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Skater is ready to compete

This coming weekend is the one that Thomson High ice-skater Ashley Frankenfield has been awaiting for several weeks.

It's The Magnolia Open, which is being held on Friday and Saturday at The Cooler in Alpharetta, Ga.

The weekend's event isn't just another weekend on ice, it's the time when dozens of ice skaters come together to showcase their talents. Those performing well before the panel of judges will qualify for the nationals, which are slated for August near Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

"It's huge," exclaimed Ashley, the daughter of Joyce Frankenfield, of Dearing. "I'm so excited. I'm just ready to compete."

She has been preparing for the event for the past two months. She had her last two practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

"I think everything is coming together, nicely," said Ashley during an interview earlier this week with The McDuffie Mirror

Ashley, who skates out of the Augusta Ice Sports Center, will be performing in three different settings -- compulsory, free-skating and a special skit that each skater had to devise.

For the past 71/2 years, Ashley has been coached by Renee Austin, of Augusta.

The 16-year-old junior first will perform her compulsory, which is slated for Friday afternoon. She will then compete in the free-skating event that is set for Saturday.

Her last event at The Magnolia Open is one that she and her mother originally came up with about four years ago. It depicts Ashley in a maid costume, which she designed and her mother sewed.

Ms. Frankenfield has been by Ashley's side since her daughter started skating at the age of 9.

"I greatly appreciate what all she has done," said Ashley.

The skit that she will perform this Saturday afternoon features her skating around in a clumsy way -- pretending as those she is cleaning a house. At one point, she knocks over a chair.

"I like giving the audience as good a performance as I can give them," said Ashley, who also is a starting player on the girls' varsity soccer team at Thomson High School. "If I can give the audience a good performance, then that's good enough for me."

Web posted on Thursday, March 11, 2010

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