Aimee Bergeron may be only 12 years old, but she is already a four-time national champion roller skater. Bergeron has been racking up gold medals since she was 8, competing against older girls in figures and loop competition.
On July 24 in Fort Wayne, Ind., Bergeron will try to make it five straight national championships when she competes in the elementary division for girls 12 and 13 years old. Once again, she will be skating against older, more experienced girls. Does she expect to win for a fifth straight time?
"Not really,'' she said. "This is my first year in elementary and I'm skating against older girls. Usually, first-year girls don't win, but I won twice before in my first year, so we'll see.''
Bergeron started skating when she was 41/2 years old. She was a ballet dancer and took to skating pretty much right away.
"She loves to dance,'' said Bergeron's mother, Carol. "I think that's helped her in roller skating.''
Aimee Bergeron said she liked skating because it was a challenge.
"I liked it at first because I didn't know how to do it,'' she said. "I fell down a lot. But I got good at it pretty quick.''
Bergeron, who lives in Bradenton but trains five days a week at Astro Skate in Pinellas Park, worked hard in her first few years to learn how to do figures and skate competitively. She made it through local and regional competition as an 8-year-old and qualified for her first national event.
After the event, when judges announced the winners, Bergeron wasn't even listening for her name. She figured there was no way she would win a medal.
"It was my first year and we just signed up for the experience,'' Bergeron said. "When it was over I took my skates off and we were just hanging around watching the other skaters. We went to eat a funnel cake and they were announcing the winners. And they said, 'First place winner, from Florida, Aimee Bergeron.' I had to put my skates back on. I didn't think I would win.''
She has been winning national titles ever since.
Bergeron qualified for this year's national championships by finishing first in elementary girls figures, elementary girls loops and second in elementary solo dance. The dance part of roller skating is new, and it may take time before Bergeron masters it.
"She was excellent at the figures and loops,'' Bergeron's trainer/coach Cookie Crumbock said. "This year it will be much harder to learn the body movements required in dance. But she certainly has the ability to do it.''
Other Astro Skate members joining Bergeron in Fort Wayne are Bridget Budny, Joseph Budny, Nicole Ogloza, Joseph Ott, Ruth Ross, Samantha West, Ashley Kasprack, Linda Hebert and Fred Wheeler.
The County Golf Association held an individual tournament at Isla Del Sol on June 30. The regular division gross winner was Tom Parsley, who shot 74. The regular division net winner was Fred Kummer, who shot 62. The senior division gross winners were Jim Fannin and Connie Wren, who shot 77s. The senior net winners were Richard Drake and Larry Deavers, who shot 64s. The ladies net winner was Jeannine Wiles, who shot 74.
St. Petersburg's Peachy Kellmeyer was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, R.I., on Saturday. Kellmeyer has worked at the Women's Tennis Association for 38 years, the WTA's first employee in 1973. She is currently the operations executive consultant, overseeing the WTA alumni program, and is on the Fed Cup committee.