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Top local stars heading for Empire Games

A lively mix of familiar names and new blood mark the local group that is preparing to go to next week's Empire State Games in Rochester.

For the 29th consecutive year, thousands of athletes from six geographic regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) will vie for medals in more than two dozen sports, from July 27 to 30. Here are where local athletes will be going.

[Lacrosse]

Three members of the state Class C champion Skaneateles Lakers -- Libby Johnson, Stephanie Rice and Kelsey Nangle -- will play key roles on Central's scholastic women's team, which will play at West Irondequoit High School.

[Track and Field]

At the University of Rochester's Fauver Stadium, Nick Lord (Skaneateles) is entered in the open men's hammer throw, while Lindsey Forte represents Marcellus as she runs in the scholastic women's 800-meter event.

[Basketball]

Dan McSweeney, from the Marcellus Mustangs, earned his way onto Central's scholastic men's team. They will vie for medals at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

[Canoe/Kayak]

A fixture for years at the ESG, Skaneateles native Timothy Davis is back, and he could race in as many as four events at Genesee Valley Park. He is entered in the single 200, pairs 200 and 500, and quad 500-meter races.

[Fencing]

Scholastic competition has been added in recent years and Skaneateles resident Keith VanDingstee benefited from this, as he qualified for the Central scholastic squad. His matches will be at SUNY-Brockport's Tuttle Gym.

[Ice Hockey]

Both Central scholastic teams have a Skaneateles feel. Kara Buehler is with the women's side at ESL Sports Complex, while Dan Ford makes his ESG debut with the men's side that will play at RIT.

[Soccer]

In the scholastic men's tournament at RIT, current Laker Greg Stucker will play for Central. Over at Nazareth College in Pittsford, Marcellus forward Rachel Farneti could star for Central's scholastic women's side.

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