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Darien Girl Skates To Second Place In Nationals

Emilia Murdock performs an Ina Bauer in her program at nationals, held in Greensboro, N.C., last month. Photo Credit: Contibuted
The podium for Juvenile girls includes, from left, second place, Emilia Murdock; first place, Sophia Chouinard; third place, Jacqueline Lee; and fourth place, Isabella Miller. USFSA awards four medals on its podium at nationals. Photo Credit: U.S. Figure Skating
Emilia with her coaches, Mary Lynn Gelderman and Inese Bucevica. Photo Credit: Contributed
The girls hold up their medals on the on-ice podium. Emilia is at the far left. Photo Credit: Contributed
Emilia leaves the hotel before the competition. Photo Credit: Contributed
Emilia visits the Riedell Skates booth at the event. Photo Credit: Riedell Skates via Twitter
The Juvenile Girls podium for 2015. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- Getting up at 4 a.m. every day to practice has paid off for a 12-year-old from Darien. Emilia Murdock skated to a silver-medal-winning performance in the Juvenile Division at last month's U.S. Figure Skating national championships.

"At nationals, her goal was to put her best program out there in front of a national audience," her mother, Yalin Murdock, said via email. "She  accomplished that, receiving her highest scores of the season 50.01 points."

Emilia competes in the Juvenile Division for the U.S. Figure Skating Association, which offers categories up through senior, the skaters seen competing at the Olympics.

Emilia, a sixth-grader at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, skates every morning in East Meadow, N.Y., with her coach Mary Lynn Gelderman, who also coaches Team USA member Samantha Cesario.

Emilia gets up every day at 4 a.m. to be at the rink in Long Island by 5:30 a.m., her mom said via email. She skates till 8:30 a.m. to be at school back in Connecticut by 10 a.m.

"The teachers and faculty at St. Luke's have been incredible supporting Emilia and creating a flexible schedule so she can remain a full-time student," her mom said.

In addition to her Long Island rink, Emilia also skates at Chelsea Piers New York, Chelsea Piers Connecticut, Terry Conners Rink in Stamford and Dorothy Hamill Rink in Greenwich.

"We are also members and she skates at the New Canaan Winter Club," her mom said.

Emilia is a member of the Skating Club of New York, which has a tradition of awarding a red SCNY jacket to its members who make it to nationals.

"Emilia was most excited for this red jacket after coming in fourth at Easterns and qualifying for nationals," her mother said. "I hope it encourages other young skaters in our area."

Emilia follows in a great tradition of figure skating in Connecticut. Greenwich is the childhood hometown of 1976 Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill.

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