• October 25, 2020

Skaters make up for lost time with wins - Odessa American: Local News

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Skaters make up for lost time with wins

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Posted: Friday, October 16, 2020 6:12 pm

For Candice Escamilla and her students, they’ve had to play the waiting game this year to get the opportunity to compete at any skating competition.

During a regular year, they’ll go to at least four different meets.

However, because of COVID-19, Escamilla and her skaters have been sidelined from competition for the majority of this year.

Last week, they finally got that opportunity to take the ice in a tournament for the first time this year when Escamilla along with two of her students, Amanda Acuna and Catherine Holcomb, took part in the Southwest Nine States Championships held last week from Oct. 6-10 in Allen.

Not only was it their first competition of the year, but all three made up for lost time, recording first place finishes in their respective levels.

Escamilla finished first in the Adult Gold Level while Acuna placed first in the pre-free skate level. Holcomb was first in the freestyle 4 level.

“Well, they put in a lot of work,” Escamilla said of Acuna and Holcomb. “When you feel that it’s all coming together at the right moment, there’s no greater feeling in the world.”

For Escamilla, it wasn’t just the first place finishes that stood out but also being able to perform in front of an audience for once.

“With COVID, we have not been able to compete very often so having the opportunity to compete in front of an audience in a big arena was really neat,” Escamilla said. “It was great to get to do that again.”

Escamilla teaches ice skating at the Music City Mall Ice Rink where she is the general manager. She has skated for more than 30 years.

“I started ice skating when I was 8 years old,” Escamilla said. “I’ve been competing for a long time now. Both of these girls have been competing. Catherine (11) has been competing for six years now. Amanda (10) has been with us for a couple of years.”

She said the last competition she took her students to was last November.

For Escamilla, what she loves the most about figure skating is that it combines great athleticism with artistry and musicality.

“Figure skating is the hardest sport that you can try to master,” Escamilla said. “It is very difficult. It’s always challenging. It’s always pushing you to that next level, both artistically and as an athlete. That’s what appealed to me about it. I was able to combine those two art forms and be able to really share a story with people when I skate.”

Getting to see her students do well at last week’s championships was an encouraging sign as Escamilla said the experience from competing in that tournament will be valuable.

“It was a great experience for them and the fact that it was at the Allen Events Center, which is a pretty big stadium,” Escamilla said. “You have the hard practices and to be able to skate cleanly and have that sense of accomplishment. I was very proud of them and the fact that they have experience at that level.”

Their next competition will be Dec. 4-6 at Ice at the Park in Arlington.

Looking ahead to their next tournament, Escamilla says the competition in Arlington will be tougher.

“It’s going to challenge our girls a little bit more,” Escamilla said. “They’re going to have to train a little bit harder. … I’m looking forward to it and it’ll give them a new opportunity and a new skill set. It’s going to push them and that’s good. Hopefully, they’ll come away with another win. That’s always the goal.”

Odessa, TX

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