Deering High senior Hope Carroll practices her routine on Monday at Family Ice Center in Falmouth. She is among 11 local skaters who will compete in the New England Regional Singles Challenge in Westborough, Mass.  Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

FALMOUTH — For Hope Carroll, rinks have always provided refuge.

Whether gliding across the frozen surface, leaping and twirling in the air or spinning in place, the Deering High senior exuded grace Monday night in her final dress rehearsal before heading to the New England Singles Challenge later this month in Westborough, Massachusetts.

“Whenever I go on the ice, I feel like all my problems go away,” Carroll said. “I just feel so happy when I skate.”

The North Atlantic Figure Skating Club put on a sequin-filled exhibition Monday night at the Family Ice Center for 10 of the club’s 11 girls who will compete at the regional. Carroll, who first laced up a pair of figure skates at age 3, is heading to her sixth consecutive regional. It’s her first as a Senior skater, having already climbed seven lower rungs of figure skating’s skills ladder.

The other 10 NAFSC skaters competing at the New Englands will do so at Junior (one), Novice (two), Intermediate (five) and Juvenile (two) levels. They range in age from 12 to 18.

Carroll has never advanced from regional to sectional competition, and would need to place at least fourth among the 11 entrants in New England Senior Ladies to continue to the Eastern Singles Final in November in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The last Mainer to win a national medal in singles competition was Scarborough’s Erin Pearl, a bronze in Junior Ladies in 1998.


Emma Siler of Scarborough practices her routine Monday at Family Ice Center in Falmouth. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Two other high school seniors are also headed to the New Englands. Emma Siler of Scarborough will skate Intermediate and Madelin Joseph of Yarmouth Novice.

Siler started skating at 4 and is making her second regional appearance.

“It’s taught me how to persevere when things get hard,” Siler said. “When you fall, when you do awful in a competition, you come back tomorrow and prove to yourself that you can do it.”

Joseph, who started at 10, is also competing in her second regional.

“There’s something so unique about it,” Joseph said. “I can really express who I am through a program. It’s just really fun and I’ve been friends with all these people for a really long time.”

The U.S. Figure Skating Association reshaped its pipeline to national competition this season by expanding qualifying opportunities and allowing scores to carry over. Pairs and ice dance teams often compete apart from singles.


Franz-Peter Jerosch of Yarmouth, who won a national gold medal in Novice Pairs in 2018, has a new partner, his fifth since 2015. Jerosch, 18, and Analise Gonzalez of the Skating Club of Boston placed fourth of five Juniors at the Eastern Sectional Pairs Challenge outside of Philadelphia earlier this month. In November they will compete in Dallas at the Pairs Final Challenge in hopes of advancing to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Hans-Erik Jerosch and Briella Doherty of Portland placed 12th nationally in Juvenile Pairs last winter. They still skate together but he’s concentrating on ice hockey this winter.

As for the three high school seniors who showed off their programs Monday night at Family Ice, more options exist to continue skating. At least 60 colleges now sport figure-skating teams.

Morgan Sewall of Scarborough, a recent graduate of Merrimack College, now skates professionally aboard a cruise ship. Sadie Pressman of Harpswell  is doing a gap year with Disney on Ice. All three current seniors said they hope to continue skating in college.

“Now a lot of the kids leave collegiate (skating) and then they’ll start competing as adults,” said Maryann Carroll, a local skating coach and mom to Hope. “I mean, that’s the goal. You’ve done this your whole youth. Just like you can play pickup basketball or pickup soccer, there should be something for skating as well.”

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