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Young skater flies under radar

Sun., Feb. 12, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For someone who competes at the highest level of her sport, Agnes Zawadzki is surprisingly anonymous as she walks through the halls at Cheyenne Mountain High School. The Indians’ football players draw more attention from other students.

“I have a couple of friends that know about me and my skating, but mostly I keep to myself,” Zawadzki said. “I’m gone out of school so many times that nobody really knows me.”

That’s likely to change as Zawadzki, 17, continues her rise among the ranks of the world’s finest figure skaters. Friday at the World Arena, she took the next step as she took sixth place in the women’s short program at the ISU Four Continents Championships.

Her placing would have been higher but for a fall she suffered during a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination early in her program.

“The fall threw me off, but I feel like I regained my mental focus right back,” she said. “I did a lot of good things after I fell and that is always important.

“The stuff after you fall is what matters.”

She showed that stuff by skating nearly flawlessly the rest of her program.

With 52.87 points, Zawadzki’s probably too far behind the leaders to challenge for a top spot, which she sees as an opportunity to cut loose.

“I don’t have that much pressure on me since I’m not in medal contention,” she said. “I’m going to skate free, not worry about anything and let everything fall into place. I’m going to leave it all on the ice.

“I took that as a learning experience. I feel like the more experiences you have under your belt, the better they are to help you.”

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