2014-10-10 / People

Skater preparing for regional competition

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Samantha Abelson Samantha Abelson KENNEBUNK — Samantha Abelson, 15, of Kennebunk, will compete later this month in the New England Regional Figure Skating Championships in Burlington, Vermont.

Abelson, a sophomore at Kennebunk High School, has been skating since she was 10 in a Learn-to- Skate class in Virginia. “My coach at the time, Max Zavozin, was a world champion in Ice Dance and he inspired my love of skating,” Abelson said.

When she first started, “competitions were fun and exciting.” Yet, as she advanced and got older, competitions became more serious and, naturally, more competitive. “They also became more stressful,” Abelson said. “But I still love to compete and enjoy every second on the ice. As they say, it is ‘The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,’ but it’s still my passion.”

Abelson competes six days a week, yearround. Her practice includes strengthtraining classes on the ice, for which she is coached by Ann Hanson and Matthew Lind.


Samantha Abelson, 15, will represent Kennebunk in the New England Regional Figure Skating Championships later this month in Burlington, Vermont. This is Abelson’s fourth trip to regionals. “I have not made it to Nationals but it’s my goal,” she said. Abelson has been competing since she was 10. (Courtesy photo) Samantha Abelson, 15, will represent Kennebunk in the New England Regional Figure Skating Championships later this month in Burlington, Vermont. This is Abelson’s fourth trip to regionals. “I have not made it to Nationals but it’s my goal,” she said. Abelson has been competing since she was 10. (Courtesy photo) This year marks

Abelson’s first time competing as a novice and her fourth trip to the regional competition, where she will perform routines to two songs, “Fever” and “EspaƱa Cani.”

“Even though I’ve made it to the podium a couple times this year, it has been a tough competitive season as I’ve had to skate through a sprained ankle which set back my training, as I was not allowed to jump,” Abelson said.

Abelson’s prior accolades include representing Maine at the State Games of America in 2011 in San Diego, where she won a gold medal.

Earlier this year, she passed her Senior Moves-inthe Field Test — the highest moves test given by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

With two weeks to go until regionals, Abelson said she is feeling, “a bit nervous, but I am trying to stay focused. I think focus is very important in order to stay in the right frame of mind before a competition. I’m sure next week I will feel more anticipation and excitement for the event.”

Abelson explained a typical regional competition consists of an unofficial practice two days before competition at a nearby rink, followed by a later official practice at the competition rink.

“After the ‘official’ practice I usually meet with my coach, have a last-minute pep talk, stretch and warm-up, and then finish getting my hair and make-up ready,” Abelson said. “The most stressful time is the last hour, before what is called the ‘five minute warm-up,’ in which we have five minutes to skate before we compete.”

Abelson has yet to make it to the national competition, but it is definitely her goal.

When she isn’t skating, Abelson runs for the Kennebunk High School track team. She also enjoys visiting the beach and riding horses, and she is the student volunteer member of the town’s Festival Committee.

The regional competition is Oct. 18- 21. At 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Abelson, along with the other 11 girls from Maine who qualified for regionals, will exhibit her talents at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth.

Want to comment on this story? Visit our website at www.post. mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top