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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Bay State Games Weekend

By Jen Thomas
12:00AM / Monday, February 05, 2007

Christmas Brook Figure Skating Club figure skater Zia O'Neill of Stamford, Vt..
Williamstown - "We're just having fun."

The words of Christmas Brook Figure Skating Club member Elizabeth Feudo, 11, seemed to sum up the feelings of the club's members who were ready to take the ice on Feb. 3 for exhibition and on Feb. 4 for competition.

Club members were among those who participated during the weekend's Bay State Games, which hosted hockey events at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink in North Adams and figure skating competitions at the town-based Williams College skating rink.

A 12-member Christmas Brook production team entertained during Saturday evening's Bay State Skate event. The skating show featured competitive skaters from across the state.

While most of the figure skaters performed individually, the Christmas Brook group performed a synchronized piece that required 18 weeks of preparation. The sliding, gliding, skating exhibition was performed to music from the Broadway show "Hairspray."

Zia O'Neill, 11, of Stamford, Vt. and 11-year-old Ian Hill of Adams, noted the importance of skating in unison during the performance.

Several Christmas Brook skaters expected to perform during a Feb. 4 competition. Skaters vied to qualify for participation at the State Games of America, which are scheduled to unfold in Colorado Springs, Colorado in August.

Northern berkshire and Southner Vermont skaters Ian, Zia, O'Neill's older sister Teagan O'Neill, Katelyn Parmenter, and Jenna Waltermire have qualified for the event in the past.

Athletes who've won a gold, silver, or bronze medal at a State Games summer event during 2005 and 2006 or during winter events during 2006 or 2007 are eligible to compete, as are those who medaled during a 2005 State Games of America event.

State Games of America participants include U.S. Olympic Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan and mens figure skating champion Paul Wylie.

Zia O'Neill termed the State Games of America "way bigger."

"It's all the finalists from all the different states," she said.

Production team skater Tiffany Gundler, 13, of North Adams and Ian said that their experience overwhelmed any pre-performance jitters.

"I'm not nervous," Tiffany said. "I think because it's my fourth year, I don't get nervous anymore."

Ian noted that he's been skating competitively for three years.

"I think it's just fun," he said.

Feb. 3 USFS Figure Skating

The second day of the 2007 Bay State Winter Games started of with Melissa Lee (Andover) accepting a gold medal by placing first in the Pre-Juvenile Girls Group 1.

Leading the pack in the Pre-Juvenile Girls Group 2 was Desiree Carpenter (Berkley).

Other noteworthy performances were by Karen Franko (Canton) who came out on top for the Adult Bronze Ladies Free Skate division, and Joanne Markow (Natick) who shined as the first place winner for Adult Silver Ladies Free Skate.

Millbury residents took first and second place in the Adult Gold Ladies Free Skate category with Cynthia Jacobson placing first and Jennifer Stewart taking home the silver.

In the Pre-Preliminary Girls Free Skate competition, Lily Barrett (Norwell) won the gold for Group 1, and Sarah Mitty (Wayland) was the winner for Group 2.

More Bay State Games New Balance Sportsmanship Initiative Awards were given out today to recognize athletes for exemplary sportsmanship at Bay State Games events. Craig and Barbara Burley (Ashland) were both recipients of the award for their on going support of all athletes.

Craig and Barbara both competed in the first day of the ISI competition, but returned to the rink today to show their overwhelming support for their fellow athletes.

Clinching the Gold medal for the Intermediate Ladies, and earning spot in the Bay State Skate Figure Skating Show was Ashley Rose Ardizoni (Westfield).

Joining Ashley in the show was Kiara Sonoda (Chicopee), who received gold for the Novice Ladies, Sportsmanship Award recipient Caroline Henderson (Mansfield) who came in first for the Junior Lades, and Lindsey Fenton (Amherst) who was victorious among the Senior Ladies.

Feb. 3 ISI Figure Skating

The second day of ISI Figure Skating brought skaters to the Williams College Skating Rink.

The Freestyle competition levels 6, 7, 8, and 9 were the main event with highlights including Marissa Gottlieb (Sudbury, MA) winning the Freestyle 6 division for 10-11 year olds, Marisa Marshalka (Scituate, MA) placing first for Freestyle 6 for 12-13 year olds, Amy Sterling (Mansfield, MA) beating out the other Freestyle 6 14 year olds, and Mia Corsini (Easton, MA) taking top prize among the Freestyle 6 16-17 Year olds.

The ISI division sent six top skaters to the Bay State Skate Figure Skating Show who clinched top spots in the Freestyle 7, 8, and 9 divisions. Mollie Tobey (Easton, MA) earned a bid by winning the Level 7 Ladies for 11-13 year olds, Ellie Baumgarten (Cohasset, MA) represented Level 7 Ladies for 14-16 year olds, and Caitlin Orner (Vernon, VT) won Freestyle 7 for 17-19 year olds. Sarah Hill (Weymouth, MA), Kaitlyn Henry (Scituate, MA), and Katie Landay also won spots in the skating show.

The Bay State Skate show was a display of outstanding individual and pairs skaters from across the state. The night began with the athlete march, which gave athletes from all Winter Games sports a chance to come together and be recognized. The National Anthem was sung by Emily Baker of Feeding Hills. Emily is a junior at Agawam High School, and has been competing in the Bay State Games figure skating competition for six years.

Feb. 3 Masters Ice Hockey

Masters Ice Hockey also continued today at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink in North Adams. The Shamrocks, representing Berkshire County, were victorious twice today as they beat Reils Rentals 9-1 and Hingham by a score of 4-3.

Feb. 4 USFS Figure Skating

Three groups of USFS Pre-Preliminary skaters and six groups of USFS Preliminary skaters competed.

Mary Pura (Greenfield) skated her way into first place for Group 3, Jocelyn Gozdowski (Brookfield) received the gold for Group 4, and Justin Curran (Leominster) was the champion of the Pre-Preliminary Boys group. In Preliminary girls action, Amanda Greel (Rockport) placed first for Group A 1 and Emily Baker (Feeding Hills) did so for Group A 2. Baker also beautifully sang the National Anthem at the beginning of each day at the Winter Games, as well as at a Feb. 3 Bay State Skate show. Group B 1 was won by Annie McKenna (Lenox), Group B 2 saw Zoe McSweeney (Greenfield) win the gold, and Group B 3's title was won by Hannah Tessler (Amherst). On the boys side, Alfred Channell (Plympton) was victories in Preliminary Boys B.

Feb. 4 ISI Figure Skating

ISI Figure Skating highlights include Bay State Blades Figure Skating club sweeping all three medals in the Freestyle 3 Female 11-12 year division. Blair Smith (Milford) received the gold while Alexandria Weinstein (Hopkinton) took home the silver, and Sarah Norris (Enfield, CT) rounded out the trio with the bronze. Bay State Blades was also successful in the Freestyle 1 Female 11-13 division as club members Jackie Doyle (Framingham) and Katie O'Connor (Northboro) placed first and second.

Feb. 4 Masters Ice Hockey

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink in North Adams, the 50+ Gold medal game was played between the CT Olympics and CDR. The battle ended with CDR coming up with a 2-1 win. In the 40+ Gold medal game the Teddy Bear Pools defeated local team The Shamrocks by a score of 3-2.

Susan Bush contributed to this story with information provided by Bay State Games officials.
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