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NORTH ATLANTIC SKATING EVENT SET FOR NIAGARA U. ICE COMPLEX

The North Atlantic Figure Skating Championships open Tuesday at the Niagara University Ice Complex, where they will run through Nov. 1.

The event is expected to draw 350 athletes from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Six clubs from Western New York will be sending 57 skaters, 22 from the Jamestown Skating Club. Other local clubs participating will be the Buffalo Skating Club, the Ken-Ton Skating Club, the Skating Club of Western New York, the Amherst Skating Club and the host Niagara University Skating Club.

The opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Former U.S. and world bronze medalist and U.S. professional gold medalist Caryn Kadavy will skate solo. Also performing will be the Amherst and Niagara University clubs, and professional Chris Conte.

Competition will be held Wednesday from 9:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Oct. 31 from 9:15 a.m.-8:45 p.m. and Nov. 1 from 10:45 a.m.-10:15 p.m.

The top competitions will be held on the Nov. 1 evening program, starting at 6:05 with the Novice Ladies Freeskate, followed at 7:20 p.m. by the Junior Ladies Freeskate and at 8:50 by the Senior Ladies Freeskate.

Three members of the Jamestown club could medal in the senior ladies event -- Kristen Treni, Angela DePinto and Erin Durner. Lisa Ervin, a former national-caliber competitor, is making a comeback at age 20 with the Niagara University Skating Club.

Two pairs teams -- Adam Backus and Chelsee Cwalina of the Niagara University club in intermediate and Emily Morgan and Justin Cogley of the Jamestown club in novice -- also have a chance to earn gold. Those competitions will be held back-to-back Friday starting at 12:20 p.m. Morgan and Cogley went to nationals last year.

Miyoko Ohtake of the Amherst Skating Club is a strong contender for gold in the Intermediate Ladies Freestyle.

The North Atlantics' competition is the first step toward the U.S. Nationals for the older skaters and the Junior Olympics for the younger competitors. The Eastern Sectionals, the final qualifier for the nationals, will be held Dec. 1-6 in Simsbury, Conn.

The North Atlantics haven't been held in Western New York in 20 years.

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