Flood brings increased confidence and consistency to Omaha

Morgan Flood is a 13 year old skater who represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She has already won a medal at Junior Nationals as Juvenile in 2011 and competed as an intermediate last season.  She claimed the silver medal at Southwestern Regionals and won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to earn a trip to Omaha.  She talked to me about competing at the U.S. Challenge Skate, her programs this season and making the jump to the novice level. 

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.
I attend the K12 online home school program. I have a younger sister McKenna who is also figure skater and a younger brother Mason. I take ballet and dance lessons to help with my skating. Most of my friends are skaters and I enjoy spending time with them.

How did you get started in skating?
I started skating while visiting my grandparents when I was five.  I loved it and started taking lessons soon after that.

You attended the first U.S. Challenge Skate in Salt Lake City earlier this year.  
Tell me about that experience and what you took away from it.
USFSA really did a great job putting this event together with the the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. It was great to see an international skating event and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately my performance was a low point for me this season. I did not feel confident and it showed in my performance. But it was a great learning experience for me.

You improved your score by 7 points from regionals to sectionals.  What changes did you make between events to have that improvement?
The short programs were the same at both competitions but in the free skate two things accounted for the 7 point improvement. The first thing was at Regionals I fell on my 3S+2T. The second thing that happened was totally unplanned. At Sectionals my second jump was supposed to be a 3T+2Lo+2Lo. However, I only managed the 3T. As I continued the program I was able to get the 3T+2Lo+2Lo back in the second half. Since it happened in the second half it was worth more points. By moving the combination jump to the second half the additional points were just enough to take gold.

What have you been working to improve since sectionals?
I have been working hard on trying to make my 3F and 3Lz more consistent.  Also, I have been working on improving my skating skills and spins.

Your programs are structured really well to maximize your points.  Can you tell me how you go about putting a program together?
My coaches Alexey Letov and Olga Ganicheva did a great job putting these programs together. They put my combinations in the second half of the program to get the extra points. It added risk but I was landing them early in the season so we kept it that way. Alexey is a great risk manager and changes my program based on the competition and my capabilities.

Tell me about your programs this season.
My short program music is “Fanatico Master” by Edvin Marton. Olga did a great job choreographing my short program. It flows very well. My free skate music is Mon Amour Shiraz by Jihad Akl. The music has a more Spanish feel to it and becomes more up beat in the second half. I really like both programs and feel that they match my skating style well.

This is your first trip to nationals.  How do you think the experience will differ from junior nationals?
I will never forget my two trips to Jr. Nationals but Nationals will certainly be different in that it will be a bigger event and more competitive.

Are there any skaters you’re looking forward to meeting in Omaha?
It’s funny because we are all competitors trying to win but many of them are also my friends. One of the advantage of skating early in the week is having the rest of the week to spend time with the other competitors and watching the other events.

What are your goals for nationals?
I have been training hard and making the podium would make a great season finish for me.

Anything else you want people to know?
I am really looking forward to Nationals. I will be tweeting photos and comments from several of the events @morganflood.