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2016 U.S. Nationals Senior Men

Posted by unseenskaters on January 22, 2016

CHAMPIONSHIP MEN Medalists:
GOLD: Adam Rippon, SC of New York
SILVER: Max Aaron, Broadmoor SC
BRONZE: Nathan Chen, Salt Lake Figure Skating
PEWTER: Grant Hochstein, SC of New York

5-8: Ross Miner, SC of Boston; Alexander Johnson, Broadmoor SC; Timothy Dolensky, Atlanta FSC; Vincent Zhou, Broadmoor SC;
9-13: Sean Rabbitt, Glacier Falls; Daniel Kulenkamp, Coyotes SC of Arizona; Scott Dyer, All Year FSC; Shotaro Omori, Los Angeles FSC; Emmanuel Savary, University of Delaware FSC;
14-19: Sebastien Payannet, Rocky Mountain FSC; Ben Jalovick, University of Delaware FSC; Jimmy Ma, Ice House Of New Jersey FSC; Robert Przepioski, Rochester FSC; Curran Oi, Yale FSC; Eric Stinehart, Skokie Valley SC.

Final & Free Skate results/protocols (Sunday 1/24)

Click here to read Icenetwork’s FS article and click here to view Icenetwork’s FS action photo gallery.
Click here to read Examiner.com’s Men’s FS article.

Short Program official results/protocols (Friday 1/22)

1 Max Aaron, Broadmoor SC 91.83 [49.48 TES / 42.35 PCS] 4S+3T, 3A, 3Lz
2 Ross Miner, SC of Boston 90.90 [47.41 / 43.49] 3F, 3A, 3Lz+3T
3 Adam Rippon, SC of New York 88.01 [44.73 / 43.28] 3Lz+3T step out, 3A, 3F
4 Nathan Chen, Salt Lake Figure Skating 86.33 [47.51 / 38.82] 4S(3turnout), 4T+3T, 3A(hand)
5 Timothy Dolensky, Atlanta FSC 80.01 [42.68 / 37.33] 3A(held on), 3F+3T, 3Lz
6 Grant Hochstein, SC of New York 79.26 [41.65 / 38.61 -1] 4T fall, 3A, 3Lz+2T
7 Alexander Johnson, Broadmoor SC 73.69 [38.48 / 36.21 -1]
8 Vincent Zhou, Broadmoor SC 68.10 [37.81 / 30.29]
9 Sean Rabbitt, Glacier Falls FSC 66.71 [33.74 / 33.97 -1]
10 Shotaro Omori, Los Angeles FSC 63.82
11 Emmanuel Savary, University of Delaware FSC 62.96
12 Scott Dyer, All Year FSC 59.67
13 Daniel Kulenkamp, Coyotes SC of Arizona 56.97
14 Sebastien Payannet, Rocky Mountain FSC 56.10
15 Jimmy Ma, Ice House Of New Jersey FSC 51.95
16 Robert Przepioski, Rochester FSC 49.38
17 Eric Stinehart, Skokie Valley SC 49.11
18 Curran Oi, Yale FSC 48.66
19 Ben Jalovick, University of Delaware FSC 48.16

Click here to read Icenetwork’s SP article and click here to view Icenetwork’s SP action photo gallery.

COMPETITOR PROFILES:

Max Aaron
Age: 23; 2/25/92
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin
Choreographer: Phillip Mills
SP: Puccini’s Nessun Dorma performed by Luciano Pavarotti
FS: Black Swan soundtrack by Clint Mansell (based on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet music)
Notes: He is the 2015 Skate America gold medalist and 2013 U.S. champion.
Link to Max’s Team USA profile He was featured in a Pioneer Press article that was published before the short program.

Nathan Chen
Age: 16; 5/5/99
Hometown: Irvine, CA
Club: Salt Lake FS (UT)
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Nadia Kanaeva
Choreographer: Nadia Kanaeva (SP), Nikolai Morozov (FS)
SP: Michael Jackson medley incl. Smile & Smooth Criminal
FS: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor by Camille Saint-Saens
Notes: He is the 2015 Junior Grand Prix Final champion and a 4-time U.S. champion at the Junior (2012 & 2014) and Novice (2010 & 2011) levels.
Link to Nathan’s Official Website

Timothy Dolensky
Age: 23; 7/18/92
Hometown: Kennesaw/Alpharetta, GA
Club: Atlanta FSC
Training Town: Kennesaw/Alpharetta, GA
Coach: Debbie Prachar, Brittney (McConn) Bottoms, Graham Payne
Choreographer: Brittney (McConn) Bottoms
SP: Cinema Paradiso by Ennio Morricone performed by Josh Groban
FS: Variations on Themes of Chopin by Anze Rozman
Notes: This is his third consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level. He composed, played, and recorded his own short program music for the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons. He was the 2012 U.S. Junior silver medalist and the 2010 U.S. Novice bronze medalist.
Link to Tim’s Team USA profile

Scott Dyer
Age: 24; 3/26/91
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: El Segundo, CA
Coach: Frank Carroll, Robert Taylor
Choreographer: Lori Nichol
SP: Adios Nonino by Astor Piazzolla, La Cumparsita (version by Contursi, Maroni, Rodriguez)
FS: Cinema Paradiso by Ennio Morricone, Siberia (opera) by Umberto Giordano
Notes: He graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in International Relations/Global Business. His highest previous finish in Senior at Nationals was 10th in 2012. He was the 2010 U.S. Junior pewter medalist and a 2-time U.S. Novice pewter medalist (2006 & 2007).

Grant Hochstein
Age: 25; 7/16/90
Hometown: Santa Fe Springs CA
Club: SC of New York
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Peter Oppegard, Karen Kwan-Oppegard
Choreographer: Peter Oppegard (FS), Karen Kwan-Oppegard (SP)
SP: Due Tramonti by Ludovico Einaudi
FS: Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schoenberg: Bring Him Home (Colm Wilkinson), One Day More (2012 film soundtrack)
Notes: This is his seventh consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level with his highest placement being 7th in 2010.
Link to Grant’s Official Website

Ben Jalovick
Age: 22; (M/D/Y) 11/1/93
Hometown: Langhorne, PA
Club: University of Delaware FSC
Training Town: Monument, CO
Coach: Kori Ade, Vincent Restencourt
Choreographer: Irina Romanova, Rohene Ward
SP: Absurdity (from The alone Ranger film soundtrack ) by Hans Zimmer
FS: Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV series) soundtrack by Jeremy Zuckerman
Notes: He placed 11tn in Junior last year.

Alexander Johnson
Age: 25; 5/15/90
Hometown: Minnetonka, MN
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Dickson, Christopher Dean
Choreographer: Tom Dickson (FS), Christopher Dean & Catarina Lindgren (SP)
SP: Trance by Yair Dalal & Al Ol Ensemble
FS: Eleanor Rigby by Paul McCartney, performed by violinist Joshua Bell
Notes: This is his sixth trip to Nationals at the Senior level with his highest finish having been 7th in 2013. He was the 2009 U.S. Junior bronze medalist.
A Minnesota native, he was featured in a Pioneer Press article (includes quotes from Joan Orvis, his first coach in Minnesota, and about why he returned to his Eleanor Rigby FS) and in a Minneapolis Star Tribune article about overcoming his injury, published before the start of Nationals.
Link to Alex’s Official Website

Daniel Kulenkamp
Age: 20; (M/D/Y) 8/6/95
Hometown: Mahtomedi, MN
Club: Coyotes SC of Arizona
Training Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Coach: Doug Ladret
Choreographer: Doug Ladret (FS), Douglas Razzano (SP)
SP: I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
FS: Frank Sinatra medley: I’ve Got the World on a String, What’ll I Do, That’s Life
Notes: He placed 8th in Junior last year. A Minnesota native, he was featured in a Pioneer Press article that was published after the short program. He is a student at Barrett, the honors college at Arizona State University, where he is majoring in computer science.
Link to Daniel’s Official Website

Jimmy Ma
Age: 20; (M/D/Y) 10/11/95
Hometown: Great Neck, NY
Club: SC of New York
Training Town: Hacksensack, NJ
Coach: Nikolai Morozov, Hongyun Liu, Peter Cain (at Nationals)
Choreographer: Nikolai Morozov, Rohene Ward (SP), Jeff Buttle (FS)
SP: Tsunami by DVBBS and Borgeous
FS: Chaconne in G Minor by Tomaso Antonio Vitali / Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor (violin) / Chaconne in G Minor (final section)
Notes: This is his second consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level. He was the 2014 U.S. Junior bronze medalist and 2013 Junior pewter medalist.
Link to Jimmy’s Team USA profile

Ross Miner
Age: 25; 1/24/91
Hometown: Boston, MA
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Boston
Coach: Peter Johansson, Mark Mitchell, Amanda Farkas
Choreographer: Jamie Isley (SP). Lori Nichol (FS)
SP: New York State of Mind by Billy Joel
FS: Who Wants to Live Forever and Too Much Love Will Kill You by Queen
Notes: He is the 2013 U.S. silver medalist and two-time bronze medalist (2011 & 2012).
Link to Ross’ Team USA profile

Curran Oi
Age: 25; 10/19/90
Hometown: Wellesley, MA
Club: Yale FSC
Training Town: New Haven, CT
Coach: Matt Savoie
Choreographer: Matt Savoie
SP: Csardas performed by David Garrett
FS: A Promise to Return (from Battlestar Galactica: Season 2) by Bear McCreary
Notes: He currently is a graduate student at Yale in the Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics department. He last competed at Nationals in 2009 (6th in Senior), then placed 5th at the 2009 Junior World Championships before he went off to college full-time at M.I.T.
Click here to read a Yale Daily News article, “From the lab to the ice” that was published after Nationals.
Link to Curran’s Official Website

Shotaro Omori
Age: 20; 10/23/95
Hometown: La Mirada, CA
Club: Los Angeles FSC
Training Town: Burbank, CA
Coach: Wendy Olson, Amy Evidente
Choreographer: Jeremy Abbott (SP)
SP: Your Song (from Moulin Rouge) performed by Ewan McGregor
FS: Schindler’s List soundtrack (track 8) / Nocturne in C Sharp Minor by F. Chopin
Notes: This is his second consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level. He was the 2013 World Junior bronze medalist and U.S. Junior silver medalist.
Link to Shotaro’s YouTube channel (he is vlogging from St. Paul)

Sebastien Payannet
Age: 21; (M/D/Y) 3/8/94
Hometown: Superior, CO
Club: Rocky Mountain FSC
Training Town: Westminster, CO
Coach: Lou Ann Peterson, Cindy Sullivan
Choreographer: Trina Pratt, Alex Johnson
SP: Romeo &Juliet by Tchaikovsky
FS: Piano Concerto No. 1, Dumka in A major by Tchaikovsky
Notes: This is his second consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level.

Robert Przepioski
Age: 25; 8/25/90
Hometown: Newark, CA
Club: Rochester FSC
Training Town: San Jose, CA
Coach: Richard Alexander, Doug Mattis
Choreographer: Doug Mattis
SP: Saturday Night by Frank Sinatra
FS: Proud of Your Boy by Robert Mauti
Notes: This is his second consecutive trip to Nationals at the Senior level.

Sean Rabbitt
Age: 25; (M/D/Y) 4/8/90
Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA
Club: Glacier Falls FSC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill, Justin Dillon
Choreographer: Justin Dillon (SP), Cindy Stuart
SP: Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saens
FS: Concerto in F for piano and orchestra by George Gershwin
Notes: He made his Team USA international debut this past fall at Autumn Classic in Barrie, Canada, winning the bronze medal. This is his fourth consecutive trip to Nationals, and fifth overall, at the Senior level (his Nationals debut came as a Junior in 2010).
Link to Sean’s Official Website

Adam Rippon
Age: 26; 11/11/89
Hometown: Clarks Summit, PA
Club: SC of New York
Training Town: Los Angeles, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Vera Arutyunyan, Nadia Kanaeva (Derrick Delmore is assisting at Nationals)
Choreographer: Tom Dickson (SP), Jeff Buttle
SP: Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen
FS: The Beatles medley: Because (The World is Round), Get Back, Blackbird, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Notes: He is the 2012 and 2015 U.S. silver medalist.
Link to Adam’s Official Website

Emmanuel Savary
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 1/6/98
Hometown: Newark, DE
Club: University of Delaware FSC
Training Town: Newark, DE
Coach: Jeffrey DiGregorio, Pamela Gregory
Choreographer: Evgeny Platov, Zhanna Palagina
SP: Viejo Aires by Ensemble Nuevo Tango
FS: Reveil by Cirque du Soleil
Notes: This is his Nationals debut at the Senior level. He was the 2009 U.S. Intermediate champion and 2010 U.S. Novice silver medalist.

Eric Stinehart
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 12/11/97
Hometown: Wilmette, IL
Club: Skokie Valley SC
Training Town: Buffalo Grove, IL
Coach: Denise Myers
Choreographer: Paul Wylie, Justin Dillon
SP: Homecoming by Thomas Bergersen
FS: Overture (from The New Picasso) by Jonathan David Sloate
Notes: He qualified for Nationals as an alternate in his first season at the Senior level. He placed 8th in Novice in 2014. He has been accepted at Princeton University for this fall, according to this Chicago area article that was published before Nationals. He is the Principal Violist of his high school’s symphony orchestra, as described in this Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press 1/21/16 article: “There are a lot of brilliant skaters that have done well in school and done well in skating,” [Coach Denise] Myers said. “But to add in that third part … is quite unusual.”
Link to Eric’s Official Website

Vincent Zhou
Age: 15; 10/25/00
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin
Choreographer: Yuka Sato (SP), Justin Dillon (FS)
SP: Crystallize by Lindsey Stirling
FS: The Godfather Trilogy: New Recordings from the Classic Scores performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (original score by Niño Rota)
Notes: He qualified for the JGP Final in his first attempt, placing 4th, after having won 2 JGP silver medals this past fall. He won 3 consecutive national titles in Junior (2013), Novice (2012) and Intermediate (2011).
Link to Vincent’s Official Website
Click here to read Icenetwork’s post-competition article by Lynn Rutherford

Minnesota Morsels: Pierce, Zhou Hungary [Jr. Worlds] bound

Vincent Zhou has always wanted to skate with the big boys.
As a young child skating in Riverside, California, coaches had to practically pull him off the ice to stop him from trying to match older skaters, like 2011 U.S. silver medalist Richard Dornbush, jump-for-jump.
At age 15, he’s still trying. Competing at the Junior Grand Prix Final in Barcelona in December, where he placed fourth, Zhou watched Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernández practice. It filled him with ambition.
“They are absolutely amazing. They have such great technique. They are so in the zone, everything they do — every movement,” Zhou said. “They just really motivated me. I want to be up with them some day, so I just have to start training like them.”
Zhou returned from Barcelona determined to land a quadruple toe loop. Less than a week later, he did.
“I never had a really good triple toe; I never thought I would get a quad toe,” Zhou said. “I tried it, and I got it in four days, which is incredible for a quad.”
“Vincent is a bright spot for U.S. men’s skating,” said Tom Zakrajsek, who has coached the skater at Colorado Springs’ World Arena since last spring. “He has learned so much, so fast. He got the quad salchow at the end of July and then he got the triple axel the third week of October, and he’s learned a quad toe since getting back from Barcelona.”
Zhou showed off many of his newfound skills at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, placing eighth after landing a triple axel in his short program and a triple axel-triple toe loop in his free skate, in addition to a second quad salchow in his free. He had hoped to do even more.
“My first quad salchow, I kind of flipped out of it, so I lost a lot of points for that,” Zhou said. “Otherwise, I skated the free just like I’ve been training it, which was my goal coming into this competition.
“I feel excited, I guess, to have skated like that for my senior debut. Being out there with the big boys is truly inspiring,” he added.
Zhou and U.S. bronze medalist Nathan Chen, who landed a combined six quads in his short program and free skate in Saint Paul, are slated to compete at the 2016 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, March 14-20.
It’s only natural Zhou is making the trip to Hungary with Chen. About 18 months Chen’s junior, Zhou has moved up the ranks a half step behind him. When Zhou won the U.S. novice men’s title in 2012, Chen won his first U.S. junior title. In 2013, Zhou won juniors, defeating Chen. Zhou sat out the following season due to injury, and Chen took the title back.
The two skaters shared the ice briefly when Chen’s coach, Rafael Arutunian, brought his group to train at World Arena prior to the U.S. championships.
“It’s always good to learn from people who have the stuff you don’t,” Zhou said of the experience. “We are really good friends.”
In Hungary, Zhou hopes to show off two or three quads in his Godfather free skate, including a quad toe.
“That’s the plan, because the junior men are so good, they are just like the championship men,” Zakrajsek said. “The field is deep. Doing the quad toe will give Vincent that experience for when he moves up (internationally) to senior.”
“Junior worlds will be my first competition to try (a quad toe). That’s going to be a lot of pressure,” Zhou said. “But I want to do it.”

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2016 U.S. Nationals Senior Ladies

Posted by unseenskaters on January 21, 2016

CHAMPIONSHIP LADIES Medalists:
GOLD: Gracie Gold, Wagon Wheel FSC
SILVER: Polina Edmunds, Peninsula SC
BRONZE: Ashley Wagner, SC of Wilmington (DE)
PEWTER: Mirai Nagasu, Pasadena FSC

5 Tyler Pierce, All Year FSC (< 0.4 point from 4th)
6-12: Bradie Tennell, Wagon Wheel FSC; Hannah Miller, Lansing SC; Karen Chen, Peninsula SC; Courtney Hicks, All Year FSC; Angela Wang, Salt Lake Figure Skating; Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC; Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC;
13-22: Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie; Ashley Cain, SC of New York; Heidi Munger, SC of Boston; Christina Cleveland, Strongsville; Alexie Mieskoski, Columbus FSC; Maria Yang, Peninsula SC; Carly Gold, All Year FSC; Avery Kurtz, Broadmoor SC; Alexis Gagnon, Coyotes SC of Arizona; Elena Pulkinen, Coyotes SC of Arizona.
Final & Free Skate results/protocols (Saturday 1/23)

Click here to read Icenetwork’s FS article and click here to view Icenetwork’s FS action photo gallery.

Short Program results/protocols (Thursday 1/21)
SP Top 12 (and jump notes from protocol):
70.19 Edmunds 38.36 TES / 31.83 PCS (landed 3Lz+3T, 3F, 2A & all + GOEs)
62.50 Gold 30.07 / 32.43 (1Lz, 3F+2T, 2A)
62.45 Pierce 34.54 / 27.91 (3T+3T, 2A, 3Lo)
62.41 Wagner 30.61 / 32.80 -1 (3F+3T<< fall, 2A, 3Lo)
59.64 Nagasu 30.55 / 29.09 (3F(e)+2T, 3Lo, 2A)
58.85 Bell 34.10 / 25.75 -1 (3Lz+3T fall, 3F, 2A)
58.26 Tennell 32.31 / 25.95 (3Lz+3T<, 3F(-), 2A)
57.94 Chiera 33.38 / 24.56 (3F+2T, 2A, 3F & all + GOEs)
57.86 Miller 30.36 / 27.50 (3T+3T<<, 3F, 2A)
55.23 Wang 29.55 / 25.68 (3T+3T-, Rippon 3Lo<, 2A)
54.93 Hicks 30.93 / 26.00 -2 (3F+3T fall, 3Lz fall, 2A)
54.86 Chen 29.07 / 27.79 -2 (3Lz fall, 3Lo fall, 2A)

Click here to read Icenetwork’s SP article and click here to view Icenetwork’s SP action photo gallery.

TEAM PROFILES:

Mariah Bell
Age: 19; 4/18/96
Hometown: Westminster, CO
Club: Rocky Mountain FSC
Training Town: Monument, CO
Coach: Kori Ade, Rohene Ward
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart (SP), Rohene Ward (FS)
SP: StormCry by David Arkenstone
FS: Born on the Fourth of July film soundtrack
Notes: She placed 6th in Senior last year and was the 2013 Junior silver medalist.

Ashley Cain
Age: 20; 7/22/95
Hometown: Coppell, TX
Club: SC of New York
Training Town: Euless, TX
Coach: Peter Cain, Darlene Cain
Choreographer: Scott Brown (FS), Jeremy Abbott (SP)
SP: Skinny Love by Birdy
FS: Bolero for violin & orchestra, performed by Vanessa-Mae
Notes: She placed 14th in Senior last year and dealt with injury last summer. She was the 2012 Junior silver medalist.

Karen Chen
Age: 15; 8/16/99
Hometown: Fremont, CA
Club: Peninsula SC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart, Justin Dillon
SP: Nessun Dorma by Puccini
FS: Les Miserables medley by Claude-Michel Schönberg, incl. On My Own (vocal)
Notes: She won the 2015 U.S. bronze medal in her Senior national debut.

Franchesca Chiera
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 10/8/97
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL
Club: Panthers FSC
Training Town: Coral Springs, FL
Coach: Artem Torgashev, Ilona Melnichenko, Curtis Chornopyski
Choreographer: Ilona Melnichenko, Scott Brown
SP: Nyah (from Mission Impossible 2) by Hans Zimmer
FS: At Last performed by Etta James
Notes: This is her third consecutive Nationals at the Senior level.
Click here to read a Florida article about her that was published before Nationals.

Christina Cleveland
Age: 19; 10/25/96
Hometown: Reston, VA
Club: Strongsville FSC (OH)
Training Town: Monument, CO
Coach: Kori Ade, Rohene Ward, Vincent Restencourt
Choreographer: Rohene Ward
SP: Lonely Heart by Evgeni Sokolovski performed by Bel Suono
FS: Harem performed by Sarah Brightman
Notes: She made her Senior national debut last year.

Polina Edmunds
Age: 17; 5/18/98
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Club: Peninsula SC
Training Town: San Jose, CA
Coach: David Glynn, Nina Edmunds
Choreographer: Rudy Galindo
SP: Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
FS: Gone with the Wind film soundtrack by Max Steiner
Notes: She is 2015 Four Continents champion. In her previous two Nationals at the Senior level she won the silver in 2014 and the pewter last year.
Click here to read a San Jose Mercury News article about her (includes video interview) that was published before Nationals.

Alexis Gagnon
Age: 18; 4/25/97
Hometown: Desert Hills, AZ
Club: Coyotes FSC of Arizona
Training Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Coach: Dawn Piepenbrink-McCosh
Choreographer: Dawn Piepenbrink-McCosh
SP: Vertigogo by Combustible Edison; Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini
FS: La Cumparsita & La Morocha by Boulevard Tango Club
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals. She is the 2015 U.S. Collegiate pewter medalist (Scottsdale Community College).
Click here to read an Arizona Examiner.com article about her that was published before Nationals.

Carly Gold
Age: 20; 8/17/95
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: El Segundo, CA
Coach: Frank Carroll
Choreographer: Scott Brown
SP: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 by Franz Liszt
FS: Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals. She is the fraternal twin of Gracie Gold. Click here to read USA Today article about her and her sister that was published before Nationals.

Gracie Gold
Age: 20; 8/17/95
Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA
Club: Wagon Wheel FSC
Training Town: El Segundo, CA
Coach: Frank Carroll
Choreographer: Lori Nichol
SP: El Choclo by Angel Villoldo
FS: The Firebird by Stravinsky
Notes: She was the 2014 U.S. champion and the silver medalist last year. Her placements at the World Championships (2013-15) were 6th, 5th and 4th.

Courtney Hicks
Age: 20; 12/15/95
Hometown: Chino Hills, CA
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Aliso Viejo/Lake Forest, CA
Coach: Jere Michael, Alex Chang, John Nicks
Choreographer: Jonathan Cassar (SP), Rohene Ward (FS)
SP: The Feeling Begins by Peter Gabriel
FS: Elizabeth: The Golden Age film soundtrack by A.R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong
Notes: She placed 8th in Senior last year. She won her first Senior Grand Prix medal (silver at NHK Trophy) in November 2015.

Avery Kurtz
Age: 18; 12/17/97
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs
Coach: Eddie Shipstad, Catarina Lindgren
Choreographer: Catarina Lindgren
SP: A Day in the Life (The Beatles) by Jeff Beck
FS: Braveheart film soundtrack by James Horner
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals at the Senior level.

Katie McBeath
Age: 21; (M/D/Y) 12/2/94
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Club: Westminster FSC of Erie (PA)
Training Town: Cleveland, OH
Coach: Sally Tasca, Jacqueline Redenshek-Henry
Choreographer: Jacqueline Redenshek-Henry
SP: Sway by The Pussycat Dolls
FS: Cinderella film soundtrack by Nick Murray
Notes: She made her Senior national debut last year.

Alexie Mieskoski
Age: 21; 1/16/95
Hometown: Reynoldsburg, OH
Club: Columbus FSC
Training Town: Columbus, OH
Coach: Damon Allen, Sandy Rucker Straub
Choreographer: Daniil Barantsev
SP: Ana’s Dream by Maksim Mrvica
FS: Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals. She competed at the 2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships (Ohio University).

Hannah Miller
Age: 19; 8/28/96
Hometown: Williamston, Michigan
Club: Lansing SC (MI)
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Kirsten Miller-Zisholz, Nadia Kanaeva, Vera Arutyunyan
Choreographer: Tom Dickson
SP: Arabesque by Benise
FS: Prelude La Boheme Act 1 and Non piangere, Liù (from Turandot) by Giacomo Puccini; Il Pristine (from The Postman film soundtrack by‎ Luis Bacalov‎); Vissi d’arte (from Tosca) by Puccini
Notes: After graduating as valedictorian of her Michigan high school last year, she moved to California for training in June 2015.

Heidi Munger
Age: 19; 8/28/96
Hometown: Worcester, MA
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Boston, MA
Coach: Peter Johansson, Mark Mitchell
Choreographer: Jamie Isley, Cindy Stuart, Mark Mitchell
SP: ABBA’s The Winner Takes it All, covered by Sarah Dawn Finer
FS: Romeo & Juliet medley, including Kissing You performed by Des’ree
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals. Click here to read a Worcester, Mass. article about her that was published before Nationals.

Mirai Nagasu
Age: 22; 4/16/93
Hometown: Arcadia, CA
Club: Pasadena FSC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek
Choreographer: Catarina Lindgren
SP: Demons by Imagine Dragons, covered by Sam Tsui
FS: The Great Gatsby film soundtrack
Notes: She is the 2015 U.S. Collegiate champion (Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs).

Tyler Pierce
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 10/12/98
Hometown: Norco, CA
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart
SP: Voices from the Forest by Paul Spaeth
FS: Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens
Notes: She placed 7th in Senior last year and was the 2014 Junior silver medalist. She left Monument, Colorado to return to her original training location of Riverside, California in late summer/early fall of 2015.
Click here to read Icenetwork’s post-competition article by Lynn Rutherford

Minnesota Morsels: Pierce, Zhou Hungary [Jr. Worlds] bound

Pierce hoping third time’s the charm at junior worlds
Few skaters were happier in Saint Paul than Tyler Pierce, who landed triple-triple combinations in both programs to place fifth.
The 17-year-old from Whittier, California, has gone through a tumultuous season. In the summer of 2014, she left Tammy Gambill’s group in nearby Riverside to train in Monument, Colorado, under Kori Ade. Last August, she returned to Gambill.
“She liked Colorado, but she missed being at home and she missed Riverside, I think,” Gambill said.
Pierce had some solid results in both Riverside and Monument. In 2014, she won the U.S. junior silver medal. In 2015, she placed seventh in U.S. seniors, but her placements at junior worlds were disappointing (14th in 2014, 19th in 2015).
“We had long talks when she first came back (to Riverside) about what the plan was and how we were going to do it,” Gambill said. “She worked with the fitness trainer and ballet teacher; she did mental training, the whole thing. And she just got back on track with technique that maybe she was more comfortable with.”
After competing at the 2015 Golden West Championships in early September, Pierce was assigned to the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International in Barrie, Ontario, where she placed fourth. A pair of bronze-medal finishes at Ice Challenge and Tallinn Trophy followed.
Then, more change: Despite the international medals, Gambill felt Pierce needed a new free skate to really make an impression in Saint Paul. Cindy Stuart came up with “Danse Macabre.”
“People came out to the rink to watch her do the program, and we got great feedback,” Gambill said. “I knew if she hit the jumps, it was going to be a great performance at nationals.”
Pierce obliged, landing six triples, including her first ever triple lutz-triple toe loop combination.
“I had such a rough summer and struggled all season to pull myself up,” Pierce said. “Tammy really helped me overcome that, and I’m happy with how I finished.”
The skater was nominated for a third trip to junior worlds, but she must post minimum technical element scores (TES) in junior international competition prior to the event. She has been assigned to the Bavarian Open in Oberstdorf, Germany, in February, where she will compete shorter junior versions of her programs.
“Cindy is going to fix the short program to make it all junior ready and put in a (triple) flip rather than the loop,” Gambill said. “I think we are going to start training the triple lutz-triple toe in the short program as well. Cindy will also take out the choreographed sequence in the free skate.”
Junior ladies are required to perform a flip in their short programs this season. Pierce’s major mistake in Saint Paul was a fall on that jump in her free skate, but Gambill is not concerned.
“It was her first time trying triple lutz-triple toe in competition, and she nailed it, and she got excited and didn’t really concentrate on the flip,” Gambill said. “She actually has a beautiful flip.”
Bradie Tennell, the 2015 U.S. junior champion, also 17, landed a triple lutz-triple toe in her free skate to place sixth in Saint Paul. She, too, will compete at junior worlds.

Elena Pulkinen
Age: 18; 4/18/97
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ
Club: Coyotes SC of Arizona
Training Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Coach: Karen Gesell
Choreographer: Karen Gesell
SP: Kung Fu Panda: Cello Ascends by The Piano Guys
FS: Nausicaa Valley of the Wind by Joe Hisaishi
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals. She is a freshman neuroscience major at UCLA. Her younger brother Camden competed in the Junior Men’s event earlier this week and was quoted in an article: “Her skating has become more pretty to watch. I’ve noticed she has a factor that draws people in when she skates. Technically, it’s getting there, but she’s a beautiful skater.”

Bradie Tennell
Age: 17; 1/31/98
Hometown: Carpentersville, IL
Club: Wagon Wheel FSC
Training Town: Buffalo Grove, IL
Coach: Denise Myers
Choreographer: Scott Brown
SP: The Storm by Balazs Havasi
FS: Tango in Ebony by Maksim Mrvica
Notes: She is the 2015 U.S. Junior champion.
Click here to read a Chicago article that featured Bradie (and two of her coach’s other students) that was published before Nationals.

Ashley Wagner
Age: 24; 5/16/91
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Club: SC of Wilmington (DE)
Training Town: Los Angeles, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Nadia Kanaeva
Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne
SP: Hip Hip Chin Chin performed by Club des Belugas
FS: Moulin Rouge film soundtrack
Notes: She is the 2015 and three-time U.S. champion.

Angela Wang
Age: 19; 7/30/96
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Club: Salt Lake FS
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Christy Krall, Erik Schultz, Damon Allen, Rachael Flatt, Ryan Bradley
Choreographer: Rachael Flatt (SP), Mark Pillay (FS)
SP: Paint it Black performed by Angele Dubeau & La Pieta
FS: En Aranjuez con tu amor by Joaquin Rodrigo (female vocal)
Notes: She is the 2015 U.S. Collegiate silver medalist (Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs). She won 2 bronze medals in senior international competitions in Salt Lake City and Barrie, Ontario, in the fall of 2015.

Maria Yang
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 4/6/97
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Club: Peninsula SC
Training Town: San Jose, CA
Coach: David Glynn, Lynn Smith, Justin Dillon
Choreographer: Nataliya Tymoshenko
SP: Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet
FS: Pearl Harbor soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
Notes: She is a freshman at Stanford University and the 2015 U.S. Collegiate bronze medalist.

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2016 U.S. Nationals Senior Pairs

Posted by unseenskaters on January 21, 2016

CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS Medalists:
GOLD: Tarah Kayne / Daniel O’Shea, both Southwest Florida FSC
SILVER: Alexa Scimeca, DuPage FSC / Christopher Knierim, Broadmoor SC
BRONZE: Marissa Castelli / Mervin Tran, both SC of Boston
PEWTER: Madeline Aaron, Coyotes SC of Arizona / Max Settlage, Broadmoor SC

5 Jessica Calalang, DuPage FSC / Zack Sidhu, Las Vegas FSC (<2 points from 4th)
6 Erika Smith, SC of New York / AJ Reiss, Los Angeles FSC
7 Jessica Pfund, Southwest Florida FSC / Joshua Santillan, All Year FSC
8 Brianna de la Mora / Maxim Kurdukov, both Texas Gulf Coast FSC
9 Alexandria Shaughnessy / James Morgan, both SC of Boston
10 Cali Fujimoto, Peninsula SC / Nicholas Barsi-Rhyne, Southwest Florida FSC
11 Caitlin Fields / Ernie Utah Stevens, both Indiana World Sk Acad FSC
12 Elizaveta Usmantseva, Los Angeles FSC / Matej Silecky, SC of New York
13 Alyssa McDougal, Birmingham FSC / Paul Schatz, Southwest Florida FSC

Final & Free Skate results/protocols (Saturday 1/23 10 ET start time for first two groups/6 teams; 2:35 pm ET start time for last two groups of 7 teams)

Selected to 2016 Worlds: Kayne/O’Shea (debut), Scimeca/Knierim
Selected to 2016 Four Continents: Kayne/O’Shea, Scimeca/Knierim, Castelli/Tran (debut)
Note: Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (WD from their Senior national debut due to injury; 7th at 2015 Junior Worlds) are nominated for 2016 Junior Worlds (along with the top 2 finishers in Junior)
Click here for USFS’ press release on the Pairs selections and alternates

Click here to read Icenetwork’s FS article and click here to view Icenetwork’s FS action photo gallery.

Short Program results/protocols (Thursday 1/21)
SP Top 7:
69.61 Kayne/O’Shea 37.94 TES / 31.67 PCS
67.35 Scimeca/Knierim 37.37 / 30.98 -1
64.12 Castelli/Tran 34.31 / 29.81
57.47 Aaron/Settlage 32.05 / 26.42 -1
54.20 Pfund/Santillan 30.00 / 24.20
51.09 Smith/Reiss 27.20 / 23.89
50.53 Calalang/Sidhu 27.45 / 25.08 -2

Click here to read Icenetwork’s SP article and click here to view Icenetwork’s SP action photo gallery.

TEAM PROFILES:

Madeline Aaron & Max Settlage
Ages: 21 & 23 ; (M/D/Y) 10/25/94 & 7/1/92
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Dalilah Sappenfield, Larry Ibarra
Choreographer: Julie Marcotte
SP: Hymne a L’amour by Edith Piaf
FS: La Boheme by Puccini
Notes: They are the 2015 U.S. pewter medalists. They withdrew from their one Grand Prix (Cup of China) due to injury and their one international his fall was Tallinn Trophy in November 2015. They teamed up in 2010 at the Novice level.
VIDEO: “Behind the Scenes with Max Settlage, December SKATING Magazine cover artist”

Jessica Calalang & Zack Sidhu
Ages: 20 & 24; (M/D/Y) 2/24/95 & 10/21/91
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Vitaliy Novikov, Pasquale Camerlengo
SP: It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World by Seal
FS: Romeo and Juliet film soundtrack by Nino Rota (with a snippet from Respighi’s Ancient Airs & Dances in the middle)
Notes: They placed 5th in Senior in 2015 and were the 2013 Junior silver medalists. He underwent 2 surgeries last spring (elbow and hip). They teamed up in August 2010 at the Junior level.

Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran
Ages: 25 & 25; (M/D/Y) 8/20/90 & 9/22/90
Training Town: Montreal, Canada
Coach: Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier, Sylvie Fullum (Montreal); Bobby Martin (Boston)
Choreographer: Julie Marcotte
SP: Summertime performed by Bob Walsh, Sylvie Desgroseilliers, Guy Bélanger
FS: Medley of Journey songs, including Don’t Stop Believin’ (instrumental and vocal versions), Open Arms and Any Way You Want It
Notes: They placed 6th in Senior debut in 2015, after having teamed up in June 2014.
Click here to visit their Official Website

Brianna de la Mora & Maxim Kurdukov
Ages: 17 & 25; (M/D/Y) 1/22/99 & 9/28/90
Training Town: Sugar Land, TX
Coach: Val Prudsky, Elena Prudsky
Choreographer: Elena Prudsky
SP: Cry Me a River performed by Michael Buble
FS: Beethoven’s 5 Secrets by OneRepublic
Notes: This is their first year together and her Senior national debut. He previously competed for Russia.

Caitlin Fields & Ernie Utah Stevens
Ages: 20 & 22; (M/D/Y) 9/25/95 & 12/31/93
Training Town: Carmel, IN
Coach: Serguei Zaitsev
Choreographer: Serguei Zaitsev, Shanetta Folle
SP: Hugues Le Bars medley
FS: Don Quixote (ballet) by Ludwig Minkus
Notes: They are the 2015 Junior champions and this is their Senior national debut in their second season together.
Click here to visit their Official Website

Cali Fujimoto & Nicholas Barsi-Rhyne
Ages: 24 & 24; (M/D/Y) 5/4/91 & 12/16/91
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Amanda Evora, Lyndon Johnston, Jim Peterson
Choreographer: Tracy Prussack
SP: Feeling Good by Michael Buble
FS: Bridge Over Troubled Water, duet by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige
Notes: They placed 12th in their Senior national debut in 2015 and relocated from their longtime base in San Jose, CA to Florida for training this season.
They have competed together since the Juvenile level (2001-2002 season) – that’s 15 years! Click here to view their lengthy competitive history listed at the end of their (outdated) profile.

Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea
Ages: 22 & 24; (M/D/Y) 4/28/93 & 2/13/91
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Jim Peterson, Amanda Evora, Lyndon Johnston
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
SP: Take Me To Church” by Hozier (debut at Nationals)
FS: Music of the Night by Andrew Lloyd Webber, duet by Michael Crawford & Barbra Streisand
Notes: They are the 2015 U.S. bronze medalists. They teamed up in April 2012.
Click here to visit their Official Website

Alyssa McDougal & Paul Schatz
Ages: 16 & 24; (M/D/Y) 11/9/98 & 2/22/91
Training Town: Birmingham, AL
Coach: Eric Mumper, Danny Tate
Choreographer: Doug Mattis, Heather Mumper
SP: Gold by Fergus O’Farrell
FS: Far and Away film soundtrack by John Williams
Notes: They placed 7th in Junior in 2015 and this is their Senior national debut. Click here to read an Alabama article published after Nationals.

Jessica Pfund & Joshua Santillan
Ages: 18 & 23; (M/D/Y) 1/9/98 & 2/21/92
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Lyndon Johnston, Amanda Evora
Choreographer: Amanda Evora (SP), Jim Peterson (FS)
SP: Gravity by Sara Bareilles
FS: Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin
Notes: This is their first year together. Her most recent partner was AJ Reiss and his was Olivia Oltmanns (11th in Senior in 2015).
Click here to visit their Official Website

Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim
Ages: 24 & 28; (M/D/Y) 6/10/91 & 11/5/87
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Dalilah Sappenfield, Larry Ibarra
Choreographer: Julie Marcotte
SP: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
FS: Elizabeth: The Golden Age film soundtrack by A.R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong
Notes: They are the 2015 U.S. gold medalists and qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time by winning silver and bronze Grand Prix medals this past fall. They teamed up in April 2012.
Click here to visit their Official Website

Alexandria Shaughnessy & James Morgan
Ages: 23 & 24; (M/D/Y) 9/30/92 & 1/3/92
Training Town: Boxborough, MA
Coach: Bobby Martin, Carrie Wall
Choreographer: Julie Marcotte
SP: Greased Lightning & Born to Hand Jive by Polytel Jacobs
FS: Concerto per il tuo Ricordo by Osvaldo Camahue, performed by the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra
Notes: They were the 2012 U.S. Novice bronze medalists and placed 10th in their Senior debut in 2015. They began competing together at the Intermediate level in the 2009-10 season (this is their 7th season together).
Morgan is writing a blog for IceNetwork this season – click here to read his first blog post and click here for his second blog post.

Erika Smith & AJ Reiss
Ages: 26 & 24; (M/D/Y) 7/26/89 & 2/3/91
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Peter Oppegard
Choreographer: Peter Oppegard
SP: Welcome to Burlesque by Christina Aguilera
FS: Cleopatra by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and David Nixon
Notes: This is their first year together. She last competed at Nationals in 2011 (with Nathan Bartholomay); she was away from competition until this season. He most recently competed at U.S. Nationals with Anya Davidovich (2015 in senior) and Jessica Pfund (2011 & 2012 in junior, 2014 in senior).

Elizaveta Usmantseva & Matej Silecky
Ages: 18 & 21; (M/D/Y) 7/15/97 & 4/15/94
Training Town: Jacksonville, FL
Coach: Daniel Raad, Felicia Zhang, Lynn Smith
Choreographer: John Kerr, Nikolai Morozov, Matej Silecky
SP: Music from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks by Hans Zimmer
FS: Ghost the Musical by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard
Notes: This is their first year together and his first trip to Nationals at the Senior level. He was the 2012 U.S. Collegiate Junior Men’s champion.
She last competed for Ukraine with Roman Talan until Dec. 2014.

——–

Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier (WD)
Notes: USFS states that “Denney and Frazier have resumed training [following right knee surgery on 4/27/15], but have not had adequate time to prepare for the event.”

Gretchen Donlan & Nathan Bartholomay (WD)
Ages: 22 & 26; (M/D/Y) 11/18/93 & 5/18/89
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Jim Peterson, Amanda Evora
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
Notes: USFS states that “Donlan is recovering from labrynthitis rhinitis, a viral infection of the inner ear. The team has not had adequate time to prepare for the event.”

Chelsea Liu & Brian Johnson (WD)
Ages: 16 & 20; (M/D/Y) 12/31/99 & 11/5/95
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Pasquale Camerlengo, Renee Roca
Notes: They withdrew before the SP draw; no official reason issued yet.

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2016 Nationals Junior Dance

Posted by unseenskaters on January 21, 2016

JUNIOR DANCE Medalists:
GOLD: Lorraine McNamara, Peninsula SC / Quinn Carpenter, Washington FSC
SILVER: Rachel Parsons / Michael Parsons, both Washington FSC
BRONZE: Elliana Pogrebinsky, Peninsula SC / Alex Benoit, Skokie Valley SC
PEWTER: Christina Carreira, SC of New York / Anthony Ponomarenko, SC of San Francisco

Final results:
1 McNamara/Carpenter 73.42 (SD) 96.62 (FD) 170.04 (Total)
2 Parsons/Parsons 70.29 (SD) 95.17 (FD) 165.46
3 Pogrebinsky/Benoit 65.98 (SD) 89.96 (FD) 155.94
4 Carreira/Ponomarenko 64.81 (SD) 87.98 (FD) 152.79 (son of Olympic gold, silver & bronze ice dance medalists Marina Klimova & Sergei Ponomarenko)
5 Julia Biechler, SC of Wilmington / Damian Dodge, Peninsula SC 57.82 (SD) 88.56 (4th in FD) 146.38
6 Chloe Lewis, All Year FSC / Logan Bye, SC of New York 136.45
7 Eliana Gropman, Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights / Ian Somerville, Washington FSC 135.44
8 Gigi Becker / Luca Becker, both Washington FSC 126.34
9 Alina Efimova, Peninsula SC / Kyle MacMillan, Washington FSC 113.99
10 Katherine Grosul, SC of Novi / Cameron Colucci, Philadelphia SC & HS 9 52.53 10 59.44 111.97
11 Aya Takai/ Alexander Martin, both Detroit SC 103.37
12 Elizabeth Addas, All Year FSC / Jonathan Schultz, FSC of Southern California 95.28
13 Rebecca Lucas, University of Delaware FSC / Jacob Schedl, Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights 91.08

For Junior team profiles, please visit the Competitors section of Ice-Dance.com’s 2016 U.S. Nationals event website.

RESULTS & PROTOCOLS LINKS:
Junior Final & Free Dance results/protocols (Friday 1/22)
Junior Short Dance results/protocols (Wed. 1/20)

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Junior Free Dance article and click here to view Icenetwork’s Junior FD action photo gallery.
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Junior Short Dance article and click here to view Icenetwork’s Junior SD action photo gallery.
Click here to view Ice-Dance.com’s Junior photo galleries.

Short Dance results:
1 Lorraine McNamara, Peninsula SC / Quinn Carpenter, Washington FSC 73.42
2 Rachel Parsons, Washington FSC Michael Parsons, Washington FSC 70.29
3 Elliana Pogrebinsky, Peninsula SC / Alex Benoit, Skokie Valley SC 65.98
4 Christina Carreira, SC of New York / Anthony Ponomarenko, SC of San Francisco 64.81
5 Julia Biechler, SC of Wilmington / Damian Dodge, Peninsula SC 57.82
6 Eliana Gropman, Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights / Ian Somerville, Washington FSC 57.69
7 Chloe Lewis, All Year FSC / Logan Bye, SC of New York 56.02
8 Gigi Becker, Washington FSC / Luca Becker, Washington FSC 52.78
9 Katherine Grosul, SC of Novi / Cameron Colucci, Philadelphia SC & HS 52.53
10 Alina Efimova, Peninsula SC / Kyle MacMillan, Washington FSC 49.76
11 Aya Takai, Detroit SC / Alexander Martin, Detroit SC 49.03
12 Elizabeth Addas, All Year FSC / Jonathan Schultz, FSC of Southern California 37.88
13 Rebecca Lucas, University of Delaware FSC /Jacob Schedl, Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights 37.73

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2016 U.S. Nationals Junior Men

Posted by unseenskaters on January 20, 2016

JUNIOR MEN Medalists:
GOLD: Tomoki Hiwatashi, DuPage FSC *Happy 16th Birthday today*
SILVER: Kevin Shum, SC of Boston
BRONZE: Aleksei Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC
PEWTER: Paolo Borromeo, Los Angeles FSC

(5th Oleksiy Melnyk, Washington FSC < 3 points from 4th)

RESULTS & PROTOCOLS LINKS:
Junior Men Final & FS results/protocols
Junior Men SP results/protocols

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate article by Mimi McKinnis

Most kids celebrate their 16th birthday by taking their driver’s test or throwing a party.
Tomoki Hiwatashi won a U.S. championship.
And making the moment even sweeter, he did it by landing his opening triple axel, marking the first time he’s ever landed the element in competition.
“I feel really good,” Hiwatashi said. “I made a mistake in my warmup and practiced the triple axel on the wrong side of the ice, so I was really panicking going into the performance. Unfortunately, I know what it’s like to miss that opening jump and need to keep going, so I took a breath and treated it like any other program. Turns out staying relaxed is what works for me.”
In addition to the axel, Hiwatashi, who trains in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with Alexander Ouriashev, completed seven other triple jumps in his Charlie Chaplin-themed free skate, including a triple flip-triple toe in the second half of the program that earned 11.06 points. He was awarded a segment score of 136.83 and finished with a combined total of 202.73.
Wednesday night marked the fourth time Hiwatashi stood on top of a U.S. podium: He also owns national titles in juvenile (2011), intermediate (’12) and novice (’13).
Kevin Shum maintained his U.S. junior ranking from last season, pulling up one spot from the short and securing the silver medal with 187.95 points. He landed six clean triples (three in combination) in his Rachmaninoff free skate, highlighted by a triple lutz-triple toe and a triple loop-double toe-double loop.
“I’m very proud because there have been a lot of changes in my life,” said Shum, who relocated to Boston in July to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and train with Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson. “I didn’t really know what to expect when I took it all on, so being able to adjust to everything, start to settle down and figure out how to train the way I need to — and go to school full time — has been hard, but I’m very happy. I love what I’m doing.”
Aleksei Krasnozhon gave it all he had in his free skate performance to “Bolt” by Dmitriy Shostakovich, fighting his way onto the podium after a seventh-place finish in the short program.
“I just told myself, ‘I’m going to do it for my family, and I’m going to do it for myself,'” said Krasnozhon, who finished fourth in juniors last season. “It was time for me to prove to myself that I am ready to compete. You can’t ever give up.”
Although he fell on a triple lutz and his attempt at a quadruple loop was downgraded, Krasnozhon, who trains in Euless, Texas, with Peter and Darlene Cain, was one of only two men in the event to attempt a quad (the other was Chase Belmontes), and the only one to land two triple axels. He earned 122.25 points for the segment en route to a total score of 176.21.
Paolo Borromeo followed up his bronze-medal finish in this event last year with a fourth-place showing in Saint Paul. His free skate featured a triple flip-triple toe and a triple lutz-double toe-double loop performed after the midway point of the program.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Free Skate action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program article by Mimi McKinnis

During the six-minute warmup Tuesday night, Tomoki Hiwatashi landed a handful of beautiful triple axels. But when it counted, the three-time U.S. champion fell on the element, setting the tone for a mistake-ridden junior men’s short program at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Following the fall on his opening jump, Hiwatashi went on to successfully execute a triple lutz-triple toe combination and a triple flip in his James Brown-themed short. The Illinois-based skater totaled 65.90 points and leads the field by 3.4 heading into Wednesday’s free skate.
Hiwatashi enjoyed success early in his career, winning U.S. titles at the juvenile, intermediate and novice levels from 2011-13. While competing at his first international event, the 2013 Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Mexico City, he suffered a fractured left ankle during one of his practice sessions — an injury that would cost him the chance to go for a fourth straight U.S. title.
“I had sprained it in practice and was off the ice for two weeks while it healed,” Hiwatashi said. “About two months later, I sprained it again. When I fractured it in Mexico, I was off the ice for three months, so that ankle basically kept me out for half the year.”
Hiwatashi returned to competition under the direction of Alexander Ouriashev at the 2015 Midwestern Sectional Championships, where he placed third, before concluding his season with a fifth-place finish in junior at the 2015 U.S. Championships.
This season, Hiwatashi placed fifth and third at his JGP assignments and qualified for these championships by way of a silver medal at the Midwestern Sectional Championships.
“It’s been really hard to fight my way back,” Hiwatashi said. “I’m just trying to do my best right now and come back little by little.”
Tony Lu, who trains in Wilmington, Delaware, with Viktor Pfeifer and Priscilla Hill, faced a similar fate as Hiwatashi. After placing third at the 2015 Eastern Sectional Championships, he withdrew from the ensuing U.S. championships after the six-minute short program warmup.
“My right ankle had been bothering me a couple weeks before, and on the warmup I sprained it again,” Lu said. “Thankfully, I recovered from the injury pretty fast and I’ve been building back ever since. I’ve had some bad weeks, but I’m getting better all the time.”
Although he reduced a planned triple lutz-triple toe into a triple-double, Lu turned in an otherwise clean performance to music from Tears of the Sun, landing a triple flip and an opening triple axel that received positive Grades of Execution from all nine judges. He is in second place with 62.50 points.
Skating to “Invierno Porteño” by Astor Piazzolla, reigning U.S. junior silver medalist Kevin Shum earned 62.28 points, good for third place.
Shum relocated to Boston in July to attend college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and train under coaches Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson.
“College is a lot different from high school, and I had to adjust to college life. Also, going through the rigor of MIT, I had to adjust to that as well,” Shum said. “I’m skating in a new environment and settling down in a new place. That’s all been a big change for me, but I feel like I’m settling down and starting to feel at home in Boston.”
Paolo Borromeo, the 2015 U.S. junior bronze medalist who won the novice title in 2014, rounded out the top four, earning 57.85 points for his “Libertango” short.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Short Program action photo gallery

COMPETITOR PROFILES:

Chase Belmontes
Age: 20; 8/31/95
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin, Drew Meekins
Choreographer: Phillip Mills
SP: La Muerte del Angel by Devich Trio
FS: New World Symphony by Dvorak
SP high score in qualifying season: 59.90 (M3)
FS high score in qualifying season: 99.42 (M4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 159.32 (M3)
Notes: He was 2015 U.S. Junior 10th and the 2014 Junior pewter (4th place) medalist. He placed 9th in his 2015 JGP debut in Courcheval, France.
Official website: http://figureskatersonline.com/chasebelmontes/

Paolo Borromeo
Age: 17; 6/21/98
Club: Los Angeles FSC
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Viacheslav Zagorodniuk
Choreographer: Nadia Kanaeva, Derrick Delmore, Phillip Mills
SP: Libertango by Astor Piazzolla (?)
FS: “Music Mix by various artists” (jungle theme?)
SP high score in qualifying season: 61.00 (SWP1); 58.92 (JGP)
FS score in qualifying season: 115.45 (SWP1); 100.27 (JGP)
Total high score this qual. season: 176.45 (SWP1); 159.19 (JGP)
Notes: He is the 2015 Junior bronze medalist. He placed 11th in the 2015 JGP in Riga, Latvia.

Anthony Boucher
Age: 19; 11/13/96
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Westminster, CO
Coach: Cindy Sullivan, Scott Brown
Choreographer: Scott Brown, Cindy Stuart
SP: Speak Softly Love from The Godfather by Andy Williams
FS: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, performed by Rodrigo y Gabriela
SP high score in qualifying season: 56.57 (SW1); 62.32 (JGP)
FS high score in qualifying season: 120.66 (SW1); 102.01 (JGP)
Total high score in qualifying season: 177.23 (SW1); 164.33 (JGP)
Notes: He is 2015 U.S. Junior 9th and placed 10th in his 2015 JGP debut in Colorado Springs.

Sean Conlon
Age: 19; 8/14/96
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill, Justin Dillon
Choreographer: Justin Dillon, Joey Russell
SP: William Tell Overture
FS: Finlandia by Sibelius
SP high score in qualifying season: 59.49 (P1)
FS high score in qualifying season: 114.11 (P1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 173.60 (P1)
Notes: He relocated to Riverside, California earlier this season. He was U.S. 2014 Novice 7th.

Tomoki Hiwatashi
Age: 16; 1/20/00
Club: DuPage FSC
Training Town: Glen Ellyn, IL
Coach: Alexander Ouriashev, Osadolo Irowa
Choreographer: Olga Ganicheva
SP: I Feel Good by James Brown
FS: Two Little Ballet Shoes and The Chaplin Revue by Chaplin
SP high score in qualifying season: 68.63 (M2); 66.02 (JGP CRO)
FS high score in qualifying season: 104.51 (M2); 131.60 (JGP CRO)
Total high score in qualifying season: 173.14 (M2), 197.62 (JGP CRO)
Notes: He won the bronze at the 2015 JGP in Zagreb, Croatia. He was 2015 U.S. Junior 5th and national champion at the Novice (2013), Intermediate (2012) and Juvenile (2011) levels.

Aleksei Krasnozhon
Age: 15; 4/11/00
Club: Dallas FSC
Training Town: Euless, TX
Coach: Peter Cain, Darlene Cain
Choreographer: Scott Brown
SP: Jam by Michael Jackson
FS: The Bolt by Dmitri Shostakovich
SP high score in qualifying season: 74.11 (M1); 67.53 (JGP POL?)
FS high score in qualifying season: 133.33 (M1); 132.14 (JGP POL)
Total high score in qualifying season: 207.44 (M1); 194.68 (JGP)
Notes: He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and competed there until 2013. He relocated to Texas in 2014 and is the 2015 Junior pewter medalist. He won a bronze in his 2015 JGP debut in Riga, Latvia.

Tony Lu
Age: 17; 11/24/98
Club: North Jersey FSC
Training Town: Wilmington, DE
Coach: Viktor Pfeifer, Priscilla Hill
Choreographer: Nikolai Morozov
SP: Tears of the Sun by Hans Zimmer
FS: Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell
SP high score in qualifying season: 52.89 (E2); 61.69 (JGP POL)
FS high score in qualifying season: 101.53 (E3); 120.57 (JGP POL)
Total high score in qualifying season: 154.42 (E3); 182.26 (JGP POL)
Notes: He withdrew from the 2015 U.S. Junior Men’s event due to injury and has competed 3 times on the JGP from 2014-2015.

Justin Ly
Age: 18; 8/4/97
Club: Salt Lake FS
Training Town: Salt Lake City, UT
Coach: Lisa Kriley
Choreographer: Lisa Kriley
SP: Aquarium by Saint-Saens
FS: Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saens
SP high score in qualifying season: 55.69 (P2)
FS high score in qualifying season: 112.45 (P2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 168.14 (P2)
Notes: He is the U.S. 2015 Novice silver medalist and listed in USFS’ International Selection Pool.

Oleksiy Melnyk
Age: 18; 9/3/97
Club: Washington FSC
Training Town: Reston, VA
Coach: Serguei Kouznetsov, Nataliya Tymoshenko, Tommy Steenberg
Choreographer: Nataliya Tymoshenko, Tommy Steenberg
SP: Ancient Lands by Ronan Hardiman
FS: Thunderball (James Bond film) performed by The John Barry Orchestra and Tom Jones
SP high score in qualifying season: 47.23 (E4); 57.39 (JGP)
FS high score in qualifying season: 111.75 (E1); 113.00 (JGP)
Total high score in qualifying season: 158.98 (E2); 170.39 (JGP)
Notes: He is U.S. 2015 Junior 7th and placed 7th in his 2015 JGP debut in Linz, Austria.

Camden Pulkinen
Age: 15; 3/25/00
Club: Coyotes SC of Arizona
Training Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Coach: Karen Gesell
Choreographer: Karen Gesell
SP: 24 Caprices for Violin by Paganini
FS: The Lone Ranger by Hans Zimmer
SP high score in qualifying season: 53.39 (SWP5)
FS high score in qualifying season: 110.50 (P4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 156.42 (P4)
Notes: He will make her Team USA & international debut at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway (dates).
Click here to read an Arizona Examiner.com article that was published before Nationals.
Click here to read an Arizona Examiner.com article that was published after Nationals.

Yamato Rowe
Age: 16; 2/5/99
Club: Ice House of New Jersey FSC
Training Town: Hackensack, NJ
Coach: Igor Krokavec
Choreographer: Nikolai Morozov
SP: Rap song?
FS: The Addams Family soundtrack by Marc Shaiman
SP high score in qualifying season: 49.68 (E3)
FS high score in qualifying season: 89.76 (E4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 139.44 (E4)
Notes: This is his first trip to Nationals at the Novice or Junior level.

Kevin Shum
Age: 18; 7/3/97
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Boston, MA
Coach: Peter Johansson, Mark Mitchell (Justin Dillon last season)
Choreographer: Karen Kwan-Oppegard, Justin Dillon
SP: Invierno Porteno by Astor Piazzolla
FS: Trio Elegiaque in G minor no. 1 by Rachmaninoff
SP high score in qualifying season: 55.46 (E1); 58.74 (JGP)
FS high score in qualifying season: 104.81 (E2); 104.80 (JGP)
Total high score in qualifying season: 160.27 (E1), 163.54 (JGP)
Notes: He is the 2015 Junior silver medalist. Iin his second JGP season, he placed 9th at 2015 JGP SVK. He is a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Personal Website (designed & maintained by Shum): http://kevinshum.com

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2016 U.S. Nationals Junior Pairs

Posted by unseenskaters on January 20, 2016

JUNIOR PAIRS Medalists:
GOLD: Joy Weinberg, Skokie Valley SC / Maximiliano Fernandez, Miami FSC (Ellenton, FL)
SILVER: Lindsay Weinstein, DuPage FSC / Jacob Simon, Skokie Valley SC (Colorado Springs, CO)
BRONZE: Meiryla Findley / Austin Hale, both Fort Wayne ISC (IN)
PEWTER: Madeleine Gallagher, Detroit SC / Justin Highgate-Brutman, St. Clair Shores FSC (MI)

(5th Jacquelyn Green, Detroit SC / Rique Newby-Estrella, Dallas FSC < 2 points from 4th)

Selected for 2016 Junior Worlds: Weinberg/Fernandez and Weinstein/Simon (along with Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson who withdrew from their Senior national debut due to injury)
Alternate 1 – Gabriella Marvaldi and Cody Dolkiewicz
Alternate 2 – Jacquelyn Green and Rique Newby-Estrella
Alternate 3 – Ai Setoyama and David-Alexandre Paradis

Click here for USFS’ press release on the Pairs selections and alternates for Junior Worlds
Note: Findley/Hale announced their split on their respective Instagram accounts after the competition ended.

RESULTS LINKS:
Junior Pairs Final & FS results/protocols
Junior Pairs SP results/protocols

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program article by Lynn Rutherford

It looks like a Colorado-Florida showdown in junior pairs at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, with just 0.74 points separating teams from the pairs centers in Colorado Springs and Ellenton.
Lindsay Weinstein and Jacob Simon, who train at the World Arena under Dalilah Sappenfield and Drew Meekins, edged in front with a dramatic, near-clean program to Maxime Rodriguez’s “Eleonore,” highlighted by a big throw triple salchow as well as a flowing step sequence done in good unison. They earned 49.54 points.
“The main goal was (to show) projection and emotion, and that’s what we did,” Simon said. “We took it one element at a time, and we’re happy with our performance.”
“We had a little mishap on the pair spin at the end, so we lost about two points,” Sappenfield said. “I thought everything else they did really well. We’ve been working on the maturity and unison of their skating, and I thought that showed.”
The skaters, who finished fourth in juniors last season, moved to Colorado Springs to train in Sappenfield’s group in June 2015. Asked how they like it there, they replied, in unison, “We love it.”
“The altitude is difficult, but it’s good for our training,” Simon said.
“It’s very motivating; when we were in Chicago, we were the only pairs team, so we had nobody to motivate us,” Weinstein said. “But when we train with Alexa [Scimeca] and Chris [Knierim], they’re always on — they always motivate us. So, we try to be like them and skate as fast as them.”
Joy Weinberg and Maximiliano Fernandez showed attitude to spare in their intense short to a medley of “Hernando’s Hideaway” and “La Cumparsita.”
The pair opened with a triple twist and hit a fine throw triple salchow, but Fernandez stumbled on a double flip. Still, their 48.80 points has them in the hunt for gold.
“I have Latin in me and it comes out when I can give it, and I give it in this program,” Fernandez said of the routine, choreographed by their coach, Jim Peterson. “Joy does an awesome job with it as well.”
“I think we did a pretty good job. There were some little things we could definitely have improved upon,” Weinberg said. “I think, for our first time together skating at nationals, we definitely put out a decent program.”
The pair teamed up on Mother’s Day last year, after splitting from their previous partners following the 2015 U.S. Championships.
Weinberg was very complimentary of Peterson and Amanda Evora’s system and has no regrest about moving to Ellenton.
“(It’s) the best decision I’ve ever made. The training facility and the coaches are amazing,” She said. “Plus, I’m here on my own, and I like the independence.”
Kay Bergdolt and Miles Addison, who train in Boxborough, Massachusetts, under Bobby Martin and Carrie Wall, skated an entertaining routine to “Dueling Banjos,” highlighted by a fine back-loop press lift and one of the best back-outside death spirals of the event. They sit third with 46.29 points.
“This was their best short of the season,” Wall said. “They added a Level 4 lift, and we’re really psyched for that.”
Bergdolt and Addison competed in novice pairs at the 2011 U.S. Championships, placing seventh. The North Carolina natives re-teamed in May 2014 and placed eighth in junior pairs last season.
“They stopped skating for a little while together; Miles decided to hang up his skates and try football, and Kay skated singles on her own,” Wall said. “When Kay decided to move up to Boston to go to Boston College, she asked Miles whether he would like to skate pairs again. It was the perfect fit for them to move up north to us.”
Madeleine Gallagher and Justin Highgate-Brutman, who train in the Detroit area under Craig Joeright and Brooke Castile, are fourth with 45.58 points. Their short to the lyrical “Falling Slowly” included the only Level 3 death spiral of the event.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Short Program action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate article by Troy Schwidt

Together less than nine months, Joy Weinberg and Maximiliano Fernandez walked out of the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday afternoon the new U.S. junior pairs champions.
The Florida-based team, which was second after the short program, rallied with a healthy technical program that featured an opening triple twist and high-level lifts — as well as an artistic edge — while performing to the powerful ballet Le Corsaire.
Their score of 139.24 edged that of short program leaders Lindsay Weinstein and Jacob Simon by less than a point.
“We hit some new elements; the triple twist was pretty strong and the throw triple salchow was good,” Weinberg said. “We made some little mistakes that lost us some points, but we are happy overall.”
The only significant error came when Weinberg fell on a throw double loop halfway through the program.
“She hit me on the way up coming around, and I didn’t get out of the way soon enough,” Fernandez said. “But we rallied, kept the momentum going. It’s a new partnership, and we look forward to better things ahead.”
Their coach, Jim Peterson, stressed the importance of including challenging elements in the team’s programs.
“Looking at the international scheme of things, we knew we had to have a triple twist because everyone in the world at the high levels is doing a triple twist — even at the junior level,” Peterson said. “It was important to put that in. In both programs, they hit it well. They also have a side-by-side double axel that they are going to be adding if they are selected for junior worlds.
“The goal, ultimately, is that this team needs to be competitive in a month and a half or two months, and that’s where we are going to be pushing,” Peterson continued. “I think they have what it takes.”
Weinstein and Simon, performing their free skate to music from An American Tail, connected with the audience and finished with the event’s top component marks.
On the technical side, however, they had trouble with their double axels and throw triple salchow.
“We know we can execute it a little bit better, but coming in first in the short and skating a strong program today was really good for them,” coach Dalilah Sappenfield said.
Weinstein said that for this competition, the team stressed the presentation and components side.
“Every competition is something that we can learn from,” Weinstein said. “I think we learned from this that we can focus on both our technical and our components. This time we were really focusing on our components, and I think we achieved our goals. Hopefully in the future, we can do everything to the best of our ability.”
Another new team, Meiryla Findley and Austin Hale, earned the bronze medal with a score of 129.01. The skaters came together last summer simply by chance.
Hale went on a family vacation in Vancouver and decided to skate one day at a local rink. Findley, who lives nearby in Washington state and trains at the same rink Hale visited, wasn’t planning on skating that particular day.
Fortunately, she changed her mind.
“I had my team jacket on from last year, and basically her mom and my dad started talking in the bleachers,” said Hale, who won the junior bronze medal last year with Olivia Allan.
“I wasn’t even expecting to start pairs,” Findley said. “He actually messaged me on social network and asked me, ‘Do you want to try out for pairs?’ I was like, ‘No, I like singles.’ But then my coach now, Alexa Lunin, contacted my mom and talked to her. I just decided to come and have a tryout, and now I love pairs skating.”
Claiming the pewter medal was the team of Madeleine Gallagher and Justin Highgate-Brutman with a score of 120.91.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Free Skate action photo gallery

There are 5 pairs in this field with the required minimum TES for 2016 Junior Worlds: Weinberg/Fernandez, Weinstein/Simon, Rose/Goodpaster, Marvaldi/Dolkiewicz and Green/Newby-Estrella (Liu/Johnson are ISU Junior age-eligible and competing in Senior Pairs here; Findley/Hale have the SP, but not the FS, minimum.)
ISU Junior age-eligible pairs next season: Weinstein/Simon, Rose/Goodpaster, Findley/Hale and Griffin/Civiello.

TEAM PROFILES

Kay Bergdolt & Miles Addison
Ages: 19 & 21; (M/D/Y) 6/5/96 & 4/9/94
Training Town: Boxborough, MA
Coach: Bobby Martin, Carrie Wall
Choreographer: Julie Marcotte, Sheryl Franks, Renee Roca
SP: Dueling Banjos
FS: Pearl Harbor soundtrack
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 61.42 & 103.64 (E5)
Notes: They competed together in North Carolina from the Juvenile level through 2011 Novice Nationals, parted ways for a few years, and re-teamed in Boston in 2014. They placed 8th in Junior last year.

Meiryla Findley & Austin Hale
Ages: 14 & 19; 6/6/01 & 4/28/96
Training Town: Fort Wayne, IN
Coach: Alena Lunin
Choreographer: Alena Lunin
SP: Love theme from The Godfather by Maksim Mrvica
FS: Ange et Diable and Je me Souviens de Nous by Maxime Rodriguez
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 87.56 & 129.64 (M2)
JR international total score: 110.70
Notes: They are a new team this season and won the gold medal in their international debut in Riga, Latvia in Nov. 2015.
She is new to pairs and qualified for Nationals in Novice Ladies both last year and this year: click here to read her recent interview in the Ice Musings blog.

Madeleine Gallagher & Justin Highgate-Brutman
Ages: 17 & 21; 4/1/98 & 6/17/94
Training Town: Bloomfield Hills & St. Clair Shores, MI
Coach: Brooke Castile, Craig Joeright
Choreographer: Brooke Castile
SP: Falling Slowly
FS: Black Hawk Down soundtrack by Hand Zimmer
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 74.68 & 114.04 (M4)
Notes: They are a new team this season.

Cirinia Gillett & Jason Pacini (Withdrawn)
Ages: 15 & 25; 2/16/00 & 4/14/90
Training Town: Coral Springs, FL
Coach/Choreographers: Jeremy Barrett, John Zimmerman, Silvia Fontana
Notes: They are a new team this season and placed 4th at Eastern Sectionals in Nov. 2015 before withdrawing from Nationals.

Jacquelyn Green & Rique Newby-Estrella
Ages: 17 & 20; 10/12/98 & 6/20/95
Training Town: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Coach: Craig Joeright, Ethan Burgess
Choreographer: Massimo Scali
SP: Roxanne by Maga Zoltan
FS: Reaching by Audiomachine, Love Game by Benoit Jutras
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 79.80 & 124.00 (M3)
JR international total score: 110.15
Notes: They are the 2015 Novice bronze medalists. They won the silver medal in their international debut in Riga, Latvia in Nov. 2015.

Megan Griffin & Andrew Civiello
Ages: 13 & 19; 3/11/02 & 1/3/97
Training Town: Scottsdale, AZ
Coach: Doug Ladret, Lara Ladret
Choreographer: Doug Ladret
SP: Dancin’ Dan (Me and My Shadow)
FS: Dream Within a Dream by Hans Zimmer (Hometown Glory by Adele in middle)
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 73.66 & 114.52 (P2)
Notes: They are the 2014 Intermediate champions and placed 6th in Novice last year. Click here to read a local Arizona Examiner.com article about them that was published before Nationals.

Linde LaChance & Kenneth Anderson
Ages: 20 & 20; 6/19/95 & 11/21/95
Training Town: Franklin, TN
Coach: Laura Sanders
Choreographer: Robert Mauti
SP: 16 going on 17 (from The Sound of Music) by Richard Rodgers
FS: Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev and film soundtracks by Nino Rota & Abel Korzeniowski
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 70.08 & 106.78 (M6)
Notes: They placed 9th in Junior last year and qualified as alternates this year. Click here to read a March 2015 feature article about him and his partner (together since 2006; he is an engineering student at Vanderbilt University).

Jessica Lee & Brandon Kozlowski
Ages: 16 & 20; 12/12/99 & 6/21/95
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart, Pasquale Camerlengo
SP: Jump Swing Blues by Rick Krive
FS: La Strada by Nino Rota
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 70.16 & 108.66 (P3)
Notes: They are a new team this season and are included in USFS’ International Selection Pool.

Gabriella Marvaldi & Cody Dolkiewicz
Ages: 15 & 20; 11/1/00 & 2/6/95
Training Town: Mount Laurel, NJ
Coach: Rocky Marval, Isabelle Brasseur
Choreographer: Sinead Kerr, Julie Marcotte
SP: Music from Cirque du Soleil
FS: Titanic soundtrack by James Horner
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 73.34 & 110.74 (E3)
JGP scores: 74.79 (FS) & 115.84
Notes: Marvaldi is the daughter of Olympic and World pair skaters from the U.S. (Marval) and Canada (Brasseur). The pair placed 6th in Junior last year and made their JGP debut this season in CO Springs.

Sarah Rose & Joseph Goodpaster
Ages: 14 & 18; 4/9/01 & 8/21/97
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Jim Peterson, Amanda Evora, Lyndon Johnston
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
SP: Come Fly with Me by Michael Buble
FS: The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack by Danny Elfman
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 75.36 & 121.40 (E2)
JGP scores: 77.24 (FS) &
Notes: They are the 2015 Novice silver medalists and made their JGP debut this season in CO Springs.
They will represent Team USA at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway next month: click here to read a local Florida article on her.

Ai Setoyama & David-Alexandre Paradis
Ages: 15 & 20; 6/17/00 & 5/15/95
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Phillip Mills, Christine Fowler-Binder
SP: Tango from The Addams Family Values soundtrack
FS: I Got Rhythm and An American in Paris soundtrack by George Gershwin
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 77.59 & 114.99 (P1)
Notes: They are a new team this season (he previously competed in Canada) and are included in USFS’ International Selection Pool.

Joy Weinberg & Maximiliano Fernandez
Ages: 19 & 20; 9/20/96 & 9/29/95
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Jim Peterson, Amanda Evora
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
SP: Hernando’s Hideaway/La Cumparsita
FS: Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 75.76 & 122.70 (E1)
JGP high scores: 87.89 (FS) & 136.62
Notes: They are a new team this season and won a silver medal in their 2015 JGP debut in CO Springs.

Lindsay Weinstein & Jacob Simon
Ages: 15 & 18; 2/18/00 & 3/13/97
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Dalilah Sappenfield, Larry Ibarra, Drew Meekins
Choreographer: D. Sappenfield
SP: Eleonore by Maxime Rodriguez
FS: An American Tail soundtrack by James Horner
FS & Total score at Sectionals: 86.56 & 136.78 (M1)
JGP high scores: 88.55 (FS) & 128.55
Notes: They are the 2015 Junior pewter medalists. They relocated from the Chicago area to CO Springs this past summer and competed their second season on the JGP this past fall.

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2016 U.S. Nationals Junior Ladies

Posted by unseenskaters on January 19, 2016

JUNIOR LADIES Medalists:
GOLD: Emily Chan, Dallas FSC
SILVER: Vivian Le, Dallas FSC
BRONZE: Megan Wessenberg, SC of Boston
PEWTER: Rebecca Peng, SC of Boston (training in CO Springs)

(5th Alice Yang, St. Moritz ISC < 5 points from 4th)

START ORDER / RESULTS LINKS:
Junior Ladies Final & FS results/protocols
Junior Ladies SP results/protocols

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate article by Lynn Rutherford

Watching Emily Chan’s lyrical performance to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday, you would never guess the song was far from her first choice for a short program.
“I came to her and said, ‘I want you to skate to Whitney Houston,’ and she said, ‘Nah,'” remembered Olga Ganicheva, Chan’s choreographer. “But I said, ‘No, it will be good.'”
To her credit, Chan changed her mind almost immediately.
“As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to skate to it,” Chan said. “I just felt the emotions with Whitney Houston, and The Bodyguard is an amazing movie. I feel I can perform this program the way it should be performed — to touch people.”
Chan’s performance certainly touched fans at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, as she was given a standing ovation when she finished. The Texas skater, who won the novice crown last season, skated with supreme ease, flowing effortlessly through a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and triple flip as well as a pristine Level 4 step sequence. Her 66.74 points gave her a near 10-point lead over training partner Vivian Le.
“I felt like I needed to focus on the story of the program and not so much the jumps, and that helped keep me calm,” Chan said.
“She is a very mature skater, so of course she can express that kind of dramatic music,” Ganicheva said. “She is 18, and that’s why I picked this music. She can really feel it.”
Le, the pre-event favorite, lost ground when she two-footed her opening triple lutz and failed to complete a planned triple toe loop. Although she hit a fine triple flip and gained Level 4’s for her other elements, she has a lot of ground to make up during Wednesday’s free skate.
“I think I just rushed into the first jump,” the 14-year-old said. “I’m very happy with the rest of my performance. I just forgot about what happened and moved on.
“I have a lot of triples in my free skate tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens,” she added.
Aleksey Letov, who coaches Chan and Le with wife Ganicheva at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Plano, Texas, was surprised by the missed combination.
“She is pretty consistent with that jump, but today it didn’t happen,” he said. “She got a little tilted, and when she put a leg down on the landing, she thought, ‘That’s it, I can’t do [the triple toe].'”
Chan and Le are members of a large group of skaters studying under the husband-and-wife team, including 10 athletes competing in Saint Paul.
“We train every day together,” Le said. “It’s inspiring skating with her, just pushing each other and watching each other so we both keep on going.”
“They are so different, we cannot even compare them,” Ganicheva said. “Different style, different kids — different everything. Emily was more relaxed today. Vivian is a very responsible child; she wants to always do her best, and she was a little rushed in the take-off (of the triple lutz).”
Carly Berrios sits third after a charming program choreographed by Tom Dickson to “Moulin Rouge Suite: III, Waltz” from the 1952 Moulin Rouge film. The graceful, feminine skater showed strong jumps, including a triple flip and triple toe-double toe combination, and earned 53.02 points.
“This was my best short program of the season,” Berrios, 17, said. “I moved to Colorado Springs at the end of February to train with Damon Allen and Christy Krall, and it’s been going really great. I feel like my components have improved, and I even feel like my joy of skating has improved so much.”
“She’s really a joy to teach,” Allen said. “We always say she’s got kind of a little Disney princess face. I thought today she decided to take her time, be patient and pay attention to her patterns. She looked confident from the moment she stepped out there.”
Southern Californian Alice Yang, who trains under Lynn Smith, had a calm, expressive performance to music by the group Secret Garden that included a solid triple flip and stunning layback spin. She is fourth with 51.48 points.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Short Program action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s FS article by Michael Terry

Emily Chan is a late bloomer, at least by figure skating standards.
The 18-year-old Texan competed as a novice for four years, winning the title last season with triple toe loops and triple salchows in her programs. This year, she’s putting triple-triple combinations and triple flips into her programs for the first time.
And that kind of slow but steady progress suits her just fine.
“I feel like learning (jumps) at an older age has given me more consistency with the technique, instead of learning them at a really young age and then going through body changes,” Chan said. “Now, I’m finally ready to improve as a whole: jumps, skating skills and spins. Becoming a whole-package skater is my goal.”
During the junior ladies free skate at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday night, Chan looked like she was well on her way.
Performing with delicacy and speed to Edvin Martin’s “Chopin,” she fell out of the first jump in her opening triple toe-triple toe combination but sailed through her triple flip, triple loop and two triple salchows. The free skate earned 114.09 points, and Chan won the junior crown with 180.83 points, outpacing the field by nearly 15 points.
“I took everything one thing at a time and tried to stay in the moment,” she said.
Chan’s career took off when she moved from Houston three years ago to train in Plano, Texas, under Aleksey Letov and Olga Ganicheva. The coaches oversee a large group of up-and-coming ladies at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter, including Vivian Le, the 14-year-old who placed second to Chan at this event.
“They totally changed the way I train, and they really changed my life,” she said. “I see little girls training just as hard as older girls, and it’s really motivating. We all do it together, and it’s easier to get through the hard training sessions.”
Le, the pre-event favorite, lost her chance at the title after falling on her opening move, an intended triple lutz-triple toe combination. The explosive jumper landed four other triples, including a double axel-triple toe combination and second triple lutz but fell on a triple salchow. She settled for the silver medal with 166.36 points.
“Today was really off,” Le said. “I rushed my lutz, just like I did yesterday (in the short program). It didn’t go well.
“I’m a little surprised and shocked; it’s usually a jump I never miss,” Le continued. “It’s very unfortunate. I guess I was a little uptight. The rest of the program, I really fought for everything.”
Letov was astounded his star pupil missed her best element twice in one event.
“It was nerves — that’s what she needs to work on,” he said. “She has that jump very consistent. I would say, 99.9 percent (of the time) she never misses it, but she missed it here in the short and long.”
The bronze medal went to Megan Wessenberg, who skated an entertaining, near-clean free to music from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita. The Boston skater hit a solid triple loop and triple flip, as well as a double axel-triple toe combination, to earn 103.40 points. She ended with 154.21 points.
“I worked so hard to get here, and I was happy I was able to perform the way I did today,” Wessenberg said. “I think the loop and the flip in the beginning were really good for me, because I haven’t done those yet this year.”
Wessenberg’s coaches, Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, are thrilled with their pupil’s progress since she placed third at Eastern Sectionals in November.
“We’ve always thought Megan was fabulous. The problem was getting Megan to believe she was fabulous,” Mitchell said. “She had a lot of firsts this week: first triple-triple in the short, and the triple loop and double axel-triple toe were new in the long.”
Rebecca Peng claimed fourth place with an expressive program to music from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, hitting two triple flips and a triple lutz. Peng, who moved to Colorado Springs in September to train in Tom Zakrajsek’s group, ended with 146.14 points.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Free Skate action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program article by Lynn Rutherford

Watching Emily Chan’s lyrical performance to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday, you would never guess the song was far from her first choice for a short program.
“I came to her and said, ‘I want you to skate to Whitney Houston,’ and she said, ‘Nah,'” remembered Olga Ganicheva, Chan’s choreographer. “But I said, ‘No, it will be good.'”
To her credit, Chan changed her mind almost immediately.
“As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to skate to it,” Chan said. “I just felt the emotions with Whitney Houston, and The Bodyguard is an amazing movie. I feel I can perform this program the way it should be performed — to touch people.”
Chan’s performance certainly touched fans at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, as she was given a standing ovation when she finished. The Texas skater, who won the novice crown last season, skated with supreme ease, flowing effortlessly through a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and triple flip as well as a pristine Level 4 step sequence. Her 66.74 points gave her a near 10-point lead over training partner Vivian Le.
“I felt like I needed to focus on the story of the program and not so much the jumps, and that helped keep me calm,” Chan said.
“She is a very mature skater, so of course she can express that kind of dramatic music,” Ganicheva said. “She is 18, and that’s why I picked this music. She can really feel it.”
Le, the pre-event favorite, lost ground when she two-footed her opening triple lutz and failed to complete a planned triple toe loop. Although she hit a fine triple flip and gained Level 4’s for her other elements, she has a lot of ground to make up during Wednesday’s free skate.
“I think I just rushed into the first jump,” the 14-year-old said. “I’m very happy with the rest of my performance. I just forgot about what happened and moved on.
“I have a lot of triples in my free skate tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens,” she added.
Aleksey Letov, who coaches Chan and Le with wife Ganicheva at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Plano, Texas, was surprised by the missed combination.
“She is pretty consistent with that jump, but today it didn’t happen,” he said. “She got a little tilted, and when she put a leg down on the landing, she thought, ‘That’s it, I can’t do [the triple toe].'”
Chan and Le are members of a large group of skaters studying under the husband-and-wife team, including 10 athletes competing in Saint Paul.
“We train every day together,” Le said. “It’s inspiring skating with her, just pushing each other and watching each other so we both keep on going.”
“They are so different, we cannot even compare them,” Ganicheva said. “Different style, different kids — different everything. Emily was more relaxed today. Vivian is a very responsible child; she wants to always do her best, and she was a little rushed in the take-off (of the triple lutz).”
Carly Berrios sits third after a charming program choreographed by Tom Dickson to “Moulin Rouge Suite: III, Waltz” from the 1952 Moulin Rouge film. The graceful, feminine skater showed strong jumps, including a triple flip and triple toe-double toe combination, and earned 53.02 points.
“This was my best short program of the season,” Berrios, 17, said. “I moved to Colorado Springs at the end of February to train with Damon Allen and Christy Krall, and it’s been going really great. I feel like my components have improved, and I even feel like my joy of skating has improved so much.”
“She’s really a joy to teach,” Allen said. “We always say she’s got kind of a little Disney princess face. I thought today she decided to take her time, be patient and pay attention to her patterns. She looked confident from the moment she stepped out there.”
Southern Californian Alice Yang, who trains under Lynn Smith, had a calm, expressive performance to music by the group Secret Garden that included a solid triple flip and stunning layback spin. She is fourth with 51.48 points.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Short Program action photo gallery

COMPETITOR PROFILES:

Carly Berrios
Age: 18; (M/D/Y) 9/19/97
Club: Greenville FSC (SC)
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Christy Krall, Damon Allen, Janet Champion
Choreographer: Tom Dickson, Scott Brown
SP: Moulin Rouge Suite: III. Waltz performed by Anthea Kempston
FS: Malagueña (Stanley Black version)
SP high score this qualifying season: 51.11 (SA1)
FS high score this qualifying season: 77.65 (SA3)
Total high score this qualifying season: 128.76 (SA1)
Notes: She was the 2014 Novice pewter medalist. She relocated to Colorado Springs for training in 2015.

Emily Chan
Age: 18; 8/11/97
Club: Dallas FSC
Training Town: McKinney, TX
Coach: Aleksey Letov
Choreographer: Olga Ganicheva
SP: I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
FS: Chopin by Edvin Marton
SP high score this qualifying season: 64.67 (M2); 49.60 (JGP)
FS high score this qualifying season: 105.87 (SW1); 89.28 (JGP)
Total high score this qualifying season: 167.45 (SW1); 138.88 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 6th in her 2015 JGP debut in Bratislava, Slovakia. She is the 2015 U.S. Novice champion.

Anna Grace Davidson
Age: 14; 10/4/01
Club: Salt Lake FS
Training Town: Salt Lake City, UT
Coach: Lisa Kriley
Choreographer: Olga Volozhinskaya
SP: Schifrin and Variations (Mission Impossible 3) by Michael Giacchino
FS: Illumination by Helene Segara (based on Puccini’s E Lucevan Le Stelle)
SP high score this qualifying season: 48.39 (P3) & 41.53 (JGP)
FS high score this qualifying season: 88.34 (P3); 79.60 (JGP)
Total high score this qualifying season: 136.73 (P3); 121.13 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 15th in her 2015 JGP debut in Linz, Austria. She is the 2015 Novice pewter medalist and 2013 Intermediate champion..

Vanna Giang
Age: 16; 11/27/99
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Westminster, CA
Coach: Dianne DeLeeuw-Chapman, Doug Chapman
Choreographer: Doug Chapman
SP: Secrets by Jennifer Thomas
FS: The Island of Secrets soundtrack by Panu Aaltio
SP high score this qualifying season: 57.08 (SWP1)
FS high score this qualifying season: 94.21 (SWP1)
Total high score this qualifying season: 151.35 (SWP1)
Notes: She will make her Team USA & international debut at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway (dates). This is her first trip to Nationals at the Novice or Junior level.

Vivian Le
Age: 15; 7/30/00
Club: Dallas FSC
Training Town: Plano, TX
Coach: Aleksey Letov
Choreographer: Olga Ganicheva
SP: Le vent, Le cri (from The Professional soundtrack) by Ennio Morricone
FS: Nuages en montagne by Pierre Porte
SP score this qualifying season: 67.51 (M1); 61.45 (JGP SVK)
FS score this qualifying season: 114.42 (M1); 114.85 (JGP)
Total high score this qualifying season: 181.93 (M1); 176.30 (JGP SVK)
Notes: She won 2 bronze medals in her 2015 JGP debut season (Bratislava and Colorado Springs). She is the 2015 Junior bronze medalist and 2014 Novice champion.

Brynne McIsaac
Age: 16; 9/6/99
Club: Washington FSC
Training Town: Alexandria, VA
Coach: Shirley Hughes
Choreographer: Shirley Hughes
SP: After Midnight by Danny Elfman and Hot Honey Rag by John Kander (from the Chicago soundtrack)
FS: Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg
SP score this qualifying season: 53.00 (E1); 53.43 (JGP)
FS score this qualifying season: 81.48 (E3); 108.82 (JGP)
Total score this qualifying season: 134.48 (E2); 162.25 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 4th in her 2015 JGP debut in Logrono, Spain. She was 2015 U.S. Junior 7th.

Akari Nakahara
Age: 13; 4/5/02
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Torrance, CA
Coach: Ivan Dinev, Angela Nikodinov
Choreographer: Ivan Dinev, Cindy Stuart
SP: Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni, performed by Lara Fabian
FS: The Mission by Ennio Morricone
SP score this qualifying season: 51.78 (P1); 47.86 (JGP)
FS score this qualifying season: 95.07 (P2); 87.38 (JGP)
Total score this qualifying season: 146.85 (P1); 135.24 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 8th in her 2015 JGP debut in Torun, Poland. She is the 2015 Novice silver medalist.

Rebecca Peng
Age: 16; 2/9/99
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Colorado Springs. CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin
Choreographer: Jamie Isley
SP: Out Here on My Own (from Fame) by Michael Gore, performed by Irene Cara
FS: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (musical) by Herman Hand
SP high score this qualifying season: 56.27 (NE1); 43.90 (JGP)
FS high score this qualifying season: 102.14 (NE1); 79.21 (JGP)
Total high score this qualifying season: 158.41 (NE1); 123.11 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 15th in her 2015 JGP debut in Riga, Latvia. She was U.S. Junior 6th and the 2014 Novice bronze medalist. She relocated to Colorado Springs for training in the fall of 2015.

Shannon Porter
Age: 14; 4/12/01
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO/Albuquerque, NM
Coach: Eddie Shipstad, Barb Shepperson
Choreographer: Tom Dickson
SP: Black Orpheus by the City of Prague Orchestra, Dance of the Headhunters by Tito Puente
FS: La Boheme by Puccini
SP high score this qualifying season: 49.09 (M4)
FS high score this qualifying season: 96.48 (M4)
Total high score this qualifying season: 145.57 (M4)
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals at the Novice or Junior level.
Click here to read a recent article on Shannon and her family in the Albuquerque Journal.

Paige Rydberg
Age: 16; 11/17/99
Club: Northern Ice SC
Training Town: Darien, IL
Coach: Mary Alice Antensteiner
Choreographer: Mary Beth Marley
SP: Bolero (from Moulin Rouge), arranged by Steve Sharples
FS: The Mission soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, Nella Fantasia by Sarah Brightman
SP score this qualifying season: 54.13 (M3); 58.68 (JGP USA)
FS score this qualifying season: 100.91 (M3); 90.44 (JGP USA)
Total score this qualifying season: 155.04 (M3); 149.12 (JGP USA)
Notes: She placed 5th in her 2015 JGP debut in Colorado Springs. She was 2015 U.S. Junior 8th and the 2014 Novice silver medalist.
Click here to read her recent interview in the Ice Musings blog.

Megan Wessenberg
Age: 17; 7/7/98
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Boston, MA
Coach: Mark Mitchell, Peter Johansson
Choreographer: Jamie Isley
SP: I Put a Spell on You by Jay Hawkins, performed by Annie Lennox
FS: Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
SP high score this qualifying season: 47.12 (NE3); 48.90 (JGP)
FS high score this qualifying season: 88.55 (NE2); 91.80 (JGP)
Total high score this qualifying season: 135.67 (NE2); 140.70 (JGP)
Notes: She placed 7th in her 2015 JGP debut in Torun, Poland. She was 2015 U.S. Junior 9th.

Alice Yang
Age: 15; 4/14/00
Club: St. Moritz ISC
Training Town: Oakland, CA
Coach: Lynn Smith
Choreographer: Justin Dillon
SP: Piece by Secret Garden
FS: Music of Ikuko Kawai (Aranjuez)
SP high score this qualifying season: 53.92 (CP1)
FS high score this qualifying season: 97.16 (P1)
Total high score this qualifying season: 145.33 (P2)
Notes: This is her first trip to Nationals at the Novice or Junior level.

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2016 U.S. Nationals Novice Men

Posted by unseenskaters on January 18, 2016

NOVICE MEN Medalists:
GOLD: Eric Sjoberg, Los Angeles FSC (CA)
SILVER: Peter Liu, SC of Wilmington (DE)
BRONZE: Maxim Naumov, Charter Oak FSC (CT)
PEWTER: William Hubbart, Fort Wayne ISC (IN)

RESULTS LINKS:
Novice Men Final & FS results/protocols
Novice Men SP results/protocols
[Note: The unofficial final standings were revised before the medal ceremony to raise Hubbart’s FS score, which bumped him up from 5th to 4th overall. Reportedly his opening 3F+3T was incorrectly called 2F+3T and the final protocol reads 3F+3T.]

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program article by Lynn Rutherford

Eric Sjoberg used an unusual strategy during the novice men’s short program at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Sunday: He didn’t think too much about his jumps.
Skating to a jazzy Big Bad Voodoo Daddy medley, he worried more about his step sequence than the triple lutz-triple toe loop he had planned in the program’s second half.
“I focused more on the footwork because, with this program, I get really insecure, I guess,” the 14-year-old said. “It’s really showy, and I’m not a really showy person, so I was trying to focus more on looking up.”
As it turned out, Sjoberg’s jumps — including a triple flip done very late in the routine — came off without a hitch, and he was the only skater in the event to hit a clean triple-triple combination. Under U.S. Figure Skating’s new scoring rules for novice competitors, he gained three bonus points for the three different triples, boosting his score to 54.53 points.
“I’m very happy,” Sjoberg said. “I decided to do my jumps late because next year in juniors I’m going to have to do the program that way.”
The Maryland native, who now trains in Rafael Arutunian’s group in Artesia, California, is mounting a comeback of sorts. After winning the 2014 U.S. novice silver medal, he dropped to 11th place last season. This is his third time around, and he’s going for gold.
“I was really working on consistency and just doing a lot of programs — not drilling the jumps but making sure they are consistent,”Sjoberg said.
Maxim Naumov sits 1.16 points behind Sjoberg after a clean skate to Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good” that included a triple lutz and triple salchow-double toe loop combination. The outgoing 14-year-old, who trains under dad Vadim in Simsbury, Connecticut, performed with precision and flair, gaining the highest program components scores of the event.
“This is crazy. I’ve been working so hard for this moment,” Maxim, 14, said. “There are going to be ups and downs, but I’m so happy with my performance right now.”
As a budding showman, it’s no surprise Maxim named Yuzuru Hanyu, Evgeni Plushenko and Alexei Yagudin as skaters he reveres. He especially enjoys his father’s stories about how Yagudin trained in Simsbury before winning the 2002 Olympics.
“I honor all three of them,” Maxim said. “Simsbury was (Yagudin’s) place, and now I’m also there, so it’s awesome.”
Vadim is his son’s main coach, but his mom Evgenia Shishkova also lends a hand, as does two-time U.S. ice dance silver medalist Mathew Gates.
“I’m very excited and, mostly, very proud,” Vadim said. “Maxim recently hit a growing period, so we had a rough week before we came here. His body is changing and that makes it a little bit difficult. It was a little nerve-wracking.”
Vadim, the 1994 world pairs champion with Shishkova, never considered pairs for his son.
“We are going to go as far as we can go in singles,” he said. “Plus, I don’t think he will be very tall. The future will tell.”
Peter Liu, who trains under former Austrian champion Victor Pfeifer in Wilmington, Delaware, sits third after a solid program to Robert Rodriguez’s “Guitartown” that opened with a strong triple flip-double toe combination. He brings 52.23 points into the free skate.
“I am really, really happy. It was better than pretty much any short I’ve done all season,” Liu said. “Everything went well. The jumps were there, the spins were there, the skating was there. I just did everything I could to the best of my ability.”
William Hubbart is fourth with 47.46 points after hitting a triple flip-double toe in his short to Bond’s “Winter.”

Click here to view Icenetwork’s SP action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate article by Lynn Rutherford

When he won the 2014 U.S. novice silver medal, Eric Sjoberg was 12 years old, barely 5 feet tall and the youngest skater in the event. But then he grew up — fast.
Last year, a growth spurt contributed to a disappointing 11th-place finish in novice. As late as last summer, Sjoberg wasn’t sure about his 2015-16 campaign.
“I didn’t know if I was going to compete this year,” he said. “There had been so much growth, more than eight inches. I didn’t start really training programs and jumping until maybe July or August.”
Coach Rafael Arutunian encouraged him to give the novice ranks a third try.
“Last year was not successful, because (in 2014) he was second, and basically he wanted to win,” said Arutunian, who trains Sjoberg in Artesia, California. “But he grew up a lot. Two years ago, he was a very tiny guy. This year we hired a very nice guy from Russia, Denis Petrov, and he helped us with off-ice training and strength, for (better) rotation on the ice.”
So Sjoberg decided — belatedly — to compete at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Good thing: At the Xcel Energy Center on Monday, the Maryland native hit every jump in his free skate and won the novice title by nearly 20 points.
Skating with fine speed and flow to a dramatic piano concerto by the late Leonard Pennario, Sjoberg reeled off seven triples, including a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination and another triple lutz. The sparkling program earned 117.15 points and, when combined with his first-place short program, gave him 171.68 points total.
“It was like what I do every day in practice,” Sjoberg said. “I didn’t feel like there was pressure. I think the only pressure is what I put on myself.”
Sjoberg was so tuned in, not even an unscheduled 15-minute break to clean the ice ruffled his composure. That happened when Jun-Hong Chen, skating fourth in the last warmup group, cut his right hand and bled on the ice. (Chen, who placed eighth, received several stitches from on-site medical staff.)
“I was kind of used to it because at regionals somebody’s music didn’t work and they took 30 minutes just fixing the music and then gave us another warmup,” Sjoberg said. “It was kind of like that again, except with blood. I think I did well, considering everything. This win means a lot to me.”
The delay didn’t hurt Peter Liu, either. The skater from Wilmington, Delaware, showed fine musicality and attractive landing positions in his free skate to music from the Frida soundtrack, hitting five clean triple jumps, three in combination. He earned 99.67 points and ended with 151.90.
“I was really nervous before (the break); I was shaking and everything,” Liu, 15, said. “When they announced the ice cut, the pressure was taken away. I could do my stuff again.”
Liu’s coach, Viktor Pfeifer, credits his skater with working extra hard to make up for lost training time following a hip injury earlier this season.
“He had a bad fall, and it took three months to recover,” Pfeifer said. “We couldn’t train the way we wanted to for (Eastern) Sectionals, but now we’re here and he did it.”
The bronze medal went to Maxim Naumov, who landed four clean triples in his free to Jorge Quintero’s “300 Violin Orchestra.” The 14-year-old son of 1994 world pairs champion Vadim Naumov and Evgenia Shishkova skated with musicality and flair, but fell on his opening triple lutz and ended with 148.73 points.
“If you do mess up, it’s OK — it’s not the end,” Naumov said. “No matter what, you keep pushing and go for the rest. The rest of my jumps, and especially the expression, I was focusing as hard as I could to make up for the loss of the lutz.”
William Hubbart landed a triple flip-triple toe combination in his free skate to finish fourth with 142.83 points. Ryan Dunk landed five triples, including a triple lutz-double toe combination, to place third in the free skate and climb from ninth place after the short program to fifth overall.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s FS action photo gallery
Click here to read an interview with Eric Sjoberg published in the Ice Musings blog on 1/14/16.

COMPETITOR PROFILES:

Jun-Hong Chen
Age: 14; (M/D/Y) 4/30/01
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Shin-Juh Chen, Ryan Jahnke
Choreographer: Ryan Jahnke, Damon Allen
SP: Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends by The Piano Guys
FS: Nostradamus by Maxim Mrvica
FS high score in qualifying season: 82.76 (M5)
Total high score in qualifying season: 127.99 (M4)
He was 2015 Intermediate 12th.

Ryan Dunk
Age 15; 10/14/00
Club: Baltimore FSC
Training Town: White Hall, MD
Coach: Christian Conte
Choreographer: Christian Conte, Natalia Jones
SP: Espana Cani performed by orchestra led by Erich Kunzel
FS: Piano Trio 2 & Piano Concerto 3 by Rachmaninoff
FS high score in qualifying season: 101.90 (SA1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 152.48 (SA1)
He was the 2015 Intermediate pewter medalist.

William Hubbart
Age: 17; 1/23/98
Club: Fort Wayne ISC
Training Town: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Coach: Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin
Choreographer: Alena Lunin
SP: Winter by Bond
FS: Rhapsody on a Theme – Caprice 24 by Paganini
FS high score in qualifying season: 102.77 (EGL1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 155.78 (EGL1)
He was 2015 Novice 8th. Also qualified here in Novice Pairs with his sister, Joanna, but they withdrew.

Max Lake
Age: 13; 3/6/02
Club: La Jolla FSC
Training Town: Carlsbad/La Jolla, CA
Coach: Jonathan Cassar, Julie Newman
Choreographer: Jonathan Cassar
SP: Sur le Fil (Amelie soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen
FS: Intro and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor by Saint-Saens
FS high score in qualifying season: 78.94 (SWP3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 127.34 (P3)
He was 2015 Intermediate 7th.

Peter Liu
Age: 15; 10/26/00
Club: SC of Wilmington
Training Town: Wilmington, DE
Coach: Viktor Pfeifer, Ronnie Biancosino
Choreographer: Irina Romanova
SP: Guitar Town (Once Upon a Time in Mexico soundtrack) by Robert Rodriguez
FS: Poeta (flamenco) [Music from the Frida soundtrack?]
FS high score in qualifying season: 90.09 (SA2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 134.54 (SA2)
He was 2015 Novice 6th.

Sasha Lunin
Age: 15; 9/20/00
Club: Fort Wayne ISC
Training Town: Fort Wayne, IN
Coach/Choreographer: Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin
SP: Nostradamus by Maxim Mrvica
FS: Blues for Klook by Eddy Louiss
FS high score in qualifying season: 101.09 (M1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 152.21 (M1)

Maxim Naumov
Age: 14; 8/1/01
Club: Charter Oak FSC
Training Town: Simsbury, CT
Coach: Vadim Naumov, Vladimir Petrenko
Choreographer: Evgenia Shishkova, Mathew Gates
SP: Feeling Good by Michael Buble
FS: 300 Violin Orchestra by Jorge Quintero
FS high score in qualifying season: 98.35 (E2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 152.63 (E1)
His parents were the 1994 World Pairs Champions for Russia.

Mark Sadusky
Age: 17; 2/19/98
Club: St. Moritz ISC
Training Town: Oakland, CA
Coach: Phillip DiGuglielmo
Choreographer: Justin Dillon, Alex Chang
SP: Pure Imagination performed by Josh Groban
FS: Romeo & Juliet 2013 soundtrack by Abel Korzeniowski
FS high score in qualifying season: 77.85 (P4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 125.56 (P4)

Eric Sjoberg
Age: 14; 8/22/01
Club: Los Angeles FSC
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Nadia Kanaeva, Vera Arutyunyan
Choreographer: Nadia Kanaeva, Tom Dickson
SP: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy medley
FS: Midnight on the Cliffs by Leonard Pennario
FS high score in qualifying season: 113.09 (SWP1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 171.01 (SWP1)
He was the 2014 Novice silver medalist and was 11th in 2015.

Ryan VanDoren
Age: 17; 11/17/98
Club: Colonial FSC
Training Town: Boxborough, MA
Coach: Jessica Dupuis, Kristen Weir
Choreographer: Jessica Dupuis
SP: “Air” and “503” (Angels and Demons soundtrack) performed by Joshua Bell
FS: A Day in The Life performed by Jeff Beck
FS high score in qualifying season: 67.12 (NE2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 106.73 (NE2)

Derek Wagner
Age: 16; 2/24/99
Club: Northern Ice SC
Training Town: Buffalo Grove, IL
Coach: Denise Myers, Sandi Delfs
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart, Scott Brown
SP: Forever by Michael W. Smith
FS: Rudy soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith
FS high score in qualifying season: 83.89 (M4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 131.59 (UGL1)

Paul Yeung
Age: 16; 10/1/99
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Simi Valley, CA
Coach: Brianna Weissmann, Bianca Marro-Weissmann
Choreographer: Brianna Weissmann
SP: Music from Indiana Jones by John Williams
FS: Tosca by Puccini
FS high score in qualifying season: 95.37 (SWP2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 145.43 (SWP2)
He was 2015 Intermediate 9th. He finished 8th in Intermediate Pairs here.

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2016 U.S. Nationals Novice Ladies

Posted by unseenskaters on January 18, 2016

NOVICE LADIES Medalists:
GOLD: Haley Beavers, Washington FSC
SILVER: Alexia Paganini, SC of New York
BRONZE: Sierra Venetta, SC of San Francisco
PEWTER: Ashley Lin, Stars FSC of Texas

RESULTS LINKS:
Novice Ladies Final & FS results/protocols
Novice Ladies SP results/protocols

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program event recap article by Michael Terry

Haley Beavers of the Washington FSC holds a five-point lead after skating a clean program in the novice ladies short Sunday morning at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Beavers, who competed second among 11 skaters, scored 52.35 points, 5.15 more than her closest competitor. Skating to “Leningrad” by William Joseph, she connected on an opening triple toe-double toe combination, followed by a triple lutz, and she closed with a double axel. Three of her four jumps received positive Grades of Execution (GOE).
“It’s a great feeling,” Beavers said. “Being in the lead and having a buffer heading into tomorrow helps me calm down. I definitely have more confidence now than before my short program.”
Alexia Paganini, who beat Beavers by almost nine points at the Eastern Sectional Championships, is in second after earning 47.20 for her opening performance.
Skating to “The Carnival of Animals: The Aquarium” by Camille Saint-Saëns, Paganini portrayed a fish that flows with the water. She recovered from a fall on her opening triple toe-triple toe combination with a strong finish highlighted by a Level 4 combination spin and a double axel.
“I’m feeling prepared for tomorrow,” Paganini said. “I’ve got confidence. … My short was better than my warm-up and practice, so I’m definitely happy with how it went and how I’m feeling heading into the free.”
Sierra Venetta sits third after scoring 43.53 points. She started strong, nailing a triple salchow-double toe followed by a Level 4 combination spin. A Level 3 step sequence, a triple loop and double axel later in her Pocahontas program bolstered her total score.
Starr Andrews, who finished just being Venetta at the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships, is in fourth after totaling 42.77 points. She landed her opening triple loop-double toe as well as her double axel but was plagued by a fall on her triple salchow.

Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate event recap article by Michael Terry

Haley Beavers was quick to thank her coaches after she won the novice ladies title at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Monday evening, and with good reason.
Beavers, who finished sixth at last year’s U.S. championships and took silver at the 2016 Eastern Sectional Championships, won both the short program and the free skate in Saint Paul on her way to defeating her closest challenger by eight points.
Skating a Cirque du Soleil-themed program, Beavers executed five triple jumps (two in combination) plus a double axel-double axel sequence performed in the second half of the routine.
“I really wanted to be more consistent and precise,” Beavers said of her preparation. “I didn’t need to have a perfect skate, but I wanted to do the best I can.”
Beavers led silver medalist Alexia Paganini by more than five points after the short program. It was Paganini who bested Beavers at Eastern Sectionals in November.
“I had the same confidence throughout this competition,” Beavers continued. “I know that I’m capable of doing in competition what I do in practice. I have that comfort level.”
Paganini, who skated to “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla, was happy with her effort, scoring 95.68 points in the free skate and 142.88 overall.
“I’m shocked. It’s a surreal feeling,” Paganini said. “I feel really relieved, and I’m happy with how I performed. This has been a really great experience for me.”
Paganini closed her program in strong fashion, landing a triple loop-double toe and a triple salchow-half loop-triple salchow after the halfway point.
Sierra Venetta retained her third-place standing in the free skate to win bronze. She impressed with her spins, all of which earned Level 4 and at least a 0.50 Grade of Execution, and posted the second-highest program components score of the afternoon (37.94).
Sitting sixth after the short program, Ashley Lin moved up one spot in the free skate, and that was good enough to earn the Texan the pewter.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Free Skate action photo gallery

COMPETITOR PROFILES:

Starr Andrews
Age: 14; (M/D/Y) 6/23/01
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Torrance, CA
Coach: Derrick Delmore, Ivan Dinev
Choreographer: Derrick Delmore
SP: The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini and Dream Cheer
FS: Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends by The Piano Guys
FS high score in qualifying season: 86.27 (SWP1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 132.61 (SWP1)

Haley Beavers
Age: 16; 12/26/99
Club: Washington FSC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill, Ronald Ludington
Choreographer: Alexandr Kirsanov, Karen Ludington
SP: Leningrad by William Joseph
FS: Quidam from Cirque du Soleil
FS high score in qualifying season: 83.62 (E2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 128.71 (E2)
She was 2015 Novice 6th.
She reportedly moved her training base from Delaware to Riverside, CA, about five months ago.

Marina Capatina
Age: 14; 12/2/01
Club: Los Angeles FSC
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan (Derrick Delmore by the boards here)
Choreographer: Adam Rippon, Derrick Delmore
SP: Lilies of the Valley by Jun Miyake
FS: Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov
FS high score in qualifying season: 82.07 (P1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 122.00 (P3)

Nhi Do
Age 15; 11/29/00
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Westminster, CA
Coach/Choreographer: Dianne DeLeeuw-Chapman, Douglas Chapman
SP: Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends by The Piano Guys
FS: Beethoven’s Last Night/techno Beethoven medley
FS high score in qualifying season: 81.05 (P2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 127.21 (SWP2)
She was 2015 Intermediate 11th.

Meiryla Findley
Age: 14; 6/6/01
Club: Fort Wayne ISC
Training Town: Fort Wayne, IN
Coach: Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin
Choreographer: Joanne McLeod, Neil Wilson
SP: Bolero performed by Pink Martini
FS: Transcendence by Lindsey Stirling
FS high score in qualifying season: 79.31 (M3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 118.46 (M3)
She was 2015 Novice 12th. She is also competing in the Junior Pairs event with Austin Hale.

Gabriella Izzo
Age: 14; 8/5/01
Club: SC of Boston
Training Town: Brighton, MA
Coach: Suna Murray, Sergey Minaev
Choreographer: Suna Murray
SP: I Will Wait For You (from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) by Michel Legrand
FS: Somewhere in Time soundtrack by John Barry
FS high score in qualifying season: 82.53 (NE2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 123.94 (NE1)

Ashley Lin
Age: 12; 3/12/03
Club: Stars FSC of Texas
Training Town: McKinney, TX
Coach: Sergey Artemov
Choreographer: Anya Artemova, Sergey Artemov
SP: Requiem for a Tower by Clint Mansell
FS: Sandstorm by La Bionda
FS high score in qualifying season: 87.54 (SW3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 134.14 (SW2)
She was 2015 Intermediate 7th.

Mary-Katherine Mulera
Age: 14; 9/13/2001
Club: Washington FSC
Training Town: Reston, VA
Coach: Traci Coleman
Choreographer: Tim Murphy, Nathan Birch
SP: Romance (from Shostakovich’s The Gadfly) by Andrei Rieu
FS: The Portrait by Maurizio Malagnini
FS high score in qualifying season: 68.87 (E5)
Total high score in qualifying season: 111.91 (E4)

Kaitlyn Nguyen (Withdrawn)
Age: 12; 11/14/03
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Sugar Land, TX
Coach: Val Prudsky, Igor Petrov
Choreographer: Trina Pratt, Olga Ganicheva
SP: Hero (from Kung Fu Panda) by Hans Zimmer & John Powell
FS: The Puss Suite by Henry Jackman
FS high score in qualifying season: 89.62 (SW1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 133.74 (M2)

Gabrielle Noullet
Age: 14; 12/14/01
Club: Dallas FSC
Training Town: Plano, TX
Coach: Olga Ganicheva, Aleksey Letov
Choreographer: Olga Ganicheva
SP: Voices from the Forest by Paul Spaeth
FS: Papa Can You Hear Me by John Williams, performed by Itzhak Perlman
FS high score in qualifying season: 88.12 (SW2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 138.51 (SW1)

Alexia Paganini
Age: 14; 11/15/01
Club: SC of New York
Training Town: Hackensack, NJ
Coach: Gllberto Viadana, Michela Boschetto
Choreographer: Michela Boschetto
SP: The Carnival of the Animals: The Aquarium by Saint-Saens
FS: Libertango by Astor Piazzolla
FS high score in qualifying season: 88.57 (E1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 137.56 (E1)
She was 2015 Novice 8th.

Sierra Venetta
Age: 15; 8/9/00
Club: SC of San Francisco
Training Town: Dublin, CA
Coach: Grete Castaneda
Choreographer: Phillip Mills
SP: Colors of the Wind (from Pocahontas) by John Williams
FS: Un bel di vedremo (from Madame Butterfly) by Puccini
FS high score in qualifying season: 85.69 (CP1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 137.12 (CP1)
She was 2015 Intermediate 10th.

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2016 U.S. Nationals Novice Pairs

Posted by unseenskaters on January 18, 2016

NOVICE PAIRS Medalists:
GOLD: Elli Kopmar / Jonah Barrett, both Southwest Florida FSC
SILVER: Isabella Gamez, Los Angeles FSC / Griffin Schwab, SC of New York
BRONZE: Sapphire Jaeckel / Matthew Scoralle, both All Year FSC
PEWTER: Emma Coppess, All Year FSC / Robert Hennings, Los Angeles FSC

2016 RESULTS & PROTOCOL LINKS:
Novice Pairs Final & FS results/protocols
Novice Pairs SP results/protocols

ARTICLES & PHOTOS:
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Short Program article by Michael Terry

Elli Kopmar and Jonah Barrett have only good memories of the U.S. championships.
In their debut at the event last season in Greensboro, North Carolina, they took home the intermediate pairs title, and after finishing first in the short program at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, they’re just a day away from doing the same at the novice level.
The duo, who represent the Southwest Florida FSC and train with Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora, skated a clean program set to Georges Bizet’s “L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2,” earning a segment-best 41.66 points. The program featured a Level 4 lift and a clean throw triple salchow. The team also notched the highest program components mark of the competition.
“This was a really good start for us,” Barrett said. “I know that you can’t win it with the short program, but we’re in a good place now.”
“We can do it,” Kopmar added. “We are both confident, and we just want to skate like we do at home.”
Isabella Gamez and Griffin Schwab are in second after scoring 39.89 for their short. Skating to “Malagueña,” they put together a clean program highlighted by a strong second half that included a throw double salchow, a strong lift and a snappy step sequence. The pair also tallied the second-best program components score of the competition (25.18).
“We just had so much fun,” Gamez said. “It was awesome to be out on that ice. Our goal coming into [the U.S. championships] was to be focused and fierce, and we feel like we did that. We were confident after having some good practices last week, and it showed here.”
Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow, who are coached by Rockne Brubaker and Stefania Berton, sit in third after tallying 37.74 points for their “Stayin’ Alive” short. They received positive Grades of Execution (GOE) on six of their seven elements, including their side-by-side double flips and throw double salchow.
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker are in fourth place with 37.22 points.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Short Program action photo gallery
Click here to read Icenetwork’s Free Skate article by Lynn Rutherford

Elli Kopmar and Jonah Barrett may have phoned home after their winning free skate to John Williams’ E.T. score, but they certainly didn’t phone it in at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Lead coach Amanda Evora wouldn’t permit it. In her mind, connecting moves, crossovers and choreographed steps — all of those “in-betweens” — are just as important as jumps, throws and lifts. The skaters make time for edge and power-stroking classes, as well as sessions with a prima ballerina.
“Moving up as intermediate champions to the novice level, they needed to make their elements more difficult, but the biggest thing I’m on them about is skating skills,” Evora said. “Upgrading the in-between skating makes them look older and more mature.”
Kopmar and Barrett’s skills were on display throughout their free, choreographed by co-coach Jim Peterson. After opening with a solid double twist, Kopmar stood up on a throw triple salchow, landing it on two feet. The second half was highlighted by a Level 4 lift with a pull-through entrance and cartwheel exit, as well as a challenging pairs spin. It added up to 84.47 points, and the team from Ellenton, Florida, took the title with 126.13 points.
“It felt really fun; I felt like we did our best,” Kopmar said. “There is always some stuff you can do better, but that was the best we’ve done all season, so I’m really proud of it.”
Asked what it meant to win a second consecutive U.S. title, Barrett said, “It’s a great feeling and, honestly, it’s one of the few times I don’t know what to say. Novice was really strong this time. There were a lot of good teams, and it was really anyone’s game. Looking at the scores between this year and last, it was a tough group.”
Peterson, who also coaches U.S. bronze medalists Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, relishes the chance to train an up-and-coming pair.
“This is the first team we’ve had in a while that is gradually moving up the ladder in an economical way,” he said. “They are both such strong singles skaters; it enhances their pair quality. Next season, we’re looking to add a triple twist, another triple throw and more difficult lifts.”
Two teams coached by three-time U.S. pairs champions Jenni Meno and Todd Sand in Southern California won the silver and bronze medals.
Skating together since June, Isabella Gamez and Griffin Schwab skated a spirited free to music from West Side Story, highlighted by the team’s strong musicality and Gamez’s fine landings on double throws. They placed second with 117.70 points.
“I love acting; I like to be Maria and he does a good job being Tony,” the effervescent Gamez said. “On and off the ice, we have a good relationship, so it’s not that hard to act our roles.”
“They are super fun to teach, because all the energy you’re seeing here right now from Isabella is what she brings to the rink every day,” Meno said. “This is her first year doing pairs and her first nationals.”
Sapphire Jaeckel and Matthew Scoralle grabbed third place with a charming program to music from Kung Fu Panda that featured fine lifts. They climbed from sixth place after the short to win bronze with 113.69 points.
“It went very clean. Everything went exactly how we wanted it to go — no slip-ups,” Scoralle said. “We wanted to get our levels, and we did today. I’m just super happy it went well. Our stamina was a lot better.”
“I’m just really proud of all the accomplishments we made this season,” Jaeckel said. “I’m so happy with our skate; it’s 20 more points than last year, and I feel like we just performed our hearts out.”
Emma Coppess and Robert Hennings, who are coached by Peter Oppegard in Artesia, California, placed third in the free skate to climb from seventh place after the short to fourth overall.

Click here to view Icenetwork’s Free Skate action photo gallery

TEAM PROFILES:

Emma Coppess & Robert Hennings
Ages: 13 & 19; (M/D/Y) 5/5/02 & 10/9/96
Training Town: Artesia, CA
Coach/Choreographer: Peter Oppegard
SP: Story of my Life by The Piano Guys
FS: Silent Film Piano Adventure Theme by Craig Riley
FS high score in qualifying season: 72.08 (P3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 104.57 (P3)
Notes: She is new to pairs; his previous partners were Elise Middleton (until 2013), Jessica Lee (2013-14).

Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker
Ages: 15 & 19; 3/21/00 & 3/2/96
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Dailah Sappenfield
Choreographer: Drew Meekins
SP: Once Upon a December
FS: Rose Adagio (from Sleeping Beauty) by Tchaikovsky
FS high score in qualifying season: 75.75 (P1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 111.41 (P1)
Notes: Both reportedly are new to pairs.

Katherina Frantz & Nicolas Frantz
Ages: 14 & 16; 8/16/01; 10/13/99
Training Town: Mount Laurel, NJ
Coach: Gisele Frantz, Isabelle Brasseur, Rocky Marval
Choreographer: Gisele Frantz
SP: Magica Fortuna by Highland
FS: Granada by Andre Rieu
FS high score in qualifying season: 67.98 (E2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 98.49 (E2)
Notes: They were 2014 Juvenile 7th.

Isabella Gamez & Griffin Schwab
Ages: 16 & 19; 2/1/99 & 6/28/96
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Phillip Mills, Christine Fowler-Binder
SP: Malagueña by Lecuona
FS: West Side Story by Bernstein
FS high score in qualifying season: 72.22 (P2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 106.49 (P2)
Notes: She is new to pairs; he was 2015 Novice 5th with Darbie Burke.

Joanna Hubbart & William Hubbart (WD)
Ages: 16 & 17; 1/25/99 & 1/23/98
Training Town: Fort Wayne, IN
Coach: Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin
Choreographer: Alena Lunin
SP: Piano Concerto no. 1 by Tchaikovsky
FS: Rachmaninoff medley
Notes: They were the 2015 Intermediate bronze medalists. They have withdrawn from Nationals; he is competing in 2016 Novice Men.

Sapphire Jaeckel & Matthew Scoralle
Ages: 14 & 18; 7/30/01; 4/29/97
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, CA
Coach: Todd Sand, Jenni Meno
Choreographer: Peter Kongkasem, Christine Fowler-Binder
SP: Sound of Music medley
FS: Kung Fu Panda soundtrack by Hans Zimmer & John Powell
FS high score in qualifying season: 70.11 (P4)
Total high score in qualifying season: 102.86 (P4)
Notes: They were 2015 Novice 9th.

Annabel & Jonathan Kim
Ages: 12 & 18; 7/4/03 & 6/10/97
Training Town: Mount Laurel, NJ
Coach: Rocky Marval, Gennadi Krasnitski, Elena Pavlova
Choreographer: Sinead Kerr
SP: I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin
FS: Hava Nagila by A.Z. Idelsohn
FS high score in qualifying season: 52.96 (E5)
Total high score in qualifying season: 81.14 (E4)
Notes: They were 2015 Intermediate 8th.

Elli Kopmar & Jonah Barrett
Ages: 12 & 18; 11/20/03 & 1/28/97
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Amanda Evora, Jim Peterson, Lyndon Johnston
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
SP: L’Ariesienne Suite No. 2 by Bizet
FS: ET the Extra Terrestrial by John Williams
FS high score in qualifying season: 70.76 (E1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 109.17 (E1)
Notes: They were the 2015 Intermediate champions.

Laiken Lockley & Keenan Prochnow
Ages: 13 & 18; 7/21/02 & 12/31/97
Training Town: Geneva, IL
Coach/Choreographer: Rockne Brubaker, Stefania Berton
SP: Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees
FS: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
FS high score in qualifying season: 75.04 (M1)
Total high score in qualifying season: 108.18 (M1)

Ainsley Peterson & Kristofer Ogren
Ages: 13 & 19; 11/29/02 & 5/8/96
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Dalilah Sappenfield, Larry Ibarra
Choreographer: D. Sappenfield, Drew Meekins
SP: Nights in White Satin performed by Justin Hayward
FS: James Bond medley, including Adele’s Skyfall
FS high score in qualifying season: 71.14 (M2)
Total high score in qualifying season: 106.02 (M2)

Sabrina Piliero & Nathaniel Dennler
Ages: 13 & 18; 5/14/02 & 6/30/97
Training Town: Boxborough, MA
Coach: Bobby Martin, Carrie Wall
Choreographer: Melanie Lambert, Carrie Wall
SP: Bamboleo by Gypsy Kings
FS: Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin
FS high score in qualifying season: 61.58 (E3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 86.51 (E3)
Notes: She was 2015 Intermediate 9th with Davis Tong; he was the 2015 Intermediate silver medalist with Sydney Cooke.

Ashlee Raymond & Misha Mitrofanov
Ages: 15 & 18; 5/17/00; 6/12/97
Training Town: Plano, TX
Coach: Aleksey Letov, Olga Ganicheva
Choreographer: Olga Ganicheva, Evgeniy Nemerovski
SP: Vivo Tango by Maxime Rodriguez
FS: Hana’s Eyes by Maksim Mrvica
FS high score in qualifying season: 68.02 (M3)
Total high score in qualifying season: 99.24 (M3)
Notes: She is new to pairs; he was 2015 Novice 8th with Emily Chan.

Alternate team that replaced Hubbart/Hubbart:
Cora DeWyre & Jacob Nussle
FS high score in qualifying season: 43.78 (M6)
Total high score in qualifying season: 66.51 (M6)
Notes: One of their coaches is Steve Hartsell.

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