STAMFORD, Conn. – Two teams from the Stamford-based Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skaters finished in the Top 5 in their divisions at the Eastern Synchronized Sectional Championships last weekend in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The Shimmers, a Pre-Juvenile team, earned a fourth-place pewter medal. The Shadows finished fifth in the Open Juvenile division.
“I am very proud of both our teams,” head coach Gina Valenzano-Gomez said. “They have had a very successful season, and their hard work paid off in Lake Placid. It's a challenge just to make it to the finals at Easterns. To have both our teams rise to the occasion and secure a place in the final round against such a large field of competitors is a big accomplishment. To have them both skate well enough in the finals to finish in the Top 5 is even bigger.”
The Shimmers finished second in qualifying. The team also took a gold medal at the Colonial Classic in January in Lowell, Mass., and a silver medal at the Terry Conners Open in Stamford in December.
The team picked up its medal during an award ceremony at the Oval, the site of past Olympic competitions.
“The Oval was absolutely without a doubt the best thing I've done so far in skating,’’ said team member Lily Fine of Stamford. “It was cold and we were wet from the snow, but everyone still had a great time.”
Stamford’s Kathryn Berger said the Oval experience gave her “the feeling of being at the Olympics.”
The Shadows finished first in qualifying. The team also took a gold medal at the Colonial and a silver at the Terry Conners Open this winter.
Shadows and Shimmers team members are from Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Riverside, New Canaan and Westport in Connecticut and Old Bethpage, Scarsdale and Rye Brook in New York.
The Shadows are Candace Wright, Katrina Vassell, Emily Merole, Alexis Hartigan, Ariel Goldman, Rebecca Kniffin, Katrine Ryan, Amanda Brea, Rachel Bellantoni, Klara Hoherchak, Sami Scordo, Emilly Hernandez and Katie Marciano.
The Shimmers are Stephanie Tancs, Natalie Hernandez, Danielle Nugent, Kathryn Berger, Brooke Ferris, Haley Fuller, Isabela Malone, Michelle Han, Lily Fine, Rachel Mensah, Margot Sosa, Rhea Munjal, Kalaudia Auz, Sydney Willis and Alyssa Fish.
The Sprites, the introductory beginner team, competed in two competitions this season, earning a gold at Colonials and silver at the Terry Conners Open.
The group will host a clinic Feb. 22, and tryouts for next season are in March. For more information, visit the team website.