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Local skaters hold their own at ESWG

February 7, 2018
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - While the world waited expectantly for the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Lake Placid hosted the Empire State Winter Games, Feb. 1-4. Including a variety of winter sports, ESWG brought several thousand competitors to the Lake Placid area to compete and enjoy the experience of the 38th winter games.

The Empire State Games traditionally attract competitors from New York and beyond to compete in more traditional sports like hockey, figure skating, speed skating and skiing, as well as more unorthodox sports like NorX (a combination of Nordic skiing and a bike cross), winter biking and broomball.

As one of the largest events - 600 individual skaters and 36 synchronized skating teams - figure skating drew a large number of local skaters as nearly 30 skaters representing the Skating Club of Lake Placid took part.

Article Photos

Skating Club of Lake Placid skater Kalina Sarandeva competes in the Empire State Winter Games last week at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.

Provided photo — Miracle Moment Photography

Local skaters Dominica Sarandeva, Carly Brox and Brooke Beaney each collected first-place finishes. Sandra Harper also won gold in the Senior Ladies Test Track Free Skate event.

Skaters who earned silver medals included Kalina Sarandeva, Lisa Wilson, Grace Ericson, Willow Wood and Ellen Lansing. Bronze medalists from the Skating Club of Lake Placid included Katie Samperi, Lili Draper and Pearl Hough.

Other skaters representing the Skating Club of Lake Placid were Madison Moody-Durant, Megan Quinn, Robin Rutgers, Brenna DeWalt, Sarah Samperi, Michaela Gillis, Addyson Colby, Abigail Gavin, Megan Wilson, Emma Clark, Lauryn Caldwell, Emma VanWheelden and Alexa Roberts. The Skating Club's synchronized skating team, the Crystal Edges, also competed.

In speed skating, several local club members won multiple medals in both short and long track.

Representing the Adirondack Speedskating Club, Claire Liew and Alex Brewer won four gold medals each with victories in the 500-, 1,000-, 1500- and 3,000-meter long track races. Several skaters from Adirondack Speed Skating Club's Henry's Kids program also raced in Empire State Winter Games, most competing for the first time.

The Lake Placid Speed Skating Club was represented by several skaters including Dave Phillips and speed skating veteran Carole Moore, who has been skating in Lake Placid since 1966. Both are also members of the Flushing Meadows Speed Skating Club, but skate in Lake Placid frequently.

Phillips earned a silver in the 1,500-meter race and bronze in the 3,000, while Moore, competing in both long and short track, skated away with a gold, two silvers and two bronze medals.

Lake Placid Speed Skating Club coaches skated to gold medals in both short track and long track. Rebecca Simmons, of Saratoga Springs, won all four long track distances, and won three of four short track races, placing third in the fourth short track distance. Mark Yanagihara, also of Saratoga Springs, won all three of his long track distances.

For more information on Empire State Winter Games, including results from other sporting events, visit their website at

The next speed skating event in Lake Placid will be the Charles Jewtraw All Around Championship Feb. 10-11. For more information, including registration, visit their website at



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