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Sarandeva continues to climb the figure skating ranks

October 25, 2018
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The 2019 North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships took place Oct. 17-21 at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, and included approximately 300 skaters vying to qualify for the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships Nov. 13-17 in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

The regional championships included the best skaters in the region competing in the juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior and senior events.

The journey to qualify for the national championships and the most prestigious international competitions is a long one. Nine regional championships are held annually. Those who place in the top four in their level, often through several rounds, will qualify for one of three sectional championships based on their section of the country. The top four in sectionals in each level then earn a berth at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships. From there, skaters can qualify for the Olympic Games for the World Figure Skating Championships.

Article Photos

Skating Club of Lake Placid skater Dominica Sarandeva competes in the 2019 North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.
Provided photo — Miracle Moments Photography

The best skaters in the United States all started at the regional championships. Considering Lake Placid's rich figure skating history, it was perhaps especially meaningful for the contenders to compete in the Olympic Center, particularly those who are members of the Skating Club of Lake Placid.

The Skating Club of Lake Placid, which hosted the event alongside the Olympic Regional Development Authority by providing valuable volunteer support, previously boasted three competitors: Cierra Nelson (Senior Ladies); Jake DeWolfe (Junior Men) and Dominica Sarandeva (Juvenile Girls). However, only Sarandeva competed in the championships last week in Lake Placid. Nelson withdrew from the event, while DeWolfe received a bye to the Sectional Figure Skating Championships, meaning he will not have to compete in a regional championship to qualify for and compete at the sectional competition.

Sarandeva placed ninth out of 15 skaters in the Juvenile Girls Qualifying Round Group B event, just the latest result to showcase her meteoric rise in figure skating. This began in 2018, with her winning the Pre-Preliminary girls event in the Empire State Winter Games in February, then placing third in the Preliminary Girls event in the Lake Placid Summer Figure Skating Championships in June.

The regional championships were not only special to Sarandeva because of the location, but also because she placed in the top 10 in her first championships. She skated to "A Million Dreams" from the film "The Greatest Showman" in the Juvenile Girls Qualifying Round Group B event.

"I was nervous at first, but when the music started I felt good," Sarandeva said. "I didn't have a perfect skate, but now I know that I can do much better next time."

Although she also trains in Tampa, Florida and Los Angeles, Sarandeva's home base is in Lake Placid, where she trains with national competitor and national/international coach Tracey Prussack Nicola, and assistant coach Annmary Bouchard, a former elite competitor.

In the summer, national and international coach Evelyn Kramer joins her Lake Placid coaching team. Elsewhere, Sarandeva works with elite coaches Ivan Dimitrov, Ivan Dinev, Angela Nikodinov, Anastasia Sharenkova, Oleg Makarov and Larisa Selezneva, all of whom have helped shape a skater with impressive potential.

Only 10 years old, Sarandeva trains two hours a day, five days a week (more in the summer months and during school breaks) and can often be seen skating in the Olympic Center with her sister, Kalina, also a promising competitive figure skater.

In addition to her on-ice training, Sarandeva participates in ballet and modern dance classes at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, and follows an off-ice strength and conditioning program on the weekends. Sarandeva has said she likes skating because of the determination the sport requires to succeed, and hopes this training will help her continue to achieve her goals in the current and next season.

"I'm working on my double-double combinations and on double axel right now and on the flying camel spin and biellman spin," Sarandeva said. "(My goals for next season) are to land my double axel and triple salchow jumps."

Sarandeva looks forward to skating in the Skating Club of Lake Placid Holiday show Dec. 9, and competing in the 2019 Empire State Winter Games Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

No matter where else she trains, Sarandeva considers Lake Placid a special place to live and skate.

"I love that I get to skate on Olympic ice."

For more information on the Lake Placid figure skating, including the regional championships, visit To learn more about the Skating Club of Lake Placid and its programs, visit their website at



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