Over 1,400 athletes from throughout New York returned to the Olympic Village of Lake Placid to compete for gold and glory in the Empire State Winter Games Feb. 6-9.
Over 1,400 athletes from throughout New York returned to the Olympic Village of Lake Placid to compete for gold and glory in the Empire State Winter Games Feb. 6-9.
Fueled by the additions of new events and the draw of winter sports while the global Olympic Games take place in Sochi, Russia, organizers of the 2014 Empire State Games reported 1,403 competitors taking to the ice and snow over the four-day event, a 20.2-percent increase over last year.
“We are delighted to report that the growth exceeded our expectations for this year,” said committee member James McKenna, CEO of The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST). “Good news like this and fresh snow are a great way to launch this year’s event.”
Remarks at the opening ceremonies were from Keene resident and Team USA skier Tommy Biesemeyer, who was unable to compete at Sochi with a knee injury.
“These Empire State Games are what sports should always be about: commitment, persistence, and resilience,” Biesemeyer said. “Values like these I truly appreciate today. For all of you competing this weekend, don’t think that what you are doing here is any less important then what is happening in Russia.”
Biesemeyer, a former ESG athlete, said that the Lake Placid games represented “pure competition,” a sentiment echoed by Sandra Harper, a figure skater with the Skating Club of Lake Placid.
“It takes a lot of courage going out there in front of the people,” Harper said. “It’s great to have these games. You think about all of the history and it is such an honor to be out on that ice with all of that history out there.”
Results were reported through Mike Kane at the Empire State Winter Games.
David Meola and Gabriella Vasile won the Empire State Winter Games Alpine slalom races Feb. 9 at Whiteface Mountain. Meola, a student at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, had the best times in each of the two men’s runs, 41.47 seconds and 44:98, for a combined time 1:26.45 to best this Northwood teammate Jordan Roney of Laurel Springs, N.J. Third was Jeffrey Swagler of East Rochester, skiing for Bristol Mountain. Roney was second in the first run and fifth in the second, while Swagler was fourth in the first run and second in the last run. A total of 17 skiers completed the race. Vasile, a Bristol Mountain skier from Webster, had the two fastest runs in the women’s race for a combined time of 1:33.72. She was nearly a second faster than runner-up Sheila Decker of Saranac Lake, a member of the New York Ski Foundation team at Whiteface. Sabrina Easton of Hunter Mountain was third. Thirty-three skiers completed the women’s race.
Skiing on her home course, Beatrix Lever won the Empire State Winter Games’ women’s giant slalom Feb. 8 at Whiteface Mountain. Lever, who lives in Wilmington and Montreal, Quebec, is a member of the New York Ski Educational Foundation team based at Whiteface. Zach Hall of Stratton, Vt., a student at the Stratton Mountain School, won the men’s giant slalom. Lever’s time of 1 minute and 2.36 seconds was the fastest time of the first run. She turned in the second-best time of the second run, 1:05.29 for a combined 2:07.65 that was .30 seconds ahead of Mikayla Lathrop of South Londonderry, Vt., a member of the Stratton Mountain School team. Lathrop had the second-fastest time of the first run and was the leader in the second run for a 2:07.95, but could not overtake Lever. Hanako Kusumi of the Stratton, Vt. and the Stratton Mountain School was third in 2:11.78. Hall’s consistency gave him a victory by .12 seconds over Zachary Mooney of Charlmotte, Mass. Hall had the second-fastest time of the first run, 1:02.65, and delivered the third-best time on the second run, 1:03.76, to finish with 2:06.41. Mooney was fifth after the first run, but skied his way onto the podium with the second-fastest time of the second run, 1:03.47. Austin Lilley of Tinton Falls, N.J. led the way in the first run with a time of 1:02.71, but was sixth-fastest in the second run to finish third.
Cecily Decker of Saranac Lake and Spencer Smith of the Stratton Mountain School took first place at the Empire State Winter Games Super-G Alpine races Feb. 7 at Whiteface Mountain. Smith won the Under 16 division with a time of 54.49 seconds. Following Smith were two other Stratton skiers, Hunter Rodrick with a time of 55.91 and Sean Pomerantz with a time of 56.08. In the U18 division, Jake Middleton of Northwood school took first place with a 56.91, followed by Joey Carrier of Bristol Mountain with 57.01. A total of 52 skiers completed the course in the men’s race. Decker led a 1-2-3 finish by athletes from the New York Ski Educational Foundation. With a time of 56.38, she earned a narrow win over Beatrix Lever of Wilmington, who took second place in the U16 division at 56.43. Olivia Reynolds came in third at 58.53. Madison Muxworthy of Bristol Mountain took first place in the U18 division with 59.04. There were 41 women that completed the race.
Jacob Block, Michael Bucholtz and Ben Balet, all from Ballston Spa, dominated the Under 15 category on Sunday during the three Snow Shoeing competitions at the Visitor’s Information Center at Paul Smiths. The trio took turns in first, second and third during the 100-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter competitions. In the 15-19 women’s division, Amara Steenburn of Claverack took first in the 400 and 100 meter but was bested by Chloe Mattilio in the 800. Mattilio, a Paul Smiths native, also took second in the 400 and third in the 100. Nicole Landry of Paul Smiths was second in the 100. In the 800, Corrie Desilets and Lauren Brieant, both from Paul Smiths, took second and third. The 15-19 men’s division had a rotating cast of winners and athletes who placed. Matthew Williams, Nicolas Pendl and Louis Ferrone, all from Paul Smiths, and Eric Hulbert of Mexico, NY took the top positions in the three races. Williams led the 100 and 400. Ferrone took third in the 800 and 100. Pendl took second in the 400 and first in the 800. Hulbert took second in the 100 and the 800 and was third in the 400.
Lea Anthony of Paul Smiths won the 800 and was second in the 100 and the 400 in the 20-34 women’s competition. Gillian Wright of Schroon Lake won the 400 and took third in the 100. Christina Peterson of Paul Smiths won the the 100 and was third in the 400. In the 20-34 men’s events, Eric Kowalik and Llew Palmer of Paul Smiths were the top two finishers for all three races. Kowalik won the 400 and 800 while Palmer took the 100. Alan Cushman from Cicero won all three of the 35-49 men’s races and Diane Olivo of Rochester swept the three 50-64 women’s events. Robert McNamara of Cleveland and Jeff Wright of Akron led the 50-64 men’s races by taking the top two spots for each. McNamara won the 800 and 100, while Wright led the 400.
Christin Powers’ goal with 2:52 left in the third period Sunday led Adirondack to a 4-3 win over Western New York in the gold medal game of the women’s ice hockey tournament at the Empire State Winter Games. The goal by the Canton resident decided a close game at the Tupper Lake Civic Center after Western rallied with two goals in the third period to tie the score. Adirondack finished with a 4-1 record and avenged its only loss of the tournamentPowers finished with two goals and an assist and Andrea Kilbourne-Hill, the 2002 Olympian from Saranac Lake, had a goal and two assists.
David Hunter of Lake Placid and Stina Bridgeman of Canandaigua were the open division winners in ski orienteering Saturday at the Empire State Winter Games. Hunter took the men’s title by five minutes over Sergey Dobrestrov of Penfield. Daniel Westerberg was third. Bridgeman was the women’s titlist more than six minutes ahead of Janet Findley of Lake Placid. Tim Dobretsov of Penfield was a decisive winner in the male scholastic race, finishing more than one hour ahead of Jackson Koziol and Tyler Koziol of Buskirk. Kestrel Owens of Craftsbury Common, Vt. took first place in the men’s high school race with a time of 1:34:54.
In the male masters race, Aims Coney of Stow, Mass. came in first with a time of 1:42:11. Coney was followed by Doug Swank of Malta and Nick Gretzinger of Vestal. The female masters winner was Cindy Gretzinger from Vestal. The runner-up was Ellie George of West Charlton. Thayer Raines of Rutland, Vt. was the male grandmasters winner by a mere six seconds over Phillip Hawkes-Teeter. Candice Raines of Rutland won the female grandmasters race. Adrian Owens took first in the male recreational division.
Long track speedskating
Alex Zamojski of Skaneateles swept all four distances in the scholastic men’s division in the long track speed skating races Saturday at the Empire State Winter Games.
Skating on the Olympic Oval in Lake Placid, Zamojski was a comfortable winner in the 500-meter 1000-meter, 1500-meter and 3000-meter races. Following Zamojski was Fletcher Codd of Niagara Falls, who was second in the 500, 1000 and 3000. Adam Horeth of Rochester was second in the 1000.
In the women’s scholastic division, Esther Munoz of Lake Placid took first place in the 1000, 1500 and 3000, while Molly Turco of West Rutland, Vt. took first in the 500. Katy Toth of Stephentown was the runner-up at all four distances.
Mark Yanagihara of Ballston Spa won two of three events in the open men’s division, the 1000 and the 1500. James Luft of Albany was first in the open men’s 500. Finishing behind Luft were Kyle Essex of Sea Cliff and Ron Zamojski of Skaneateles. Essex and Luft followed Yanigahara in the 1000, while Luft was second and Essex third in the 1500. Rebecca Simmons of Averill Park swept to victory in all three races in the open women’s division. Julie Gehring of Williamsville was second and Olivis Alsdorf of Ballston Spa third behind Simmons in the three events. Sean Lippa of Spencerport finished first in the 200 and 500 races in the Under 10 men’s division. Adam Weeks of Rensselaer was the 100 winner. Finishing behind Weeks were Lippa in second place and Dylan Heyworth of Kenmore in third. Finishing behind Lippa in the 200 were Weeks and Heyworth. In the 500, Lippa finished ahead of Mattan Grodensky of Rochester and Weeks. Ellie Ripchik of Saratoga Springs dominated in the U10 women’s races, sweeping first in all three distances. Finishing behind Ripchik in the 100 were Isabel Crovella of Manlius and Samantha Terpening of Oswego. In the 200 and 500, Crovella was second and Jessica Steinwachs of East Aurora was third. Sydney Terpening of Oswego finished first in all three races in the pre-scholastic ladies division. Clara Lemal-Brown of Hamilton was the runner-up in the 100 and Lacey Greenamyre of Middlebury, Vt. was second in the 500 and 600. Dylan Jaques of Saratoga Springs finished first in all three races in the pre-scholastic men’s division. Mathew Crovella of Manlius was second in the 100, Vinicio Brancato of Buffalo was the runner-up in the 500 and Erik Woodbury of Rutland, Vt. was second in the 600.
Cross country skiing
Scott Schulz, of Lake Placid, picked up his third medal of the Empire State Winter Games Saturday with a victory in the 5-kilometer freestyle cross-country ski race at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Schulz had already earned a gold medal in the 2.5K freestyle cross-country race and a silver medal in ski jumping. With a time of 20 minutes and 26 seconds, Schulz was the overall winner and won the Under 14 division. Jesse Izzo of Lake Placid took second overall and in the U14 category with 22:49. Seamus Tomb from North Creek was seventh overall and earned third in the Under 14 group at 24:00. In the women’s competition, Jackie Garso of Lake Clear took first place in the U16 division with a time of 25:06. Garso was followed by Emily Cromie of Gloversville in 27:21. Maggie Borgos of Queensbury took first in U14. Owen Putman of Round Lake took first in the men’s U16 division and third place overall behind Schulz and Izzo with a 23:18. He was followed by David Benson from Crown Point, who finished in 23:46, and Antonino Manzella of Queensbury in 23:50.
Jan Wellford of Keene was the overall winner and Rosanne Van Dorn of Lake Placid the top women’s finisher in the 20-kilometer cross-country skiing race Saturday at the Empire State Winter Games. The event at the Olympic Sports Center at Mount Van Hoevenberg drew 39 competitors. Wellford finished with a time of 58 minutes, 33 seconds to place first in the M1 division (masters, ages 30-34). Matthew Torniainen of Fultonville followed closely, trailing Wellford by 18 seconds, in 58:51, to win the M2. In other men’s divisions, Eric Seyse of Scotia was the winner in the senior category (ages 20-29) with a 1:05:15. Finishing first in the U18 division was Adam Marino of Saratoga Springs with a time of 1:08:14. Eric Brower of Gloversville, was the U20 division winner in 1:12:48. Martin Donnelly-Heg of Syracuse won the M3 division with a time of 1:03:38. Kurt Gustaffson of Brooklyn was the first of eight racers in the M4 category with a 1:09:40. Robert Underwood of Kattskill Bay was the leader in M5 with a 1:04:28. Todd Rayne of Clinton was first in the M6 category with a time of 1:15:18. Mark Paprocki of Irondequoit topped the M7 category, finishing with a time of 1:14:42. Chris Beattie of Lake Placid was the M8 (ages 65-69) winner in 1:20:49 and Matti Torniainen of Gloversville, the lone competitor in the M9 (ages 70-74), and finished with 1:39:08. Van Dorn was the women’s leader and won her M3 category with a time of 1:12:50. Division winners were: Gabbi Rodbell of Scotia (U18) 1:18:04, Amanda Zullo of Saranac Lake (M1) 1:21:40; Jill Koziol of Buskirk (M3), 1:28:48; Nancy Rayne of Clinton (M5), 1:44:03; and Jennifer Woltjen of Endicott (M6), 1:55:32.
Nina Armstrong of Lake Placid and Matthew Forshey of Scotia were the top finishers in the Empire State Winters Games 2.5-kilometer freestyle cross country ski competition Feb. 7 night at Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake. Seventeen women and 42 men completed the course. Forshey led the men with a 7:46 to win the Under-18 (ages 16-17) division and edge Under-16 winner Owen Putnam of Round Lake’s time of 7:57 by 11 seconds. Scott Schulz of Lake Placid, the Under-14 (ages 12-13) winner was third with a time of 8:00. Armstrong had the fastest time in the women’s race, 9:04, to edge Sarah Duclos of Clifton Park by six seconds and win the U18 division. Amy Duclos of Clifton Park was third in 9:38. Jackie Garso of Lake Clear won the U16 division in 10:05. Emily Cromie of Gloversville was second in 10:54. Ann Jardin of Mexico was the senior (20-29) winner in 12:21. In the masters divisions, Amanda Zullo of Saranac Lake was the M1 winner in 11:22; Rosanne Van Dorn of Lake Placid won M3 in 10:00, the fourth-fastest time of the competition; Ingrid Wilke of Cohoes won the M5 division in 13:10; and Jennifer Woltjen of Endicott was the top finisher in M6 with a 14:22. In the M3 division, Heidi Underwood of Katskill Bay was second in 10:23 and Jill Kozoil of Buskirk was third in 11:25. In the men’s U18, Brian Chrzan of Clifton Park was second to Forshey with a time of 8:38, one second faster than Adam Marino of Saratoga Springs. Finishing behind Putnam In the U16 men’s division were Bryce Hartman of Saranac Lake, 8:11, and Aaron Huneck of Rexford, 8:19. In the U14 men’s division, Beckett Ledger of Lake Placid finished second to Schulz in 9:11. Christopher Gilman of Tupper Lake was third in 13:11. Jake Blaauboer of Clifton Park won the U20 division in 11:11. Eric Seyse of Scotia was the senior winner in 8:29. Keith Kogut of Tupper Lake was second in 9:00 and Christopher Whalen of Scotia was third in 9:08. Finishing fourth overall with a time of 8:09 was M2 winner Matthew Torniainen of Fultonville. Jochen Hoppert of Scottsville was second in 9:30. Martin Donnelly-Heg of Syracuse was the M3 winner in 8:35. Jim Kobak of Peru finished second in 8:53. The M4 division winner was Kurt Gustafsson of Brooklyn in 9:30. Tom Chappell of Colton was second in 9:37 and Sean Scanlan of Brooklyn was third in 10:31. Robert Underwood of Katskill Bay was the fastest finisher in the M5 division with 8:43. Tim Huneck of Rexford was second in 9:35. The M6 winner was Mark Chmielewicz of Clinton won the M6 title with a 10:57. In M7, the winner was Mark Paprock of Irondequoit in 10:13. Darwin Roosa of Altamont was second in 10:58 and Andrew Kulmatiski of Scotia was third in 11:57. The M8 division, for skiers aged 65 to 69, was won by Chris Beattie of Lake Placid in 10:43. The runner-up was Arthur Stegen of New Paltz in 12:14. Matti Torniainen of Gloversville win the M9 division in 12:39.
The Ice Works IceBreakers of Syosset finished first in the Beginner 2 Synchronized Skating competition at the Empire State Winter Games Saturday in Lake Placid. Finishing second were the Bluewater Blades of Skaneateles and taking third place were The Cutting Edge of Syracuse.
Nina Armstrong from Lake Placid and Matthew Forshey of Scotia picked up their second gold medals of the Empire State Winter Games with victories in the biathlon sprint Feb. 8 at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg. On Feb. 7, Armstrong and Forshey won the 2.5-kilometer cross-country skiing races at Dewey Mt. in Saranac Lake. Armstrong won the Scholastic Girls biathlon division with a time of 32 minutes and 30 seconds and Forshey finished first in the Scholastic Boys race in 27:52. Following Forshey was Royal McDonnell of Paul Smiths in 29:00. Eli Walker of Jackson was the Open Men’s winner with a time of 36:05. Tom Moffett of Peru was next in 36:36, and Eric Seyse of Scotia took third in 39:13. The Master Women’s division was won Gabriella Fritteli of Gansevoort in 40:05. Douglas Diehl from Bolton Landing and Sean Halligan of Wilton earned the top two spots in the Master Men competition with times of 34:10 and 35:24. Kevin Walter of Pittsford took third in 51:35. In the Grandmaster Men division, Brian Wieghsus was first with a time of 36:47, Darwin Roosa of Altamont took second in 40:11 and Thomas Hay of Getzville was third in 41:19. Omar Bermejo of Caribou, Me. was the Adaptive Men’s winner with a time of 32:10.
Gabby Armstrong and Landon Livreri of Lake Placid won Empire State Winter Games gold medals for the second consecutive year Feb. 6 with victories on the K48 hill at the Olympic Jumping Complex. Armstrong took the open competition with jumps of 44.5 and 42 meters and finished with 163.1 points. Livreri was the Under-13 winner on K48 with jumps of 47.5 and 47 meters and finished with 216.2 points. Matt White of Lake Placid finished second with jumps of 42 and 43.5 meters and 183.9 points. Avery Thurston of Whiting, Vt. won the Under-16 competition on the K48 with jumps of 42.5 and 42 meters and 164.2 points to to finish ahead of Scott Schulz and Brian Byrne of Lake Placid. Schulz turned in jumps of 36 and 33.5 meters and finished with 123.7 points. Byrne was third with jumps of 33 and 33.5 meters and 112.6 points. On the K20 hill, Christopher Byrne of Lake Placid won the Under-10 event, Grant Thurston of Whitney, Vt. was the Under-12 winner and Jasmine Bujold of Lake Placid was the women’s winner. Byrne had jumps of 10.5 and 10 meters and 34.4 points. Thurston finished with 84 points after jumps of 14 and 15 meters. Bujold had a pair of 11-meter jumps and finished with 48.6 points.