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Pair of friends look to outdo each other in last stage of Roller Sports championships

Pair of friends look to outdo each other in last stage of Roller Sports championships

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They've been competing against each other since they could lace up their skates and swoop gracefully around a rink. 

But Emma Gloudeman and Gabbie Permatteo never really became friends until they found themselves sharing a hotel room in Italy during the Figure Skating World Championships last year.

Now Gloudeman, a 17-year-old from California, and Permatteo, 16, from Massachusetts, will look to outdo the other once again during the premier competition at the USA Roller Sports National Championship in Lincoln.

"It's all about the community here," Gloudeman said on Sunday, as figure skaters began practice. "Everybody knows everybody because it's such a weird sport. ... it's like a second family."

Permatteo edged out Gloudeman for the gold medal in the Junior World Class solo championship last year, the second time Permatteo was able to beat her old foe in their nearly 10 years of competing at the national level.

By placing first and second last year, the pair qualified for the world championships in Novara, Italy.

Their rivalry, if you want to call is that, is more of a motivator for both skaters, said Gloudeman's mom and coach, Danielle Storm.

"Having them being together, and so close, pushes them to compete and work harder," Storm said. "It's just makes them better at what they do."

Figure skating will command the final two weeks of the USA Roller Sports National Championships held at Speedway Village. 

This is the second year the venue has hosted the event which draws nearly 4,000 athletes, coaches and staff to compete in five different roller sports disciplines.

Permatteo and Gloudeman have competed in Lincoln for nearly 10 years, dating back to the days at the Pershing Center. 

In figure skating, skaters loop around the rink, tracing a series of patterns from a set of circles painted on the skating surface. 

Judges score skaters on execution of turns and takeoffs and overall posture. 

"It takes a lot of concentration," said Permatteo. "That's what I love about it. There's not really a lot of room for error; you have to be perfect, and I like striving for that."

If the two place first and second again, they will qualify for the world championship, hosted next year in Nanjing, China.

"You don't know what will happen this year," Permatteo said. "But hopefully we'll go back." 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7214 or zhammack@journalstar.com

On Twitter @zach_hammack 

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