Two local ice skaters qualified for the first time to perform in a regional competition last month to close out their season.
Addison Manofsky, 12, of Delray Beach and Emmi Merhi, 11, of Boca Raton, traveled to Aston, Pennsylvania to compete in the U.S. Figure Skating South Atlantic Regional Singles Challenge at the Juvenile level.
The competition is one of nine regional meets in the country. The two skaters represented the Florida Gold Coast Figure Skating Club and competed against 450 skaters from the Southeastern region, which ranges from upper New York to Florida.
The girls both skate at the Rink on the Beach in Pompano Beach. Even though skating in an individual sport, other skaters hosted a send-off party for the competitors before they flew out.
“The athletes who compete at the regional level work hard all year long,” said Hyatt Aldahwi, who coaches both girls. “It is a joy to work with them as they develop as athletes and artists. No matter how they rank at the competition, the experience helps them grow as skaters and as friends.”
Manofsky started skating when she was 7. She took a group class with a few of her friends and said she quickly realized she didn’t want to get off the ice.
“I was the only one who wanted to stay on the ice,” she said.
So, she started private lessons and began to compete. She said she likes the feeling of gliding on the ice and the challenge of accomplishing goals she sets out for herself.
In this competition, she said she set a personal goal of beating her last score and she did it.
Her performance was to an instrumental version of a song from The Beauty and the Beast.
To prepare she practices six days a week and often twice a day.
“I practice almost every morning before I go to school and almost every afternoon as well,” she said.
She has plenty of time before the next skating season begins. She said she will be working on landing her double jumps and axels consistently. Her favorite move— a double loop.
She isn’t the only one hitting the ice frequently.
Merhi also has a rigorous practice routine that includes daily skating and agility training off the ice.
She said she got into ice skating because it was a hobby her mom used to have when she was younger.
The regional competition was a first time appearance for Merhi and she recently moved into that competition level. She skated her 2 minute and 22 second routine to a song called “Trampoline.”
She nailed her first double lutz and will be working on her double axel in the off-season.
They are both preparing for a holiday show at the Rink on the Beach on Dec. 14.