the team will compete is at a Cicero competition in March.

In moves in the field, Kalina Sarandeva placed eighth in preliminary moves in the field. Her sister Dominica Sarandeva placed third in juvenile moves in the field.

In dance, Valerie Jahn placed first in Pre-Silver Solo Dance in both the first and second dance, and Carly Brox placed eighth and tenth for the first and second dance, respectively.

Tupper Lake skaters also skated in several events. Julia Chapin placed fourth in the Juvenile Girls Test Track Group B event. In Pre-Preliminary Test Track Group B, Taylor Stoll placed fifth.

Leah Whalen earned a bronze medal in the Pre-Preliminary Test Track Group J event, while the Lumberettes synchro team placed second in the Synchro Skills 3 event.

Kiera Levitt skated to a gold medal in the Preliminary Girls Test Track Group C event.

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Short track

Short track speedskating took place in the historic 1932 rink on Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5. Skaters from throughout the Tri-State area competed in various distances, and majority of racers were in the pre-scholastic or scholastic categories, meaning most of the competitors were children or young adults.

Short track is different from long track in that a smaller track is used (111.12 meters compared to 400 meters), and skaters race in "heats" of several skaters all jockeying for position on the track as they skate certain distances.

Agility and strategy are very important in this discipline, and most speedskaters start in short track due to increased availability of short track rinks (short track can be skated on a hockey rink). Spectators often enjoy short track for the high speeds, sharp turns and excitement of the pack style of racing.

Competing in the Masters Ladies events, Carole Moore of Flushing Meadows Speed Skating Club and Lake Placid Speed Skating Club won nearly all her distances in the short track events, competed in the long track events, and is a veteran Empire State Winter Games competitor.

"I'm thrilled to be back doing the ESGs again, I loved seeing all the competitors of all different ages," Moore said. "Skating in Lake Placid is often cold but always fun."

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Long track

The long track competition began on the evening of Friday, Feb. 3 and finished Saturday, Feb. 4 in the early afternoon. Again, skaters from throughout the Tri-State area were represented, including the Albany area and Western New York. Several Adirondack Speed Skating Club and Lake Placid Speed Skating Club members raced in the long track events.

Competing on behalf of the Adirondack Speed Skating Club, Joe Franz won second place in the 500 meters in his age group.

Fletcher Codd of the Adirondack Speed Skating Club had a very good race weekend, winning all of his distances in his age category. Codd trains in Lake Placid on the Olympic Oval and is a senior at Lake Placid High School.

Carole Moore of the Flushing Meadows Speed Skating Club and Lake Placid Speed Skating Club finished out of medal contention but skated several strong races.

Dave Phillips of the Flushing Meadows Speed Skating Club and Lake Placid Speed Skating Club placed second in the 1,000 meter and 3,000 meter, and third in the 1,500-meter race in his age category.

"The long track racing was well organized, and the competition was tough," Phillips said. "The addition of a Marathon was a welcome challenge for us distance skaters."

Trevor Marsicano of the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club also won all of his distances in his age category. The 2009 World Single Distance champion in the 1,000-meter race and 2010 Olympic silver medalist has been training in Lake Placid on weekends and coaching for the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club.

"It was my first Empire State Games, and it was a special event because of all the hype surrounding the Games' other sporting events going on in the Lake Placid area," Marsicano said. "It was good to see that this event brought so many short and long speed skaters here to compete together in the Empire State Winter Games."

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Ice marathon

The inaugural Empire State Winter Games ice marathon, citizen's races and kids races took place on the Olympic Oval on Saturday, Feb. 4. Previously scheduled to take place on Mirror Lake, the event was moved to the Olympic Oval due to poor lake ice conditions. Serving as the event's referee was Trevor Marsicano, who also presented awards to the competitors.

The marathon consisted of 108 trips around the oval to make up the 42 kilometers (26.2 miles). For several skaters, this was either their first marathon or first 42K distance. It was also the first marathon in recent memory to include cash prizes for the top three finishers, with the top three men and women earning $300 for first, $150 for second and $50 for third.

One of the skaters participating in her first 42K distance was Lacey Greenamyre of Vermont, who skates with the Saratoga Winter Club and trains in Lake Placid on weekends. Also an accomplished lacrosse player, Greenamyre also won all distances in the long track competition for her age category. She enjoyed participating in the 42K and placed second overall in the womens' category.

"It was physically strenuous, but it was really more of a mental test," Greenamyre said. "It also made long metric races like a 3K seem like a sprint."

Winning the 42K overall in the mens' category was Fletcher Codd of the Adirondack Speed Skating Club. Even after racing the long track events, Codd skated strongly and gave veteran marathon skaters a tough competition.

"It felt amazing. I went into the race knowing I had to conserve energy, so I took the first half of the race fairly easy," Codd said. "During the second half of the race, I worked at a 5K pace. This helped me keep a solid rhythm while not using a lot of energy. I couldn't be happier with how the marathon went!"

Taking first in the womens' category was Guylaine Larouche, of Quebec, a veteran marathon skater; Greenamyre placed second, and third place went to long track skater and marathon skater Sarah Crovella of Syracuse.

Codd won the gold medal in the mens' category, while the mens' second and third places went to marathon skaters Sergio Almeralla (Ontario, Canada) and Edward Montalbano (Saugertiesk).

The citizen's race included several hockey players and a figure skater. Winners were awarded cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25 for the male and female winners. The overall male winners were Kevin Burton of Catskills, and Gordon (Brandy) Wilson of Wilmington.

The overall female winners were Karly McKenna, of Tannersville, Chelsea Noe, of Saugerties, and Georgie Grey, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Several children participated in the kids race that followed the citizen's races.

First in the age 11-13 category was Jared Jaeger, followed by Kevin Carter in second and Kyle Evanchak in third; all boys are from Syracuse. Skating in the under-11 category, Daniel McLaughlin of Milton, Massachusetts placed first.

ESWG Executive Director Tait Wardlaw noted that events like the marathon skate and citizen's races are an increasingly important part of the ESWG brand.

For more information on the Empire State Winter Games, go to www.empirestatewintergames.com.

 
 

 

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