Richards, Gordon excel in intermediate free skating, senior solo dance events
Liberty University figure skater Emma Richards, a rising sophomore from Edina, Minn., won the Intermediate free skate short and long programs at last weekend’s U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships and Invitational at the Richfield (Minn.) Ice Arena. Meanwhile, Jamie Gordon, a rising senior from Orlando, Fla., placed fourth and sixth in two separate senior-level open solo ice dance competitions over the past week in Florida and New York, respectively.
“All three competitions were prestigious events and gave them a goal and motivation to work toward in the summertime (and) keep them active in the sport,” Lady Flames figure skating Head Coach Dawn Harter said. “They are both looking forward to participating on the team this season, and both of them have good work ethics and are motivated and conscientious about continuing to perfect their elements. I am very pleased to be seeing them taking the time, effort, and money to do something like that, to be out there representing Liberty and being a light in the community.”
Judges gave Richards a score of 23.09 in Friday’s short program to distance her from Florida Atlantic University’s Addison Manofsky (18.46). Then on Saturday, Richards earned a 34.26 in the Excel Intermediate Free Skate to outscore the University of California San Diego’s Mayari Gulati (29.66) and the University of Delaware’s Ashley Maldonado (27.13).
Gordon placed fourth in senior solo dance at the 31st annual Orange Blossom Open, held July 14 at the Clearwater (Fla.) Ice Arena, with scores of 47.23 for Rhythm Dance and 66.23 for Free Dance for a 113.46 total, well behind first-place finisher Lucas Appel (159.53) of the Florida Everblades Figure Skating Club (FSC). She was not far back of second-place Audrey-Kate Johnson (127.53) of the Atlanta FSC and third-place Emma Ogle (117.88) of the Knoxville (Tenn.) FSC.
Then on Thursday at the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Ice Dance Championships skated on the 1980 Rink in the Lake Placid Olympic Center, Gordon finished sixth out of 11 participants in the senior solo combined dance with a Rhythm Dance score of 46.17 and a Free Dance score of 66.25 for a 112.42 total score. That trailed only Brooke Tufts (155.87, North Jersey FSC), Abby Mumby (136.12, Greater Kalamazoo (Mich.) Skating Association), Charlotte Manfield (125.31, University of Delaware FSC, Caroline Mura (124.59, Pittsburgh FSC), and Jessica Sassano (115.33, Winterhurst (Ohio) FSC).