STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Southern CT Synchronized Skating team hosted a record number of 76 teams for the 17th Annual Terry Conners Open. Skaters, coaches, officials, and parents traveled from Virginia, Maine and throughout the Northeast to attend the competition.
The local team showcased three lines, Sprites, Shimmers and Shadows. Sprites, a Synchro Skills Level 2 line, won gold. Shimmers, a Pre-Juvenile line, won silver and the Shadows finished fifth.
Girls from Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Norwalk, Greenwich and White Plains, N.Y. comprised the Southern Connecticut team.
Sprites skated to the Motown classi, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations. Sprites skater Anastasia Ladyka, a 5th grader at Roxbury Elementary School in Stamford, expressed how practice makes perfect, “Gina (Gina Valenzano-Gomez, SCSS Head Coach) kept telling us to fix our mistakes and it really paid off,'' she said.
Shimmers took silver with their audience-clapping performance to the country music hit "Mud" by the Road Hammers. Their program demonstrates mastery with blocks, wheels, traveling circles, brackets, 3-turns, mohawks, and pair elements. “We worked hard to come together as a team and skated as one,” said Chloe Gerace, 10, of Stamford.
Shadows performed an upbeat performance to Jessica Simpson’s “Swing with Me Baby”. Their routine showcases intricate footwork and advanced synchronized skating elements such as no-hold step sequences, spins, pair moves, intersecting and pivoting lines. Seventeen-year-old senior Michelle Han from Darien High School said, “While it wasn’t a perfect performance, our presentation really came together today with each of us showing great energy, smiling, making eye contact, and having a really good time. We’re off to a good start and will only get better.”
Over the last five years, the number of participating teams grew from 64 teams in 2012 to 76 teams this year. “The record number of participating teams point to the growing popularity of the sport. We love to see many familiar teams returning each year and watch how their clubs have grown over the years. We always have a sprinkling of new teams that join us on some type of rotating basis, especially the teams that travel a distance,” said Cathy Kolbasiuk, the Event Chairperson.
The weekend-long event is hosted by the team’s parent volunteers, sanctioned by the USFSA, and draws 17 nationally ranked competition judges. Each leveled team consists of 8-20 skaters who perform a program together and is judged on required elements, speed, challenging step sequences, and precision, as well as for style and artistic expression. The variety and difficulty of elements require that each team member is a highly skilled individual skater.
Stamford girls on the teams are: Shadows: Alyssa Fish, Deanna Gladstone, Natalie Hernandez, Kara McLaughlin, Sarah Meyers, Danielle Nugent, Isabella Osinovsky, Natalie Pesantez, and Staphanie Tancs. Shimmers: Sarah Arevalo, Caitlyn Foster, Chloe Gerace, Paola Gonzalez, Sofia Gonzalez, Nevaeh Mills and Olivia Osinovsky. Sprites: Sarah Boside, Elizabeth Brown, Rebecca Conroy, Caroline Ellis, Sydni Foster, Anastasia Ladyka, Anna Livitz and Emily Seligson.
Norwalk girls are: Shadows, Kalaudia Auz, Rachel Iannazzo. Sprites: Stephanie Boccuzzi, Rebecca Middlen.
Greenwich girls are: Shimmers, Adeline Hawley, Talia Klein. Sprites: Jennie Olmsted, Julia Peldunas.
Westport girls are: Shadows, Vanessa Wynter; Shimmers: Sabrina Paris, Samantha Paris.
Darien girls are: Shadows: Michelle Han; Shimmers: Jahnavi Orr.
New Canaan girls are: Shadows: Olivia Linnartz. Sprites: Maddie Fredericks.
Sprites: Back row left to right: Elizabeth Brown, Sarah Boside, Danielle Curis, Maddie Fredericks, Emily Seligson, Caroline Ellis, Rebecca Middlen, Jennifer Olmsted, Julia Peldunas. Front row left to right: Stephanie Boccuzzi, Sydni Foster, Anna Livits, Anastasia Ladyka, Rebecca Conroy, Gabriella Stemp.
Shimmers: Back row left to right: Sabrina Paris, Paola Gonzalez, Caitlyn Foster, Sarah Arevalo, Adeline Hawley, Nevaeh Mills. Front row left to right: Olivia Osinovsky, Chloe Gerace, Samantha Paris, Jahnavi Orr, Sofia Gonzalez, Talia Klein.
Shadows: Back row left to right: Deanna Gladstone, Kara McLaughlin, Stephanie Tancs, Natalie Hernandez, Madeline Ciampa, Rachel Iannazzo, Vanessa Wynter, Olivia Linnartz. Front row left to right: Michelle Han, Isabella Osinovsky, Alyssa Fish, Natalie Pesantez, Danielle Nugent, Sarah Meyers.