Local skater gains national honors

National titles don’t come down the Ohio Valley pike very often.

A talented Yorkville teen is the exception.

Giovanna Marie Loccisano is now a two-time national figure skating gold medalist. Her most recent national gold medal credential was earned in the figure skating discipline of ice dancing.

She pocketed her initial national gold medal less than a year ago when she successfully completed testing against the highest of eight precision skill levels making up the figure skating discipline of Moves in the Field.

Loccisano had to tackle a more challenging task for her second gold medal, as she was required to successfully meet rigorous national standards for a set group of compulsory ice dance patterns encompassing seven requisite levels and 22 specific dances.

Her ability to meet and exceed those standards was assessed for each dance by a three-person panel of nationally certified judges working as extensions of the United States Figure Skating Association reviewing her demonstrated skills during organized testing sessions.

Loccisano holds other skating credentials and has competed in events from local to regional figure skating events, individually and as a former member of the Pittsburgh based competitive synchronized figure skating team, the Steel City Blades.

The Linsly School student began her skating career as a member of the Wheeling Figure Skating Club under the instruction of the club’s current head coach, former Barnesville resident Kim Sailer, who is also a national and world level adult figure skating champion. She has competed as an individual skater and continues to compete as a pairs team member.

Loccisano does not limit her skating to just competition. She has participated in a number of the popular Symphony On Ice holiday season productions and other skating exhibitions. She has volunteered her coaching skills in support of the Wheeling Figure Skating Club for several years and is planning to return as a member of the club’s professional coaching staff for a second year when the local organization’s season begins at Wheeling Park’s Memorial Ice Rink. Loccisano leads the club’s basic synchronized skating program, which is entering its third season.

Giovanna is the daughter of Jon and Kim Loccisano and the granddaughter of Dom and Jackie Loccisano. She is a member of the Class of 2013 at The Linsly School.


THE BELLAIRE Board of Education Monday made a prudent move in naming Kevin Roseberry as the new high school principal, replacing Steve Romey. Roseberry has been a team player for some three decades in the Big Reds’ school district. The former Bellaire High hoop star has all the ingredients needed for a successful tenure as the new high school boss.

THE BELLAIRE Public Library will host a Belmont County Energy Coalition program Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Seth Albers from Williamsport, Pa. will be speaking about the oil and gas industry and how it affected his town.

KUDOS GO out to the Ohio River Valley Elks Lodge No. 231. The Martins Ferry-based organization presented a stellar Flag Day program Thursday evening in Ferry’s City Park. Several nice talks were given and Boy Scout Troop 62 presented the colors. It was a ceremony worthy of a much better attendance.

WE EXTEND our sincerest congratulations to Warren Hood. The Martins Ferry resident was enshrined Saturday night into the Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame. Hood distinguished himself for his officiating excellence in both basketball and baseball.

THE FOREST HILLS Community Center in West Bellaire has been sold. The Forest Hills Community Association is not releasing details about the successful bidder. But purchaser is local and apparently will continue to rent out the facility for social events. Some five prospective buyers reportedly put in bids for the center.

I LIKE innovative thinking. That is why I like what the Martins Ferry Football Moms are doing. The moms are staging a football clinic for women Saturday. The program will provide basic instruction on the game of football – offense, defense, special teams and rules of the game. Sessions will also focus on injury prevention and recovery, sports nutrition and a panel discussion on recruiting. It is a must for ladies desiring to know more about the gridiron. Details may be found in today’s sports section.

TO ALL dads out there, Happy Father’s Day!

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com