LAKE PLACID - Despite the warning - and delivery - of heavy snowfall via winter storm Nemo last weekend, athletes from across the state invaded Lake Placid for the Empire State Winter Games.
No doubt the snow was particularly welcome for the snow sports, which have suffered in previous years. However, in the Lake Placid Olympic Center, ice took precedence over snow, and skaters of all ages and abilities enjoyed three days of thrilling competition.
The Empire State Games has long been a tradition among figure skaters who look forward to competing in the Olympic-style event that includes an opening ceremony and other celebratory events. Singles, dance and synchronized skating disciplines make up the figure skating portion.
Victoria Los, who trains in Lake Placid, competes in the Empire State Winter Games intermediate ladies event this weekend in the Olympic Center.
Both the 6.0 (formerly the standard judging system) and the IJS scoring systems were used, and skaters had the option of skating "test track," a level that holds true to the test level's required elements, or the current International Judging System (IJS). The Empire State Games is considered a "fun" competition, as skaters flocked to Lake Placid to enjoy the festivities, such as the party and awards ceremony Saturday evening in Mids Park.
This year, several athletes of all levels competed for the Skating Club of Lake Placid in figure skating. Skating in a bright purple dress, local skater Ciana Cerruti was the most elite competitor, and placed third in the Juvenile Girls 6.0 Free Skate.
Representing Saratoga Springs, Victoria Los placed third in the Intermediate Ladies A category and first in the Intermediate Ladies A 6.0 Free Skate. Lake Placid is a training base for Los, as her coaches Karen Courtland Kelly and Patrick Kelly are based here.
Also competing for the SCLP was Megan Rushby (Novice Ladies Test Track Free Skate, fourth place); Alexa Harper (No Test Well Balanced Free Skate Group B, fourth place); Alexandra DiLillo and Karissa Becker (Juvenile Test Track Free Skate Group C, fourth and fifth place, respectively); Laine Ridenour, (Pre-Preliminary Test Track Free Skate Group A, fifth place); Lera Bogdanova, (Pre-Preliminary Test Track Free Skate Group D, second place); Carly Brox, (Preliminary Test Track Free Skate Group A, third place); and Francesca Mastrianni, (Gold Solo Pattern Dance, third place).
Several skaters from Saranac Lake also participated in the figure skating events. Gina Fiorile placed third in the Junior Ladies Test Track Free Skate, and her teammate Jessica Fortune placed seventh in the Novice Ladies event. Julia Chapin placed first in the Preliminary Test Track Free Skate A. Also competing were Patience Nelson (Juvenile Test Track Free Skate Group A, third place) and Gabe Nelson, (Pre-Preliminary Boys Test Track Free Skate, fourth place).