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CNY synchronized skaters win big

Members of the CNY Blizzard Synchronized Skating team celebrate their first place victory at the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid on Feb. 8.  Pictured are Alex Surowiec, Alana Surowiec, Taylor Wisely, Molly Bushnell, Lydia Cleaver-Bartholomew and Maria Vasquez.

Members of the CNY Blizzard Synchronized Skating team celebrate their first place victory at the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid on Feb. 8. Pictured are Alex Surowiec, Alana Surowiec, Taylor Wisely, Molly Bushnell, Lydia Cleaver-Bartholomew and Maria Vasquez. Submitted photo

— The Skating Club of Central New York rocked the Eastern Zone once again as Kaitlyn Bushnell, of Manlius, skated for the SCCNY’s CNY Storm and the team defended their silver medal this year in the 2014 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships held in Hershey, PA on Feb. 1.

“Fierce!” is what a CNY Storm synchronized skating team member was heard calling out to her teammates while posing on the ice moments before “Runaway Baby” and “Treasure” by Bruno Mars began playing over the loudspeakers at the Hershey Park Arena. At the start of the music, the 16-team members counted steps silently, keeping up a fast pace, skating smoothly and perfectly in sync to the delight of the crowd. The team performed two separate days, in a qualifying round and final round, before winning second place against a total of 28 teams in their pre-juvenile division. Placing first were the Skyliners from the Springdale Figure Skating Club, based in Stamford, CT.

SCCNY’s open juvenile team, CNY Blizzard, which includes teammates Molly Bushnell, Lydia Cleaver-Bartholomew, Alana and Alex Surowiec, of Manlius, Megan Ferguson, of East Syracuse and Julia and Maria Vasquez from Jamesville-Dewitt, competed in the championships at the ice rink in the Giant Center the same weekend. They skated their program to a medley of Michael Buble’s songs. The team placed fourth in their qualifying round- which steered them to finals the next day, placing ninth overall in a lineup of 28 teams in their open juvenile division. Placing first were the Steel City Blades from the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club.

The following weekend, Feb. 6 to 8, amongst the excitement of the start of the Olympics in Sochi, the teammates of CNY Storm gathered at the 1980 rink in Lake Placid to defend its gold medal at the Empire State Winter Games. Not only did they win the gold again this year, but the CNY Blizzard’s 17-member team were also judged as the first place winners in their division: a step up on the podium from their silver win in 2013. CNY Chill, the club’s beginner team which includes Yimei Lin, of Manlius, were excited to successfully skate an amazing program and defend their title to win silver medals again. Carolyn Quinn coaches all three teams.

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