9th-grade skater wins bronze

SPARTA. Two Sparta girls took part in the 2024 Eastern Sectional Singles Final ice skating competition.

Sparta /
| 29 Nov 2023 | 04:16

Two Sparta girls took part in the 2024 Eastern Sectional Singles Final ice skating competition Oct. 31-Nov. 4 in Coral Springs, Fla.

Paige Parlapiano, a freshman at Sparta High School, won the bronze medal and qualified for the 2024 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships and National Development Camp. It will be held in late January in Columbus, Ohio.

Harper Schmid, a seventh-grader at Sparta Middle School, placed 12th of 24 girls in her first appearance in the Eastern Sectional Singles Final.

To take part in the competition, skaters must have qualified based on their performances during the National Qualifying Series events.

Both girls train with Kim Sutton, skating director at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm, who accompanied them to Florida.

“It was a lot of fun! I really like traveling,” said Paige, a member of the U.S. Figure Skating National Developmental Team. “I liked the whole vibe of everything there. It was very positive. I also like how I got to see everyone that I trained with last year.”

Harper said she also likes traveling and it was a nice experience.

Both girls said they were surrounded by many encouraging people, and they even got to do a little shopping when they weren’t on the ice.

6 days a week

Before the competition, Paige and Harper trained six days a week three hours on the ice and four hours off.

Sutton has been their coach since they were 3 and 4 years old.

“In the last couple of years, I’ve seen a huge progression with their commitment level and the way they compete,” she said. “They both have turned into solid and consistent competitors ... their skating quality and technical abilities have really advanced in the last few years.”

Paige has been working on consistently landing a triple Lutz, when a skater jumps off one foot and spins in the air three times. Once she masters the move, she will work it into her program.

Harper is hoping to consistently land the double axel, the sport’s oldest and most difficult jump.

She also wants to work on the triple Salchow, when a skater takes off from the back inside edge of one foot and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.