THE WRONA SISTERS
The speed-skating sisters from Saginaw were the talk of the town – and the state – in a career which spanned more than three decades. The four Wrona sisters, Helen, Esther, Agnes, and Florence, were all state champions at one time or another. Helen took first in the 220-yard dash and fourth in the mile at the 1938 state tournament in Alpena. In 1940 she shared the state senior title with her sister, Esther, and won the Gold Skates event in the senior 440-yard dash. Esther won the senior women’s title at the 1939 Diamond Derby at Saginaw’s Hoyt Park. In 1955 she won the senior women’s 220-yard dash at the Saginaw Recreational and Junior Chamber of Commerce meet. Agnes was a 17-year-old Saginaw High School junior when she won the Gold Skates event at the 20th annual Gold and Silver Derby in Detroit. Florence was called “Saginaw’s Speed Skating Queen” as she won the 440-yard dash at the 1945 National Outdoor Speed Skating Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota, and placed second overall. Also known as “Saginaw’s Skating Mother,” she won state titles in both 1946 and 1950. Florence defeated Detroit’s widely-heralded North American champion Lorraine Sabbe in an upset victory in the 1948 Michigan Gold Cup meet in Wyandotte. In ’54 she placed second in the North American Speed Skating championship in Pittsfield, Mass. The Wrona sisters began skating in 1936 and Florence was the last to skate in the 1950’s. They dominated women’s speed skating for over 15 years in an era when the sport was an extremely popular outdoor sporting event. Helen A. Wrona was born June 19, 1915 and died April 9, 1964 at the age of 49. Esther Wrona was born November 23, 1917 and married Edmund Slasinski. She died March 1, 1993 at the age of 75. Agnes Wrona was born September 10, 1924 and married Arthur Princinsky. She died April 29, 1956 at the age of 31. Florence Wrona was born January 10, 1927. She is married to Amien A. Carter.