The North Atlantic Figure Skating Club – based at Falmouth Family Ice – has an impressive lineup scheduled for their upcoming show, one that includes established names like Ross Miner, who took fifth at the 2016 National Championship, and up-and-coming locals like Julia Curran of Westbrook and her pairs partner, Franz-Peter Jerosch of Yarmouth, who combined for silver in Juvenile Pairs at this year’s Nationals – the best finish by any Maine skaters at Nationals since 2008.
Curran, 13, is a seventh-grader at St. Brigid School in Portland; she’s been skating for roughly seven years, but only one with Franz-Peter – which makes their accomplishment all the more impressive. The duo appeared at Nationals on Jan. 16, vying with 12 other teams.
“It was really exciting,” Curran said. “I’d never been to Nationals before.”
Caryn Bickerstaff, who’s chairing the upcoming event – actually a pair of shows – expects anywhere from 300-800 spectators to attend the weekend-long affair. The first show is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and the second for 2 p.m. the following day.
Nearly 100 skaters, ranging in age from 3-70, will participate in the annual exhibition. Miner, 25, hails from the Boston area and is perhaps the most recognizable name on this year’s docket. As mentioned, he recently finished fifth at Nationals, but he’s also accrued a number of other accolades. He won silver at the same competition in 2013, competed at the International Skating Union’s World Figure Skating Championship in 2011 and 2013, and has collected a string of bronze medals on the Union’s Grand Prix Circuit.
“We always try to have a guest star that’s known on the national scene in some way,” says Bickerstaff. “It’s inspiring for the skaters to see what hard work and perseverance can bring.”
Curran’s youth means much of her skating career is still ahead of her. She competed at this year’s sectionals, taking second – the performance qualified her for Nationals – but is likely to turn more and more heads in the coming years. She’s medaled in most of the competitions she’s entered, and when she hasn’t medaled, she’s only barely missed the podium.
Curran’s home club is actually the Skating Club of Boston – a very prestigious outfit; up this way, she’s an associate member of the North Atlantic Figure Skating Club. She trains for 12-16 hours a week on the ice, and with a personal trainer 2-3 days a week. Further, she takes weekly ballet lessons.
Curran loves skating – “I hope it’s always part of my life,” she says – and is aiming for the stars. “I hope to be a World Champion.”
The upcoming club event is meaningful to her.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she says. “I’ve done this show for many years and I’m excited to do pairs.”
During the coming season, Curran will be competing at the Colonial Open in Boxborough, Mass., Lake Placid in N.Y., Cranberry (on Cape Cod), the Boston Open and Regionals (which will be held in Burlington, Vt.). And of course, beyond Regionals lie Sectionals and Nationals again.
Also appearing this weekend in Falmouth is Heidi Munger, reigning New England Champion and bronze medalist at Eastern Sectionals.
“This year is kind of unique and fun for us,” says Bickerstaff, “because we gained Heidi, due to us having Ross come up, and the friendship between Heidi and Morgan Sewall, who’ve competed against each other for years.”
Sewall, a Scarborough native who graduated last year and is now a freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., is skating as the “club star” this year – not her first time in the role.
Meanwhile, Sophie Lawsure, a senior at Scarborough High School, is a co-captain of the Nor’Easters synchronized skating team, which took third at this year’s Eastern Sectionals.
The show is a fundraiser for the nonprofit club. Proceeds allow the group to enhance and expand their offerings, from Learn-to-Skate to brand new programs, seminars and events. Likewise, the money funds their promotional and community-outreach efforts.
Bickerstaff elaborates: “North Atlantic Figure Skating Club was incorporated in 1998. We operate Learn-to-Skate program classes based off the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills model from September to June each year and have seen growing numbers in the last two years – which is great!”
“We offer a summer camp in July and hold seminars throughout the year,” says Bickerstaff, “and offer year-round club ice for our members. As of Feb. 1, we had 147 club members, which include coaches, associate coaches, associate members, collegiate members, home club members and introductory members.”
The North Atlantic Figure Skating Club, a member of U.S. Figure Skating, can be found online at http://www.northatlanticfigureskating.org. The organization is also searchable on Facebook.
Westbrook’s Julia Curran (alongside Jerosch) was a guest star at the recent Pen Bay Pilot skating show in Rockland. She’ll be performing in Falmouth this weekend.
Julia Curran and Franz-Peter Jerosch, of Yarmouth, pose with their medals, after their placing second at the Junior Nationals pairs competition last year.