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Empire State Winter Games start with Torch Run

Schroon Lake student and luge competitor ustin Wachowski receives the Empire State Winter Games torch from Denny Allen of ORDA in Elizabethtown.

Schroon Lake student and luge competitor ustin Wachowski receives the Empire State Winter Games torch from Denny Allen of ORDA in Elizabethtown. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Students at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School got an extra dose of physical education as they joined a luger from Schroon Lake to kick off the 32nd annual Empire State Winter Games.

ELCS students Corey Feeley, Patrick Phillips, Louis Scaglione, Julia Cox and Zac Nocca-Bailey were joined by physical education teacher and varsity soccer coach Paul Buehler, his wife Jessica and others as part of the second ESG Torch Run, which started at the Elizabethtown Stewart’s Wednesday, Feb. 1.

“It is nice to have the students involved in an event like this,” ELCS Principal Jennifer Bull said.

Bull read a message before the start of the run, which was led by Justin Wachowski, a Schroon Lake student and member of the U.S. Junior Luge team.

“This is his second year competing in the Empire State Games, and he was happy to be part of the torch run,” said mother Sally Wachowski, a sixth-grade teacher at ELCS.

After brief remarks from Bull, the torch was lit by Denny Allen of ORDA and then handed to Wachowski, who led the runners out of the Stewart’s parking lot and onto the roads.

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Runners carry the Empire State Winter Games torch between Elizabethtown and Keene.

ELCS students Brody Hooper, Savanah Graves, Geeg Dedam, Hugh Howard, Nate Bessette and Zoe Reusser were also set to take part in the run as it advanced.

Now in its second year, the ESWG Torch Run is coordinated by Saranac Lake Village Clerk Kareen Tyler and supported by Stewart’s Shops.

The torch was scheduled to make it to Keene around 11 a.m. and then head towards Au Sable Forks Elementary School after a brief stop, arriving at its final stop for the day between 3 and 3:15 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the run will resume at the Saranac Lake High School at 2:15 p.m., going to the Mount Pisgah Ski Center, Dewey Mountain Ski Center, and then into Lake Placid where it will make its way into the Herb Brooks Arena at the Olympic Center for opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Athletes will relay the torch up Main Street into the arena where the cauldron will be lit to officially open the 2012 Empire State Winter Games.

For more information and complete schedules, visit www.empirestatewintergames.com.

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