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Nor’Easters medal at Synchronized Skating Sectionals

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The Open Juvenile Team: (l. to r.) Violet Singer, Ava Demer, Nathalie Grobe, Katie Kusturin, Sophie Lawsure, Erin Holmes, Jazmine Margel, Maxine Ewing, Cecilia Kusturin and Eden Larsen (photo by Sara Gray).

The Nor’Easters Open Juvenile Team won their first ever medal at the U.S. Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, held January 22 through 24 at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, New York. After finishing third among a deep field of 29 teams in their qualifying round, the Open Juvenile Team stormed to the pewter medal with a fourth place finish in the Championship Round. The Nor’Easters Open Adult Team also competed, earning sixth place in their division.

The Eastern Sectionals attracted thousands of athletes, representing dozens of teams from Florida?to Maine, to vie for titles in 14 divisions divided by age range and?test level. This was the qualifying event for the U.S. National Synchronized Skating Championships, to be held in Providence, Rhode Island in February.

Maine’s only synchronized skating team, the Nor’Easters represent the North Atlantic Figure Skating Club of Falmouth. In 2009, NAFSC served as the host club for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. The Nor’easters were formed following the success of that event.

The Open Juvenile Team is comprised of 10 skaters ranging in age from 13 to 17. Their spirited swing program is performed to “Mr. Zoot Suit” and “So Long Toots” from the 1999 film, “Blast from the Past.” The team includes Erin Holmes of Cumberland; sisters Cecilia and Katie Kusturin of Gorham; Co-Captain Ava Demer, Maxine Ewing, Violet Singer and Nathalie Grobe of Falmouth; and Co-Captain Sophie Lawsure, Eden Larsen and Jazmine Margel of Scarborough. The team is coached by Beth Houghton of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Earlier this season, they earned second place at the Colonial Classic in Lowell, Massachusetts and fourth place at the Cape Cod Classic in Bourne, Massachusetts.

The Open Adult Team is comprised of 13 skaters ranging in age from 25 to 62, with an average age of 47. Their gutsy blues program is performed to “Show Me How You Burlesque” by Christina Aguilera, from the 2010 film “Burlesque.” The team is comprised of a diverse group of women that includes college students, working professionals, mothers and grandmothers. Team members are Nina Sylvia of West Bath; Kathy Cain of Oxford; Captain Heidi Coffin and Clelia Siguad of Brunswick; Chelsea Ferk of Saco; Sue Gagne-Rousseau of Lewiston; Sarah Lawsure and Mary Markowski of Scarborough; Caroline Paras of Portland; Stacey Blanchard of Sanford; Diane Nugent of Wells; Susan Black of Windham; and Maureen Petone of Salem, New Hampshire. The team is coached by Lori Johnson of Portland. Earlier this season, they placed fourth at the Colonial Classic and second at the Cape Cod Classic.

Both teams will perform at the club’s 17th annual ice show at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12.

A member of U.S. Figure Skating, NAFSC makes its home at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth. Since 1998, the club has supported figure skating as a competitive sport and a healthy lifelong activity for all levels and ages. NAFSC served as the host club for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in 2009 and the New England Regional Figure Skating Championships in 2005, and club skaters have competed throughout New England, the U.S. and internationally.

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