Skaters from across the country compete in 22nd annual Terry Conners Open

Synchronized skaters from across the country competed on Sunday in the 22nd Annual Terry Conners Open in Stamford.
The open was hosted by Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating. It was one of the biggest competitions yet with 77 teams and almost 1,000 skaters.
“We have skaters starting from 5-years-old, all the way up to 71,” said Pam Foster, an event co-chair.
“We have one judge that’s 101 years old who is more spry and more sharp than you can imagine,” said Claudia Smeriglio, secretary for Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating.
Organizers say the event brings people together all for the love of skating.
“That is my favorite part, just seeing everyone and how excited they are to skate,” said Foster.
Leading up to the open, performers had long days at the rink working hard to nail their routines and show off their skills.
“Wake up at 5:30 in the morning, we practice for two hours,” said Sarah Lapointe, a student at the University of New Hampshire.
“This week, we’ve been here almost every day,” said Chloe Gerace, with Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating.
Besides the hours of hard work and commitment to their performances, the costumes and music are what the routines are made of.
“Our program is a medley of Pink Floyd songs, which is pretty unique in the synchro world,” said Marissa Conroy, a student at the University of New Hampshire.
Featured teams came from near and far -- some as close as Stamford, some from as far away as Georgia and Maine. The competition was fierce, but so was the camaraderie between competitors.
“It gets the adrenaline going,” said Ash Ladyka, with Southern Connecticut Synchronized Skating. “It really makes us want to perform for the audience.”
The raucous rink only quieted when it was time to hear the scores.
“It was really exciting to start off the season on a good note,” said Gerace.
“This was essentially what we were getting at the end of last season,” said Ladyka. “This time, we're starting stronger and I'm sure we’ll end even stronger.”