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3 Stamford Synchronized Skating Teams Capture Gold Medals

The Shadows, an Open Juvenile team, won first place for the Stamford-based Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating team.
The Shadows, an Open Juvenile team, won first place for the Stamford-based Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating team. Photo Credit: Classic Video Photography
The Shimmers, a Pre Juvenile team, also won gold.
The Shimmers, a Pre Juvenile team, also won gold. Photo Credit: Classic Video Photography
The Sprites, the youngest team and a Basic Skills 2 level squad, also captured gold.
The Sprites, the youngest team and a Basic Skills 2 level squad, also captured gold. Photo Credit: Classic Video Photography

STAMFORD, Conn. -- A record 74 teams from Texas to Maine competed at the 16th annual Terry Conners Synchronized Skating Open last week in Stamford.

The competition was hosted by the Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating (SCSS) and the Skating Club of Southern Connecticut (SCSC) .

All three lines from the Stamford club, Sprites, Shimmers and Shadows, won gold medals.

Shimmers, a Pre-Juvenile line of 13 skaters, performed fifth of six teams to win gold. “I heard the crowd cheering loudly and I knew that we won,” said Athena Hartigan, a Riverside resident and student at Eastern Middle School in Greenwich.

The Shadows bested seven teams in their Open Juvenile group with their gold winning performance to “A Brand New Day” from The Wiz. Sami Scordo, a 17-year old senior at Greenwich High School described her feelings, "No words can describe the feeling of performing what I love to do most with thepeople I love. I hope everyone in the audience felt what we did - absolutely speechless. It's something I'll remember for a lifetime.”

The Sprites, a Basic Skills Level 2 line, kicked-off the gold medal count on Saturday with their performance to the classic, “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

“This was the first time in the SCSS club’s history that all three lines not only finished first in the same competition, but did so with wonderful and passionate performances,” head coach Gina Valenzano-Gomez said. “Our oldest line (Shadows) has a number of seniors who have skated together for a long time. Our younger lines have a lot of skaters together for the first time. I think each team’s performance helped to motivate the next. They pulled together this weekend and became one."

This year’s team is comprised of 42 skaters from Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, Darien, Norwalk, New Canaan, and White Plains, N.Y. Each leveled team consists of 8-20 skaters who perform a program together. Each program is judged on required elements, speed, challenging step sequences, and precision, as well as for style and artistic expression.

This event is sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Association and and draws 18 nationally ranked competition judges, mostly from the tri-state area.

Val Legutko and and Kari Pace assist Valenzano-Gomez as coaches.

Watch performances of the skaters via YouTube. Click here to see the link of Shadows, here for Shimmers and here for Sprites.

Photos: SCSS Shadows (Open Juvenile): Back Row, L to R: Michelle Han, Vanessa Wynter, Kelly Fox, Klara Hoherchak, Emily Merole, Amanda Brea, Natalie Pesantez. Middle Row, L to R: Stephanie Tancs, Manvi Malhotra, Sami Scordo, Deanna Gladstone, Kara McLaughlin. Front Row, L to R: Danielle Nugent, Emilly Hernandez

Shimmers (Pre Juvenile): Back Row, L to R: Madeline Ciampa, Alyssa Fish, Natalie Hernandez, Olivia Linnartz, Rachel Iannazzo, Athena Hartigan, Nevada Rivera. Front Row, L to R: Isabella Osinovsky, Caitlyn Foster, Samantha Paris, Chloe Gerace, Sarah Arevalo, Charlotte Carter.

Sprites (Basic Skills 2): Back Row, L to R: Nicole Salanty, Nevaeh Mills, Rebecca Middlen, Caroline Ellis, Jennie Olmsted. Middle Row, L to R: Daniela Castagna, Emily Seligson, Paola Gonzalez, Talia Klein, Sofia Gonzalez, Sabrina Paris, Adeline Hawley. Front Row, L to R: Jahnavi Orr, Anna Livitz, Sydni Foster, Olivia Osinovsky, Sarah Boside.

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