CLAVERACK–Amara Steenburn, an 8th grader at Taconic Hills, competed last weekend in the 2010 Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid and won three gold medals in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter snowshoe racing events.
Amara competed in the scholastic (12 to 18 years old) division–but the official results (www.empirestategames.org/winter/results/snowshoe.htm) noted that she would have been competitive in the open division (18 to 29 years old.)
Her parents are Gary and Shanda Steenburn, and Amara is following in the snowshoe-prints of her older sister, Samantha, who raced in the three prior state games and won seven gold and two silver medals. Samantha is now a freshman at Union College.
Last year, her first at the games, Amara won a silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m. Over the past year, she also competed for the Glencadia Bullets track team, which participates in the USATF. This helped her refine her running skills. She won gold there in the 200m and 400m at the 2009 USA Track & Field Junior Olympics. (www.usatfadir.org/JuniorOlympicChamps/09jotfadirfinal.htm ).
At Taconic Hills, Amara plays on the modified field hockey, basketball and track teams.
Although track conditions were a bit difficult, with Lanes 1 and 2 the worst, Amara was very well prepared for the snowshoe sprints. For the 100m, she ran in Lane 1 and nearly fell two times, yet managed to surge ahead and win the race. For the 200m, she started in Lane 2 and quickly jumped out to a lead, which carried her through to the finish. For the 400m, again she got out early to the lead and stayed there.
Amara was seeded number 1 in the scholastic division. Seedings are determined by combining a racer’s best qualifying race times at each distance. Amara ran three qualifying races as part of the Corinth Snowshoe Club, competing on Don Monica’s track with her dad as her coach.
She has already begun thinking of track season and hopes to compete at the varsity level this year. Amara plans to compete in the 2011 Empire State Winter Games.