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Latrobe skater Hough wins 5 golds at State Games of America

| Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Jamie Hough of Latrobe won five gold medals at the State Games of America recently.

After an impressive showing at the State Games of America, Jamie Hough of Latrobe plans to step up by joining the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Competing against Ice Skating Institute members, Hough, who turned 11 in June, won five gold medals.

The Ice Skating Institute is more for recreational skaters than U.S. Figure Skating, which includes Olympians and other world-class competitors.

Hough took first place on level FS1 in solo competition, rhythmic hoop and light entertainment spot.

She won freestyle 1 and footwork 1, as well.

Held every two years, the games featured Olympic-style competition between medal winners from state sports festivals across the country. With the Hershey-Harrisburg area serving as host, all Pennsylvania residents were allowed to enter.

The 2015 games will be held in Lincoln, Neb.

Hough is expected to pass a skills test administered by U.S. Figure Skating.

“I'm a little nervous, but moving up is something I'm going to have to do if I want to get better,” said Hough, who will remain a member of the Ice Skating Institute, too.

Bob Mock, the skating director at Center Ice Arena in Delmont, where Hough trains, said Hough is ready for a higher level of competition.

“I've seen this coming for awhile,” Mock said. “She really caught fire last year.

“We'll be escalating her lesson time, with more intricate work coming up.”

Hough skated in Germany for several months before moving with her mother to America five years ago.

After quitting, she returned to skating early last year. She has been a medalist in each of the 10 competitions she entered.

“Jamie was rusty,” skating instructor Alexis Cunningham-Capouellez said. “We had to return to basics with her.”

Hough found life without skating boring.

“I really missed it,” Hough said. “It's fun.

“I enjoy learning jumps and spins. I really like doing spins.”

Mock and Cunningham-Capouellez admire Hough's dedication.

“She's one of the first kids on the rink on Saturday,” Mock said. “She's waiting for me (to arrive).”

“She practices very hard and is always prepared,” said Cunningham-Capouellez, noting she was not surprised by Hough's medal haul at the State Games of America.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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