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Taylor Firth Completes ‘Hat Trick’ For Skating Academy

By Jim Riggs jriggs@post-journal.com
POSTED: October 15, 2008

Taylor Firth completed a ''hat trick'' for the Jamestown Skating Academy on Tuesday at the North Atlantic Regional Championships at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.

After her sister, Chelsea, and Adrian Rosenberg of the JSA qualified for the Eastern Sectionals on Monday, Taylor Firth, 17, made it three members of the club moving on when she placed second in the Senior Ladies Program.

She finished only two points behind Joelle Forte of the Skating Club of New York and in front of third-place finisher Emily Hughes, who participated in the 2006 Olympics.

The top four in each event advance to the sectionals at the Boston Skating Club in mid-November. And the top four there advance to the nationals at Cleveland, Ohio, in January.

Chelsea Firth, 15, had earned her sectional berth on Monday by winning the Novice Ladies Division while Rosenberg,15, finished second in Novice Men's Division.

Earning a trip to sectionals is old hat for Taylor Firth, who has been there two times before and has also been to the junior nationals and the nationals. But it's the first trip to sectionals for her sister and Rosenberg.

And how do the Jamestown Skating Academy co-directors feel about having a trio moving on?

''If you have one, it's great, but to have three is really great,'' Lenel van den Berg said. ''It just makes it a little bit more interesting for us when you have more than one kid.''

Kirk Wyse said, ''It's everything that we had hoped for.''

Sending three to the sectionals is not new for the JSA, but when asked about sisters, van den Berg said, ''That's never happened before.''

He is very happy for Taylor Firth to be making her third sectional appearance.

''We were really excited because thought she skated really, really well,'' van den Berg said. ''She came second by two points which was really hardly anything.''

According to van den Berg, finishing second didn't concern Firth.

''Sometimes if they skate well it means more to us than winning,'' he said. ''They've done the work and if they go out and perform like they should, that's great. You just have to go out there and feel good about what you did and then the rest is up to them (the judges).''

He added, ''She was totally excited about how she skated. The first thing she said was, 'I'm not really concerned about the outcome, I'm just so happy that I skate so well.''

And finishing above Hughes wasn't a major concern.

''Of course it's nice for her, but the feeling was that she skated so well,'' van den Berg said. ''As long as she made it to sectionals, that's all that was important to her.''

To finish only two points behind Forte was quite an accomplishment.

''She skated like you've never seen her skate,'' van den Berg said about Forte's long program on Tuesday. ''She never skated that well, she skated just flawlessly. There was not one thing wrong with what she did, so for her it was the skate of a lifetime.''

Also from the Jamestown Skating Academy on Tuesday, Jordan Bauth finished seventh in the Intermediate Ladies final and Elizabeth Newell was eighth in the Senior Ladies Program.

Wyse pointed out the club was a winner overall.

''We had a lot of wonderful comments from judges and other skaters and parents about just the strength of the performances of the James-town kids as a whole and that made it feel really good,'' Wyse said. ''They were just well prepared and they did their stuff.''

Now the Firth sisters and Rosenberg will begin preparing for the Eastern Sectional, but not for awhile.

''Because of the enormity of the event that we just did, the skating program is taking three days off and we'll be back at the rink on Saturday,'' Wyse said.

Complete North Atlantic Regional Championship results can be found at icenetwork.com