Eleven athletes from Lawrence County have proven they’re among the world’s best ice skaters in 2010.
Competing in the 30th Annual Ice Skating Institute World Team Championships in Boston, the Skating Club of Greater Youngstown (SCGY) finished seventh out of 116 teams, some from as far away as China.
It was the best finish ever for the local club, which took 33 skaters from New Castle and Youngstown to the competition. They participated in a total of 102 events, raking in 29 first-place medals, 28 second places, 13 third places, 15 fourth places, eight fifth places and nine sixth places. The club’s two synchronized skating teams also brought home gold medals.
Team Youngstown’s “Kaleidoskate” — in which members skated patterns around the rink with blocks of color to form shifting images like those in a kaleidoscope — not only won a gold medal, but was selected as the kick-off number for the gala benefit show with U.S. Ladies’ Champion and Olympian Rachael Flatt.
Ava Silverman, 10, of New Castle was thrilled to be part of the special show. She said SCGY was chosen because of its winning performance and its wide age range of skaters, from the youngest, 2-year-old Carmen Shaw of Poland, to the oldest, 85-year-old Bob Hodgson and his wife, Lorna, 81, of Jamestown, Pa.
Maria Koman, SCGY coach for four years, said her group was prepared and exceeded their own high expectations.
“We thought going in that we would be in the top 10, but you never know,” Koman said. “We had a great week.”
“We really surprised ourselves,” added Silverman, who had two firsts and two seconds. “Just thinking about it makes me smile.”
Although she’s committed to skating, Silverman makes time for other passions, like acting. The Neshannock fifth-grader had a role in the youth theater musical “Aladdin” at the New Castle Playhouse. “When I’m busy, my grades are better.”
“The kids have to juggle a lot of activities,” Koman said. “They dedicate themselves and train year round. That’s just the way it is.”
The skaters practice several times a week at three different locations, including the Hess Ice Rink in Neshannock Township. They also get time at the Ice Zone in Boardman and the Covelli Centre in Youngstown.
Lauren Ritz, 12, of New Castle won two events and finished second in two others.
A seventh-grader at Willow Creek Learning Center in Boardman, she admits that skating takes up most of her time.
Ritz said she was “slightly surprised” by the seventh-place showing of her team in Boston.
“I think it’s contagious,” she said. “When one person is skating well, others pick it up.”
Ritz said everyone with the Youngstown club is very supportive.
Koman said there will be an open house from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at Hess for all ages. She said it is to launch the Kidskate program, a weekly event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday.
How they fared in Boston
Following are how the 11 Lawrence County athletes fared in the 30th Annual Ice Skating Institute World Team Championships recently in Boston:
•Kylie Barber, 7, of Volant, first in family spotlight, fifth in delta solo and sixth in delta compulsories
•Kaylie Barber, 7, of Volant, first in family spotlight, fifth in delta solo and sixth in delta compulsories
•Julie Damon, 11, of New Castle, second in freestyle 4, fourth in freestyle 4 compulsories, fourth in footwork, fourth in jump and spin, fourth in dance 4, second in Cha Cha, second in dance 4 and second in fiesta tango and ensemble.
•Randalyn Hill, 9, of New Castle, first in dance 3 canasta tango, second in team comp FS 5, fourth in jump and spin.
•Kari Hill of New Castle, third in the adult ensemble.
•Maxine Malvar, 11, of New Wilmington, first in solo spotlight, second in open gold freestyle, second in footwork, third in artistic, sixth in freestyle 5 compulsories, sixth in interpretive, and sixth in solo surprise.
•Emilie McGill, 13, of Volant, second in solo spotlight, third in freestyle 2 compulsories, fifth in artistic, footwork, freestyle 2 and interpretive.
•Sophie Marino, 13, of Volant, first in delta solo, second in Dutch waltz, second in dance 2, second in jump and spin, third in delta compulsories, fourth in delta stroking and sixth in ensemble.
•Julia Razzano, 8, of New Castle, first in couple spotlight, fourth in pre alpha, fourth in pre alpha compulsories and sixth in spotlight.
•Lauren Ritz, 12, of New Castle, first in dance 4 swing, first in dance 4 cha cha, second in dance 4 fiesta tango, second in team compulsories, third in jump and spin and sixth in ensemble.
•Ava Silverman, 10, of New Castle, first in similar dance 3 rhythm blues, first in jump and spin, second in team compulsories, second in dance 3 canasta tango and sixth in ensemble.
•Kari Hill was a member of the synchronized skating team that was first in compulsories and second in program.
•Randalyn Hill, Julie Damon, Ava Silverman, Lauren Ritz and Sophie Marino were members of the youth synchronized skating team that was first in program and third in compulsories.