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Sun Sentinel (October 25th 2010)

By Craig Davis

Two juniors take gold at regionals

South Florida figure skaters continue to make an impact outside the region as two junior members of the Panthers Figure Skating Club won gold medals at the South Atlantic Regional Championships.

Franchesca Chiera, 12, of Coral Springs, won the intermediate women’s division by a sizable margin and Andrew Torgashev, 9, was first among juvenile boys. Torgashev is the son of Ilona Melnichenko and Artem Torgashev, former members of the Soviet National Team who coach Chiera among other promising juniors at Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs.

The PFSC sent 13 skaters to the regional competition in Raleigh, N.C., and four qualified for junior nationals at Salt Lake City in December.

"I have heard of no other club that has been able to do what we’ve done this year," said Nancy Mariani, director of the PFSC. "We have phenomenal coaches. It’s a team effort all the way down the line."

Also qualifying for junior nationals were Jackie Jablon, 13, who was fourth in intermediate women, and Vanessa Feigenbaum, who placed sixth in juvenile girls. Lindsay Rosenberg was ninth in juvenile girls and is an alternate for junior nationals.

Paolo Borromeo, of Lake Worth and the Skating Club of Florida, finished a close second to Torgashev in juvenile boys and is headed to junior nationals for the second consecutive year. Chiera finished second at the 2009 junior nationals as a juvenile.

Meanwhile, Olympic pairs Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett finished fifth at Nagoya, Japan, in their first grand prix event since relocating to Saveology Iceplex.

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