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Skating champs who train in Lockport arena are competing in nationals

Ice dancers Jocelyn Haines and James Koszuta practice locally but compete nationally. This weekend finds them competing in the Junior Dance event at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California.

Haines, 15, of the Onondaga County town of Marietta, represents the Buffalo Skating Club, while Koszuta, 19, of Angola, represents the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club. The duo practices more than 20 hours a week at Cornerstone CFCU Arena in Lockport.

Haines and Koszuta are the reigning U.S. National Novice Dance Champions, the result of the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. They earned the silver medal last month in Junior Dance at the Pacific Sectional Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Washington to qualify for the 2018 national championships. They are coached by former Hungarian world team member Bianka Szijgyarto.

The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are the final qualifying event prior to selection of the senior-level skaters who will represent Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea, which will be Feb. 9-25. Due to their recent success, Haines and Koszuta are eligible to represent the United States at international competitions but will not be in the running for the Olympic team until they reach the senior level.

Buffalo Skating Club celebrates its 90th year in 2018. It is the home club for many of the competitive figure skaters who train at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. The arena, which offers more than 26 hours of figure skating ice weekly, also hosts Learn-to-Skate and Learn-to-Skate Hockey classes four days a week for adults, parents and tots, and home-schooled children.

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