2017 U.S. Nationals: Junior Men

Posted by unseenskaters on January 18, 2017

Junior Men FS results/protocols

GOLD – Aleksei (Alex) Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC 66.89 (2) 144.16 (1) 211.05
SILVER – Camden Pulkinen, Broadmoor SC 73.41 (1) 124.24 (2) 197.65
BRONZE – Ryan Dunk, Baltimore FSC 57.78 (4) 114.44 (3) 172.22
PEWTER – Eric Sjoberg, Los Angeles FSC 60.73 (3) 109.88 (4) 170.61

5 Sasha Lunin, Fort Wayne ISC 56.60 (5) 104.79 (5) 161.39
6 Mathew Graham, Idaho Falls FSC 54.57 (6) 104.39 (6) 158.96
7 Peter Liu, SC of Wilmington 52.47 (8) 102.35 (7) 154.82
8 Derek Wagner, Northern Ice SC 52.85 (7) 100.40 (8) 153.25
9 Kelvin Li, Northern Ice SC 50.39 (9) 97.30 (9) 147.69
10 Daniil Shamis, All Year FSC 40.93 (11) 94.62 (10) 135.55
11 TJ Nyman, Space Coast Ice Plex FSC 41.51 (10) 89.02 (11) 130.53
WD Kendrick Weston, Salt Lake Figure Skating

iceNetwork’s Junior Men FS recap article by Mimi McKinnis for IceNetwork

In second place after the short program, Alex Krasnozhon knew he had some work to do.
The skater, who won pewter in this event in 2015 and the bronze last season, found himself 6.52 points out of first entering the day. And while his free skate performance Friday at the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships wasn’t perfect — he fell on his opening quadruple loop as well as a double axel-triple loop combination — it was more than good enough to make up the difference and earn the 16-year-old Texan the U.S. junior title.
“Last year was really difficult for me because I really came expecting to win,” Krasnozhon said. “Then, all of a sudden, I fell twice in my short program and it was all over. I came back strong in the free skate, but it wasn’t enough. Since then, I’ve realized how to calm my nerves. I had a strong season, and I went to the Junior Grand Prix Final. I learned that nationals is one competition, and it was time to win.”
Despite the two aforementioned falls, Krasnozhon won the segment by nearly 20 points. In his free skate set to “Rodeo – Four Dance Episodes: III,” the brash teen landed seven triple jumps, including two triple axels, one in combination with a triple toe loop. His technical elements score (78.88) trumped the field by more than 10 points, lifting him to a segment score of 144.16 and an overall total of 211.05 — both personal bests.
Camden Pulkinen finished second with a total score of 197.65. Although the silver represents a one-spot drop from his short program placement, the result is a marked improvement from his 11th-place finish at the 2016 U.S. Championships.
“To go from 11th to second is a big accomplishment for me,” Pulkinen said. “But more than that, placements aside, I’m so happy with how much my skating has improved. I learned triple axel, and I learned how to do triple-triple combinations. Now I’m excited to use this year as a springboard and start working on quads.”
Like Krasnozhon, Pulkinen suffered two falls during his “Sarabande Suite” free skate, but he turned in an otherwise solid effort, hitting his opening triple axel as well as two more triples in the second half of the program. He earned 124.24 for his performance en route to 197.65 total points.
Ryan Dunk moved up from fourth to take the bronze with 172.22 points. Skating a less technically difficult but deduction-free program to music from Samson and Delilah, Dunk earned an impressive 114.44 points for his outing, which included five solid triple jumps.
“I’ve been working really hard on taking one element at a time,” Dunk said. “When I heard the other scores before me, I knew I could move up and get the bronze if I just did my job. I went out there and I did it, so I’m very happy.”
Eric Sjoberg finished fourth with 170.61 points.

Krasnozhon’s FS jumps were: 4Lo<< fall, 3S, 3F, 3A+3T / 3A, 3F+2T+2Lo, 3Lz, 2A+3Lo fall (new combo for this comp.).
iceNetwork’s Junior Men SP photo gallery

Junior Men SP results/protocols
Top 5 after SP:
1 Camden Pulkinen, Broadmoor SC 73.41 – 3A(+1.57), 3Lz+3T, 3Lo; level 4 in steps & 2 spins (new personal best score)
2 Alex Krasnozhon, Dallas FSC 66.89 – 3Lo, 3A(+1.71), 3Lz fall/no combo
3 Eric Sjoberg, Los Angeles FSC 60.73 – 2A, 3F+3T, 3Lo fell out
4 Ryan Dunk, Baltimore FSC 57.78 – 3Lo, 3Lz fell out/no combo, 2A
5 Sasha Lunin, Fort Wayne ISC 56.60 – 3T+3T, 3Lo(-1), 2A

iceNetwork’s Junior Men SP recap article by Lynn Rutherford for IceNetwork

Guys like Camden Pulkinen make the long days at Colorado Springs’ World Arena a little easier for Tom Zakrajsek to take.
Each day, the Arizona native shows maturity — not to mention a touch of class — far beyond his 16 years: He never kicks the ice, he never gets down on himself, and he always applauds other skaters’ efforts.
“He’s got such a good spirit,” Zakrajsek said. “He’s just a friendly, happy-go-lucky guy. If he has a bad practice, he takes it in stride. It’s very enjoyable to work with him.”
That attitude extended to the junior men’s short program at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday. When his name was called, Pulkinen stepped onto the ice, formally shook hands with Zakrajsek and associate coach Becky Calvin, nodded his thanks — and went out to skate the best competitive routine of his life to gain a 6.52-point lead over the field.
“I think this whole sport is about respect for the ice, respect for the coaches,” Pulkinen said. “When I show respect for my coaches’ knowledge, I feel more like a student, I feel more present. And I think that goes for the ice, too — I usually don’t get that mad on the ice.”
Skating with verve and attack to a medley of Rachmaninoff piano concertos, Pulkinen soared into a big triple axel, followed by a solid triple lutz-triple toe loop combination. His steps were fleet, his spins attractive and secure. The program earned 73.41 points, a career best for the skater.
“To break 70 is tremendous,” Pulkinen said. “Last year, I never broke 60. This is my best short ever in competition.
“In practice, especially before sectionals and before my Junior Grand Prix (event), I was a little bit nervous and hesitant,” he continued. “That’s why I used to cheat the axel in the short — I wasn’t attacking. So we came to the conclusion I have to attack it, I can’t be afraid of falling — I’ve got to go for it.”
Zakrajsek emphasized that while Pulkinen was always a strong skater, his progress since moving to Colorado Springs last June has been swift.
“He learned the triple axel in a couple of months, as well as triple-triples,” the coach said. “He’s working on a quad toe, but it’s not ready for competition yet. Plus, he’s working a lot with Tom Dickson and Ben Agosto on the artistic side of his skating, developing the whole package. It’s a blessing to train someone like that.”
The favorite for the junior men’s crown, Junior Grand Prix Final qualifier Alex Krasnozhon opened his short to Chopin’s “Étude 10 No. 3” with a big triple loop and huge triple axel, but he fell on a triple lutz and failed to complete a combination. His 66.89 points mean he has ground to make up, but the 16-year-old skater — who plans a quadruple loop in his free skate — thinks he can do it.
“The whole season I’ve been doing (the lutz) clean. There’s got to be one time that you fall,” said Krasnozhon, who trains in Dallas under Peter and Darlene Cain. “I’m still very happy with my score. I secured my spot for the last warmup (group), and the short program doesn’t mean as much as the free program.”
Known for his powerful jumps, the Russian-born skater has worked to enhance his style and skating skills, which showed in his far more elegant program here.
“Last season I had a Michael Jackson (short program), but this season I decided to show a whole different side of my skating,” Krasnozhon said. “Before, I was showing my happy clown side, but at the same time, I wanted to show everybody that I’m not a clown.”
“[Alex] presented the Chopin to me, and I thought it was an interesting, different direction for him, and it’s been well-received,” Scott Brown, Krasnozhon’s choreographer, said. “If you watch in the warmup, all of his skating has elevated, even since the JGP Final. The fall on the combination was unfortunate today. We’ll see in the free.”
Last season’s novice champion, Eric Sjoberg, performed a lyrical program to Rachmaninoff’s “Trio élégiaque No. 1” that included fine spins and a solid triple flip-triple toe combination, but also a messy triple loop. (The 15-year-old does not yet have a triple axel, although one is in the works.) He earned 60.73 points, good for third place.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in it,” said Sjoberg, who trains in Rafael Arutunian’s group in Southern California. “It was OK, but it wasn’t strong. I didn’t really fight for everything. I’m happy with some things in the program, but overall, I was very tentative.”
Ryan Dunk, who also skated to “Trio élégiaque No. 1,” sits fourth with 57.78 points. Although the Baltimore skater performed his step sequence with elegance and conviction, and hit a solid triple loop, he faltered on an intended triple lutz-triple toe loop combination.

iceNetwork’s Junior Men SP photo gallery

COMPETITOR PROFILES (from youngest to oldest):

Daniil Shamis
Age: 15; (M/D/Y) 9/5/01
Club: All Year FSC
Training Town: Riverside, CA
Coach: Tammy Gambill, Ryan Berning
Choreographer: Derrick Delmore
SP: “Diga Diga Doo” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
FS: “Fearsome Flight” by Cirque du Soleil
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 109.04 (P4)
He was born in Moscow, Russia and is the 2015 U.S. Novice pewter medalist.

Eric Sjoberg
Age: 15; 8/22/01
Club: Los Angeles FSC
Training Town: Lakewood, CA
Coach: Rafael Arutyunyan, Nadia Kanaeva, Vera Arutyunyan, Denys Petrov
Choreographer: Nadia Kanaeva, Tom Dickson
SP: Trio Elegiaque no. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff
FS: “Poeta en la mar” by Vicente Amigo
FS high score(s) this season: 126.04 (P1); 117.49 (JGP)
He is the 2016 U.S. Novice champion and debuted on the JGP this past fall.

Ryan Dunk
Age 16; 10/14/00
Club: Baltimore FSC
Training Town: Abingdon, MD
Coach/Choreographer: Chris Conte
SP: Piano Concerto 3 and Trio elegiaque no. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff
FS: Danse Bacchanale from Act 3 of Samson et Dalila op. 47
FS high score(s) this season: 114.82 (E2)
He was the 2016 Novice 5th.

Sasha Lunin
Age: 16; 9/20/00
Club: Fort Wayne ISC
Training Town: Fort Wayne, IN
Coach/Choreographer: Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin
SP: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff, performed by David Garrett
FS: Pink Floyd medley
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 97.20 (M4)
He was the 2016 Novice 7th.

Peter Liu
Age: 16; 10/26/00
Club: SC of Wilmington
Training Town: Wilmington, DE
Coach: Viktor Pfeifer, Ronnie Biancosino
Choreographer: Irina Romanova
SP: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli
FS: “Make it Rain” by Ed Sheeran; “Black Betty” by Ram Jam
FS high score(s) this season: 110.36 (E3); 96.13 (JGP)
He is the 2016 U.S. Novice silver medalist and made his JGP debut this past fall.

Kendrick Weston (WD)
Age: 16; 8/21/00
Club: Salt Lake FS
Training Town: Salt Lake City, UT
Coach: Lisa Kriley
Choreographer: Olga Volozhinskaya
SP: “Still Loving You” by The Scorpions
FS: Music from Chess by Benny Andersson
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 114.28 (P3)
He was the U.S. 2015 Novice silver medalist.

Aleksei (Alex) Krasnozhon
Age: 16; 4/11/00
Club: Dallas FSC
Training Town: Euless, TX
Coach: Peter Cain, Darlene Cain
Choreographer: Scott Brown
SP: Etude 10 No. 3 (for piano) by Frederic Chopin
FS: Selections from Rodeo (Saturday Night Waltz and Hoedown) by Aaron Copland
FS high score(s) this season: 148.50 (JGP #1), 139.20 (JGP #2); 137.37 (JGP Final)
Notes: He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and competed there until 2013. He relocated to Texas in 2014 and is the 2016 U.S. Junior bronze medalist. He qualified for his first JGP Final (placed 5th) in December 2016 by winning JGP gold & silver this past fall.
Click here to read his IFS magazine interview that was published in November 2016.

TJ Nyman
Age: 16; 4/8/00
Club: Space Coast Ice Plex FSC
Training Town: Colorado Sptings, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Katie Nyman
Choreographer: Drew Meekins
SP: “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Dangerous” by Michael Jackson
FS: “Prologue,” “Transformation” and “Alive” (from Jekyll & Hyde) by Frank Wildhorn
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 77.22 (E4)
He was the 2015 Intermediate champion.
Click here to read a Florida article about him.

Camden Pulkinen
Age: 16; 3/25/00
Club: Broadmoor SC
Training Town: Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Tom Zakrajsek, Becky Calvin, Drew Meekins
Choreographer: Ben Agosto, Scott Brown, Tom Dickson
SP: Piano Concerto No. 1 “Vivace” and Piano Concerto No. 2 “Moderato” by Sergei Rachmaninoff
FS: Sarabande Suite (Aeternae) by Globus
FS high score(s) this season: 114.66 (U.S. Challenge Skate), 111.25 (JGP)
He was 2016 Junior 11th. He debuted for Team USA at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway and on the JGP this past fall.
Click here to read his Ice Musings blog interview.

Kelvin Li
Age: 17; 8/22/99
Club: Northern Ice SC
Training Town: Buffalo Grove, IL
Coach: Alex Ouriashev
Choreographer: Valeria Masarsky
SP: “Clubbed to Death” (from The Matrix) by Rob Dougan
FS: “Portrait” by Phillip Glass
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 105.08 (M2)
He was 2015 Novice 7th.

Derek Wagner
Age: 17; 2/24/99
Club: Northern Ice SC
Training Town: Buffalo Grove, IL
Coach: Denise Myers, Sandi Delfs
Choreographer: Cindy Stuart, Scott Brown, Shanetta Folle
SP: Halo Theme Song by William Joseph, performed by Lindsey Stirling
FS: Vangelis medley
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 104.13 (M3)
He was the 2016 Novice 6th.

William Hubbart (WD)
Age: 18; 1/23/98
Club: Southwest Florida FSC
Training Town: Ellenton, FL
Coach: Jim Peterson, Amanda Evora
Choreographer: Jim Peterson
SP: “Mr. Cellophane” by John Kander and Fred Ebb
FS: “Someone to Watch Over Me” by George and Ira Gershwin
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 125.61 (E1)
He is the 2016 U.S. Novice pewter medalist and made his JGP debut this past fall. He also qualified here in Novice Pairs with his sister, Joanna, but they had withdraw due to his injury.

Mathew Graham
Age: 19; 8/1/97
Club: Idaho Falls FSC
Training Town: Idaho Falls, ID
Coach: Karel Kovar, Amanda Kovar
Choreographer: Alex Chang, Amanda Kovar
SP: “The Feeling Begins” by Peter Gabriel
FS: “Make it Rain” by Ed Sheeran
FS high score(s) this qualifying season: 114.79 (P1)
He won the silver at the Sept. 2016 U.S. Challenge Skate (domestic invitational).
Click here to read a 1/26/17 Idaho article about him.


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