Pompano Beach’s Lara Annunziata recently placed third in the Ladies Final and qualified for the 2015 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships, which will be held in Raleigh, NC from Nov. 19-23.
It marked the second consecutive year that Annunziata, 11, a Shepherd of the Coast sixth grader, finished third at the regional competition. Annunziata was one of 29 skaters from the Panthers Figure Skating Club (PFSC) that went to competition.
“I am happy I made it to sectionals again,” said Annunziata, who moved up to a higher division this year. “It’s a little longer program and has an extra jump. It is a little more tiring.”
Annunziata said it is important to make eye contact with the judges and the sectional qualification is a culmination of her hard work throughout the year.
“I really don’t think of anything when I am out on the ice,” she said. “I kind of go with the flow. I clear my mind. It is really important to go to sectionals in my first time at this level.”
Deerfield Beach’s Rachel Metzner placed 11th in the Novice Ladies Division. The 15-year-old North Broward Prep sophomore also moved up a division this year and has been skating for the past nine years.
“I love everything about it,” Metzner said. “It is the way I feel on the ice. It is indescribable. I really enjoy being out on the ice. I feel free. I can do whatever I want. My friends always ask me why I do a sport that takes so much time. My answer is because I love it and it is what I want to do. I want to continue on with it in the future.”
When she first started, she had no idea it was going to morph into what it has become.
“I first started taking group lessons with my friend because she was having a birthday party and I did Stanley C. Classes here,” Metzner recalled. “When I finished, I cried because I didn’t want to get off the ice so my mom signed me up for private lessons.”
She is pleased with the effort she has put into the sport. This was her fifth trip to regionals and she made it to the finals in juvenile two years ago.
“I am most proud of all of the obstacles I have overcome,” Metzner said. “I have had a lot of injuries. I have had knee injuries, a broken collarbone, torn rotator cuff, collapsed lung and, right now, I have a cracked rib cage.
“For me, it is cool to see how I have been able to come back from all of my injuries and still compete,” Metzner added. “I still stay motivated, which I think is really important. When I was injured, it was really hard for me for me to do. I sat at home and got ahead in my homework and got to see my friends. I wasn’t happy. My life felt incomplete when I wasn’t on the ice. I am happy I am back.”