Pacific Coast Sectionals Senior Ladies Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 8 Carly Gold, All Year FSC 2 44.93 1 80.64 125.57
2 9 Maria Yang, Peninsula SC 1 45.60 2 76.49 122.09
3 6 Elena Pulkinen, Coyotes SC of Arizona 4 37.97 3 75.79 113.76
4 7 Alexis Gagnon, Coyotes SC of Arizona 3 38.19 4 74.84 113.03
5 11 Camille Davis, Salt Lake Figure Skating 6 35.72 5 74.18 109.90
6 10 Alicia Lu, Salt Lake Figure Skating 5 35.88 6 71.67 107.55
7 3 Xylina Rusit, St. Moritz ISC 7 34.41 7 71.35 105.76
8 2 Xinghua Turner, Alaska Assoc of Figure Skaters 8 27.23 8 53.38 80.61
9 5 Annee Magee, SC of Oregon 9 24.88 9 46.10 70.98
10 4 Larissa Rasmussen, Lilac City FSC 10 21.34 10 36.78 58.12
11 1 Alanna Collins, Wenatchee FSC 11 13.67 11 27.25 40.92
WD Karen Chen, Peninsula SC
WD Anna Malkova, All Year FSC

2016 Central Pacific Regional Results

Juvenile Girls

Place Start Name Score
1 10 Christina Lin, Murray Silver Blades FSC 55.59
2 2 Anastasiya Chechetenko, Peninsula SC 49.29
3 6 Kate Qian, Peninsula SC 44.46
4 1 Celeste Lee, Peaks FSC 44.37
5 16 Erica Machida, Peninsula SC 43.73
6 4 Kate Wang, SC of San Francisco 43.45
7 17 Abigail Ross, Utah FSC 41.65
8 9 Taylor Campbell, Las Vegas FSC 40.91
9 15 Sofia Pica, St. Moritz ISC 39.74
10 14 Katie Freter, Las Vegas FSC 39.39
11 5 Samantha Bray, FSC of Park City 39.21
12 8 Hallie Souh, Peninsula SC 37.97
13 7 Ava Stephens, Peninsula SC 37.97
14 11 Hailey Hultberg, Salt Lake Figure Skating 37.90
15 18 Kaylee Bertolucci, Capital City FSC 37.41
16 3 Hailey Burn, Murray Silver Blades FSC 36.99
17 12 Alyssa Matsuzaki, SC of San Francisco 35.04
18 13 Kaori Quan, SC of San Francisco 34.16

Intermediate Ladies

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 17 Isabella Miller, Salt Lake Figure Skating 3 34.33 1 70.13 104.46
2 14 Alysa Liu, St. Moritz ISC 1 39.37 2 62.75 102.12
3 13 Vanessa Chen, Peninsula SC 2 35.28 3 57.19 92.47
4 15 Noelle Rosa, Salt Lake Figure Skating 6 31.27 4 54.84 86.11
5 18 Melody Jing, Peninsula SC 4 31.98 5 53.13 85.11
6 16 Olivia Clarke, Salt Lake Figure Skating 5 31.27 7 50.89 82.16
7 10 Milena Markin, Los Angeles FSC 11 28.00 6 51.11 79.11
8 12 Sarah Xia, St. Moritz ISC 7 29.67 9 49.09 78.76
9 11 Natalie Feng, SC of San Francisco 10 28.01 8 50.35 78.36
10 8 Jenny Mao, SC of San Francisco 12 27.97 10 47.00 74.97
11 7 Morgan Young, Peninsula SC 8 28.80 12 45.79 74.59
12 9 Mona Ueno, Salt Lake Figure Skating 9 28.24 13 44.20 72.44
13 4 Alexandria Yao, Peninsula SC 16 25.17 11 46.09 71.26
14 1 Darya Kovalenko, Capital City FSC 13 27.91 16 41.66 69.57
15 3 Mimi Yu-Ching Chuang, St. Moritz ISC 14 26.17 15 42.33 68.50
16 5 Derica Su, Peninsula SC 18 22.15 14 43.36 65.51
WD Flora Peng, Peninsula SC 15 25.61
WD Allison Zheng, Peninsula SC 17 24.29

Novice Ladies

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 11 Sierra Venetta, SC of San Francisco 1 51.43 1 85.69 137.12
2 10 Lily Sun, Peninsula SC 2 40.63 4 61.91 102.54
3 13 Aurelia Perkins, Salt Lake Figure Skating 3 37.81 2 63.70 101.51
4 9 Amalia Friess, Wasatch FSC 5 33.71 3 62.91 96.62
5 8 Erina Yamaguchi, Peninsula SC 8 32.10 5 60.07 92.17
6 6 Micol Zhai, St. Moritz ISC 6 33.33 6 50.48 83.81
7 12 Allison Merges, Salt Lake Figure Skating 4 34.63 8 47.55 82.18
8 7 Elizabeth Ding, Peninsula SC 7 33.23 7 48.26 81.49
9 1 Alexa Rodriguez, SC of Nevada 10 26.52 9 42.95 69.47
10 5 Dorothy Nguyen, SC of San Francisco 9 28.14 13 39.82 67.96
11 2 Kiara Danovaro, St. Moritz ISC 11 25.12 12 40.07 65.19
12 4 Nicole Stokowski, St. Moritz ISC 13 23.89 10 40.85 64.74
13 3 Evelyn Zhang, Vaca Valley FSC 12 24.36 11 40.38 64.74

Junior Ladies

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 9 Alice Yang, St. Moritz ISC 1 53.92 1 90.66 144.58
2 10 Anna Grace Davidson, Salt Lake Figure Skating 3 43.90 2 83.80 127.70
3 6 Hina Ueno, Salt Lake Figure Skating 2 50.46 4 72.36 122.82
4 7 Nina Ouellette, St. Moritz ISC 4 42.21 3 78.22 120.43
5 11 Sarah Feng, SC of San Francisco 6 35.17 5 70.24 105.41
6 8 Sarah Zhang, Peninsula SC 5 38.11 6 58.19 96.30
7 1 Daniela Dryden, Salt Lake Figure Skating 7 31.55 7 54.28 85.83
8 2 Julie Suzuki, Peninsula SC 8 31.05 8 53.55 84.60
9 3 Angela Case, Peninsula SC 9 28.38 9 50.94 79.32
10 4 Brittany Hoang, Vaca Valley FSC 10 24.61 10 48.66 73.27
11 5 Megan Stenman, Peninsula SC 11 23.82 11 45.83 69.65

Senior Ladies

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 7 Maria Yang, Peninsula SC 1 48.26 1 93.47 141.73
2 6 Camille Davis, Salt Lake Figure Skating 2 44.33 2 83.66 127.99
3 8 Xylina Rusit, St. Moritz ISC 3 39.09 3 76.33 115.42
4 10 Alicia Lu, Salt Lake Figure Skating 4 37.87 5 71.40 109.27
5 9 Kristina Struthwolf, Utah FSC 5 33.36 4 71.56 104.92
6 5 Jacquelyn Packard, Peaks FSC 6 32.64 6 68.17 100.81
7 2 Julianna DeContreaus, Vaca Valley FSC 7 31.31 7 51.66 82.97
8 1 Kaysie Yu, St. Moritz ISC 9 28.18 8 51.53 79.71
9 3 Louisa Warwin, SC of Nevada 8 29.47 10 46.37 75.84
10 4 Sami Lew, St. Moritz ISC 10 22.57 9 51.15 73.72

Juvenile Boys

Place Start Name Score
1 1 Karel (Kai) Kovar, Wasatch FSC 39.50
2 5 Lawrence Winters, Wasatch FSC 38.84
3 3 James Dayton, St. Moritz ISC 33.20
4 4 Jonathan Ko, Peninsula SC 28.05
5 6 Dash Kamriani Beard, Peninsula SC 27.31
6 2 Daimion Davis, Murray Silver Blades FSC 21.87

Junior Men

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 3 Justin Ly, Salt Lake Figure Skating 1 53.81 1 89.92 143.73
2 5 Mitchell Friess, Wasatch FSC 3 45.82 2 81.60 127.42
3 4 Kendrick Weston, Salt Lake Figure Skating 2 49.00 3 77.06 126.06
4 1 Alain Sandraz, Peninsula SC 5 40.13 4 67.54 107.67
5 2 Weipeng Xie, SC of San Francisco 4 41.41 5 54.17 95.58

Eastern Sectionals Senior Ladies Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 12 Madison Vinci, Washington FSC 1 54.74 1 95.19 149.93
2 9 Franchesca Chiera, Panthers FSC 2 53.71 3 88.13 141.84
3 13 Katie McBeath, Westminster FSC of Erie 3 52.17 6 83.65 135.82
4 10 Maria Yang, Washington FSC 5 47.25 2 88.47 135.72
5 11 Lyra Katzman, SC of New York 4 47.25 5 84.29 131.54
6 8 Heidi Munger, SC Of Boston 8 41.76 4 86.24 128.00
7 5 Jessica Hu, Triangle FSC 6 45.11 10 72.31 117.42
8 6 Jordan Bauth, Amherst SC 7 42.83 9 74.14 116.97
9 3 Isabella Dow, SC Of Boston 10 35.91 7 76.28 112.19
10 2 Emily McNally, Charter Oak FSC 11 35.08 8 74.59 109.67
11 7 Kristine Levitina, Pines FSC 9 36.81 12 69.76 106.57
12 1 Helen Serafini, SC of New York 12 32.36 11 71.91 104.27
WD Morgan Sewall, North Atlantic FSC 13 27.54

Eastern Sectionals Junior Ladies Results

Place Start No. Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 12 Olivia Serafini, SC of New York 2 47.11 1 95.54 142.65
2 8 Megan Wessenberg, SC of Boston 3 46.83 3 81.88 128.71
3 7 Lyra Katzman, SC of New York 4 43.97 4 81.69 125.66
4 9 Maria Yang, Washington FSC 1 47.12 5 78.47 125.59
5 6 Adrianna Gonera, SC of New York 8 39.40 2 83.10 122.50
6 11 Brynne McIsaac, Washington FSC 6 43.02 6 77.51 120.53
7 10 Heidi Munger, SC of Boston 5 43.43 7 72.11 115.54
8 5 Kim Cheremsky, SC of New York 7 40.44 10 65.07 105.51
9 1 Giorgina Giampaolo, SC of Boston 9 36.06 8 67.21 103.27
10 3 Kathryn Wen, Washington FSC 12 34.10 9 65.18 99.28
11 4 Madison Vinci, Washington FSC 10 35.83 11 56.93 92.76
12 2 Paulina Pawlak, Connecticut SA at Newington 11 34.20 12 52.69 86.89

US Nationals Junior Ladies Short Program

Group 1
Amanda Gelb: 23.03 TES + 20.62 PCS = 43.65

  • Her dress is just stunning with all the crystal work and the grape color looks great on her
  • Double toe  + double toe
  • She’s a really nice, fluid expressive skater but she seemed a bit gun shy on the first jump
  • Nice double flip with a one arm variation
  • Spiral into a good double axel
  • Nice donut position with good transition into the catchfoot camel spin
  • Really nice layback with good speed and picking up speed through the haircutter and into the Biellman
  • Good one foot section in the step sequence with good edges
  • Nice positions and speed in her combo spin
  • Really lovely program except for that opening jump error

Barbie Long: 29.93 TES + 22.12 PCS -1.00 = 51.05 and into 1st place

  • Nice layback spin but losing a little speed and needs a little more stretch through the Biellman
  • Triple lutz really far forward on the toe pick on the landing but she hangs on and tacks on a double toe
  • She could have more stretch through her catchfoot camel position
  • I like the mature look of her program this season and I think it really sets her apart from the rest of the ladies
  • Fall on the triple flip
  • Nice facial expression in the step sequence, good movement, but a lot of ice spray on the edge changes; she seems to be running out of a bit of steam at the end of the steps
  • Spread eagle into a nice double axel
  • Good sit position in her final combination spin but finished just a hair behind her music

Maria Yang: 27.95 TES + 20.80 PCS = 48.75 and into 2nd place

  • Nice opening triple lutz + double loop
  • Good triple flip
  • Really nice camel position into a good catch foot with an interesting transition into a donut but she loses speed toward the end
  • Spread eagle into a nice double axel
  • Good sit position into a nice catch foot and a great sit variation on the opposite leg
  • Nice freedom to her step sequence and good ice coverage but there are still a few places where she could take a moment and finish off movements
  • Nice layback spin
  • Really solid program from her and she’ll be happy with that performance

Brianna Laxson: 20.05 TES + 20.84 PCS = 40.89 and into 4th place

  • Solid opening triple flip
  • Popped open her lutz and didn’t complete a combo so she will get a penalty
  • Spread eagle into a double axel but forward on the landing
  • Good speed in her camel spin and good increase in speed through the donut and catch foot variations
  • Beautiful Ina Bauer
  • Great speed in her layback into a haircutter
  • Nice quality of movement and choreography in her step sequence
  • She seemed a bit choppy in places but an injury kept her from training until September and this was still a good program for her minus the combination jump

Madison Vinci: 22.91 TES + 20.91 PCS -1.00 = 42.82 and into 4th place

  • Huge triple loop but she falls and will lose points for not completing a combination
  • Double flip with a single arm variation and a gorgeous arabesque landing
  • Good speed on her camel spin with nice variations
  • Spread eagle into a nice double axel
  • She is a lovely skater to watch with great lines and she really finished off all the movements
  • Nice layback into a haircutter
  • Good push through her step sequence and nice variety of content but she could really perform it more and play up the spanish tango theme
  • She could use more flexibility through her upright catchfoot position in the combination spin

Olivia Serafini: 24.89 TES + 19.26 PCS = 44.15 and into 3rd place

  • Triple toe + double toe with slight hesitation in between
  • Triple flip slightly off in the air but she hangs on to it
  • Good fast rotating camel spin
  • Good double axel
  • Nice haircutter spin but she needs a lot more stretch in her Biellman and really lost speed
  • She seems be really on top of her edges in the step sequence and she could get more power by using the edges to get her across the ice
  • Good final sit spin with maintained speed throughout

Group 2
Katia Shpilband: 26.06 TES + 19.98 PCS = 46.05 and into 3rd place

  • Good triple lutz + double toe but not a lot of ride out
  • Nice triple flip
  • She has interesting jump technique and leans really far forward on her jump take off
  • Good haircutter but losing a lot of speed in her Bielleman and she needs more stretch
  • Good double axel
  • A little wild on the flying entry to her camel spin but she regains her centering; really losing speed by the end
  • I’d like to see her performance level stay up through the whole program and not just in the in between moments
  • Food final combination spin but a few of the positions could use a bit more flexibility

Amber Glenn: 24.44 TES + 20.84 PCS = 45.28 and into 4th place

  • Triple flip a little scratchy but she hangs on
  • Triple lutz really wonky but she manages to add a single toe
  • Good speed and interesting positions in her combination spin but I feel like she’s not really connected to the program and this would be so easy to sell
  • Double axel a bit off in the air but she lands it nicely
  • Hand down on the step sequence, hard to tell if it was a fall or choreographed but she’s giving more performance here
  • She needs a lot more stretch through her catchfoot camel spin but a good donut position
  • Ok layback position but really good speed in the haircutter and an excellent Biellman

Dyllan McIntee: 22.08 TES + 21.11 PCS = 43.19 and into 7th place

  • Triple loop + double toe–she has some interesting jump technique that’s really going to hurt her especially on the takeoff with her free leg
  • She’s really selling this program and is clearly having a ball on the ice
  • Double flip with both arms overhead
  • Flying camel with a good donut variation but losing all centering and speed through the catchfoot
  • A bit of a bobble in one of her turns in the step sequence
  • Really open air position in the single axel
  • Nice layback spin pulling right up into a Biellman but losing speed

Mariah Bell: 31.65 TES + 24.98 PCS = 56.63 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + double toe with super fast rotation and good height on the first jump
  • Really nice triple flip
  • Good positions in her combo spin and she looks like she’s having the time of her life on the ice today
  • Really good axel
  • Nice donut position but losing her centering and speed inot the catchfoot
  • Gorgeous arms in her step sequence and nice quality of movement with ease around the edges
  • The one thing I would fix about this program are the arms in her layback but otherwise she completely nailed it!

Karen Chen: 31.19 TES + 23.15 PCS = 54.34 and into 2nd place

  • Good speed and positions in her camel spin with a good donut position and catchfoot
  • Difficult one foot turns into a double axel
  • Nice position in speed in the upright catchfoot position
  • Triple lutz + triple loop a little underrotated and two footed on the second jump
  • Triple flip a little tight with a turnout and a stepout but doing both of those elements in the bonus should give her a few extra points to make up for those mistakes
  • Great layback position into a gorgeous Biellman that spins at superhuman speed

Polina Edmunds: 34.08 TES + 24.09 PCS = 58.17 and into 1st place

  • Triple lutz + triple toe nicely done
  • Solid triple flip
  • Nice camel position  and picking up speed through the donut and catchfoot variations
  • Difficult one footed entry into her double axel
  • Losing speed a bit through the change of foot on her combination spin
  • She could clean up the exits on some of these spins and add a few finishing details so there’s still lots of room for her to grow in these programs
  • Nice energy in the step sequence
  • Good lay back into a nice Biellman with great speed
Place Start No. Name Score
1 12 Polina Edmunds, Peninsula SC 58.17
2 10 Mariah Bell, Rocky Mountain FSC 56.63
3 11 Karen Chen, Peninsula SC 54.34
4 2 Barbie Long, Illinois Valley FSC 51.05
5 3 Maria Yang, Washington FSC 48.75
6 7 Katia Shpilband, Ann Arbor FSC 46.04
7 8 Amber Glenn, Dallas FSC 45.28
8 6 Olivia Serafini, SC of New York 44.15
9 1 Amanda Gelb, Los Angeles FSC 43.65
10 9 Dyllan McIntee, SC of Phoenix 43.19
11 5 Madison Vinci, Washington FSC 42.82
12 4 Brianna Laxson, Washington FSC 40.89

Underdog Yang excited to make her mark in Omaha

Maria Yang is a 10th grader representing the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She splits her training time between the Ashburn Ice House and the Cabin John Ice Rink.  This self-proclaimed underdog is ready to make a big splash at nationals with her combination of discipline and determination.  She won bronze at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She sat down with me after the Wheaton Ice Show to talk about balancing a difficult school schedule, her training situation and her least favorite jumps.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.
I like math, science and computer science. Those are my favorite classes. Everything kind of revolves around skating for me. You have to change your skating schedule to fit with what you have to do in school. It’s just school and skating for me.

What is your favorite part of skating?
It’s a lot of fun. I just love getting out there and performing. You put all this effort into something and then when you get out there, you can actually show other people what you’ve done all these years. It feels really good.

How do you balance school with skating?
School usually comes first because college is coming up really soon. I go to school and then I come home and depending on what sessions they have that day I’ll either do homework first and then go skating or go straight to skating and then do homework. But I usually have to stay up really late. My bedtime is from 11:30-12:10 and then I have to get up every morning at 6:30 to get to school. That’s how I do it I guess. Less sleep. And coffee works really well.

You haven’t qualified for nationals since 2010 as a Juvenile and now you are the Eastern Sectional Junior Ladies champion. What changes did you make this season that led to your success?
I think the biggest change was the summer before last when I switched coaches. It was a rough time because I worked with my last coach for 8 years and we got to nationals together. We did so much. She gave me really good support. It was really tough but I just couldn’t seem to get my double axel for a few years so we felt like it was time for a change. It was kind of rough at first because my new coach is an hour away from where I live so I can only see him on weekends. I have a lesson Friday after school, Saturday morning he comes to my rink where I usually skate during the week and then Sunday I go back to Ashburn where I train with him so I only have three lessons a week. He really motivates me and is a really nice coach. We work well.

Where do you train during the week?
I train at Cabin John Ice Rink which is closer so during the week it makes balancing everything easier except that means I get to see my coach less. But I mean it still works out. I don’t know how it works out, but it does.

Do you have a coach at your home rink?
I work on my own. But he checks on me a lot.

How do you motivate yourself to go to the rink everyday on your own?
Sometimes I really don’t want to go because I have so much homework but I’ve worked so hard I’m not going to stop working hard now.

You’ll be heading to nationals with two of your training mates. What do you think that experience is going to be like?
We’re all really good friends. It’s going to be really fun I think, because I get to go skate with people I know already who are really good friends and we train together a lot.

Are there any new technical elements you’ve been working for in preparation for nationals?
It’s been kind of rough because I got my double axel clean for the first time at Liberty [Summer Competition] last year. I got my triple loop and triple salchow before sectionals last year. Right after that when I didn’t qualify for nationals I just pushed myself a lot harder and flip and lutz just came. I’ve always kind of struggled with toe but I’ve been getting it recently. It’s been working. I’ve been working on triple flip + triple loop. They’re pretty good but I don’t think I’m going to be using them this season but you’ll probably be seeing them next year. Flip, lutz and loop are my really good jumps. Axel, salchow and toe are ok. They’re there. But I don’t really like them that much.

You improved 14 points between regionals and sectionals. Do you think that gives you momentum going into nationals?
Regionals wasn’t my best game. After regionals I was disappointed in myself because I knew I could have skated so much better. After regionals I just had more motivation for sectionals. I can do these programs clean, I’ve run them so many times everyday. I just have to do it at sectionals. And when I got there, I just did it. I was really proud of myself. I think this is better motivation because now I’m going to nationals and I know I can do these programs.

What are your goals for nationals?
I feel like the underdog. I like that feeling. I don’t have too many expections for myself. My goal right now is just to go there and have so much fun. I haven’t been to nationals in three years and this is going to be a great learning experience. But I definitely want to be in the last warm up. That would really be something big for me. I just want to skate clean. All I want is to skate clean. I don’t really care where I place, I just want to do clean programs.

The Junior Ladies field in the U.S. is very deep. What do you think sets you apart?
Junior is always really hard. There’s always a ton of good people there. This year is no exception. There’s so many good people and I can’t wait to meet them. I’ve never met them before. I don’t really know what sets me apart but I’m just so excited to be going!

What skaters do you look up to? 
Definitely Christina Gao. Because she goes to Harvard and she balances skating and she’s gotten better since then. I go to a magnet school and everyone at my school pushes each other to try to get to the best colleges they can get into. I’m with them on that, and I’m really looking forward to going to college. Christina Gao really motivates me.  I tell myself when I don’t want to go to the rink if she can go to Harvard and go skating, I can definitely do this. I’m really excited to meet Ashley Wagner because she used to train in this area. She came to my rink quite a few times. I really look up to her too.

What about Ashley and Christina do you hope to emulate in your own skating?
Christina has really good technique; really beautiful air position. Ashley has huge jumps and really good presentation. When you watch her skate, it’s just breathtaking.

Anything else you want people to know?
I just love skating a lot. I’ve been skating for 9 years. It all pays off in the end. I’m just so excited to go to nationals and then calculus starts when I get back.

Washington Figure Skating Club Nationals Send-Off

The Washington Figure Skating Club held their nationals send-off in conjunction with the Wheaton Ice Arena Winter Ice Show.  The show opened up with Intermediate Dance competitors Gwen Sletten and Elliot Verburg.  They skated their Paso Doble themed free dance with good speed and edges, nice twizzles and an excellent straight line and rotational lift.  They both have great expression and she’s a real firecracker on the ice.

McNamara and Carpenter have gorgeous transitions in their free dance and a nice combination lift with two one foot sectionals.  What you really appreciate about them when you see them perform live is that his facial expressions continue even in the lifts.  They performed their zombie themed short dance later in the show and had the audience laughing from the opening note.  They had excellent twizzles, ice coverage and nice matching leg lines in the blues section.

Gamelin and Gamelin will be competing in senior dance at nationals.  In their short dance they had nice positions in their lift and solid twizzles.  The twizzles were slightly off in their free dance but the straight line lift into a curve lift was nice.

Miller and MacMillan had nice expression throughout their short dance and a clean straight line lift.  They had good ice coverage on their blues section and a good feel for the hip hop rhythm.  Their twizzles were a little wobby in their free dance but they had a great upside down one hand hold lift.  She is very facially expressive and he has excellent carriage throughout his upper body.

Pogrebinsky and Gudis had a nice one foot straight line lift in their free dance and she had a good Biellman position in their dance spin.  They had a very nice non touching step sequence with lots of arm details in their short dance along with nice lines in the blues section.  Their music flows well between sections and there’s a cool illusion spin step near the end fo rthe program.

Oleksiy Melnyk got one of the largest crowd reactions of the night for his solid free skate.  He landed a triple loop, triple salchow and triple toe + triple toe combination.  His only mistake was a popped lutz at the beginning of the program.

Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville are the reigning Juvenile Champions and are competing as Intermediates this season.  They had a clean lift and a dance spin with a good change of direction.  They also had nice speed on their twizzles.  Their music is very catchy and they really play to the crowd during the program.

Caroline and Gordon Green will be competing as Juveniles at nationals in Omaha.  They showed nice speed and flexibility in their dance spin, good twizzles and good expression.  The comraderie of the ice dancers was evident when Ian Somerville cheered them on from the audience throughout the entire program.

Brianna Laxson skated her free skate in a gorgeous red lace dress.  She stepped out of a few of her triples early in the program.  She had good speed going into the jumps but seemed a little hesitant.  She still landed a triple lutz and a triple loop along with a three jump combination.  She had nice speed in her spins and a beautiful Ina Bauer.

Maria Yang started off her program with a triple lutz + double loop + double loop with great height throughout the combination.  She also landed a solo triple lutz, a spiral into a double axel and a spread eagle into a double axel + double toe.  There are lots of details in her program from the transitions to arm movements which give the whole program a polished feel.

A few of the young skaters left an impression and will be ones to watch in the coming years.  Morgan Sletten and Jordan Lin had good stroking and good ice coverage and he is the younger brother of Gwen Sleten.  Kaitlyn Chuang has good speed in her spins and attacks her jumps.  Maria Soldoatova and Fadey Solatov were some of the youngest performers at the show and had good matching lines.  She in particular had beautiful balletic arms.

Gigi and Luca Becker and Madison Vinci were scheduled to perform but did not.  The Parson siblings were also in attendance even though they had to withdraw from nationals due to his injury.

Overall, all the skaters looked prepared for nationals and ready to contend for the podium.  Nothing was perfect, but the skaters are on the pace to peak at nationals.  It was a great show and the skaters are ready to make a splash in Omaha.

US Nationals: Junior Ladies Preview

The Junior Ladies event always promises to have some of the toughest competition at nationals and this year is no exception.  

Barbie Long won the pewter medal at this level at nationals last season and is looking for her 4th consecutive nationals podium.  She is the only lady in this field to compete on the Junior Grand Prix this season and she won the silver medal in Slovenia.  She has some difficult content planned including a triple lutz + triple toe in both programs and a double axel + triple toe in her free skate.  She also has a double axel + double toe + double loop planned in her free skate.  She struggled with some of her levels at sectionals receiving Level 3s on some of her spins and steps in both programs.  She is a very solid skater and is the one to beat at this event.

Polina Edmunds is only 14 years old, but this is her third year competing at the junior level at nationals.  She gained a lot of notice after her performances at nationals last season and was strong in all of her summer events but did not receive a Junior Grand Prix assignment.  She has some of the most difficult content planned at nationals including a triple lutz + triple toe in both programs and a triple flip + triple toe in her free skate.  She also has a triple loop + double toe + double loop in her free skate and all Level 4 elements.  She only received a Level 2 step sequence in her short program at sectionals so she still has room to improve.

Mariah Bell finished just off the podium at nationals last season.  She was assigned to the Gardena Trophy last spring but did not receive an international assignment this fall.  She is much stronger in the short program as she is consistently clean in that segment.  While she has all the triples, her technical content is less than some of the other top ladies in the field.  She’s only attempting a triple flip + double toe and a double axel sequence in her free skate.  She also received all Level 3s in her free skate at sectionals.  She’ll need a solid short program performance to stay in contention for the podium and bring up the levels in her free skate to get all the technical points possible.

Karen Chen is the reigning Novice Champion and is looking to make a splash in her junior debut.  She is also looking for her 4th consecutive nationals medal and her third consecutive national title.  She has her programs structured to maximize points with a triple lutz + triple toe and a triple flip planned in the bonus section of her short program.  She also has a triple lutz + triple toe and a double axel + triple toe in her free skate but had several underrotation calls at sectionals.  She also had a Level 2 layback spin in her free skate at sectionals so she has room to improve her scores.

Madison Vinci won the pewter medal as a novice last season and is looking to continue her podium run as a novice.  She is a consistently clean skater and has some nice technical elements like a triple salchow + double loop + double loop in her free skate.  However, she doesn’t have a triple flip which will hurt her in the short program as the flip is the required jump and all the top ladies will have a triple flip.  She also had some Level 3s in her programs at sectionals, so she has room to improve on the technical side.

Amber Glenn is the reigning Novice Silver medalist.  She had a 13 point bump from regionals to sectionals and is a real contender for the podium.  She has a triple lutz + double toe + double loop as well as a double axel + triple toe planned in her free skate.

Also in contention is Maria Yang who improved 14 points between regionals and sectionals to claim the Eastern Sectionals gold medal.  She has a triple lutz + double loop + double loop but did not attempt a triple + triple combination at sectionals.

There are three spots open for the Junior Ladies at Junior Worlds.  Historically, a junior competitor would need to win the event to be considered for a spot, and even then it is not a guarantee.  Leah Keiser, Hannah Miller and Angela Wang all competed at the Junior Grand Prix Final and will be competing in Omaha as seniors.  Vanessa Lam, Ashley Cain, Samantha Cesario and Courtney Hicks all competed on the Junior Grand Prix as well this season and will be competing at the senior level.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Polina Edmunds
Silver: Barbie Long
Bronze: Mariah Bell
Pewter: Karen Chen

Bios of the competitors:
Mariah Bell: She is 16 years old and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2011 Novice Ladies bronze medalist.  She finished 8th in Intermediate Ladies in 2010 and 5th in Junior Ladies in 2012.  She won gold at Southwestern Regionals and silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 3rd best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Karen Chen: She is 13 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She won pewter in Juvenile Girls in 2010, is the 2011 Intermediate Ladies Champion and the reigning Novice Ladies Champion.  She won silver at Central Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 2nd best total score.

Polina Edmunds: She is 14 years old and represents the Peninsula Skating Club.  She finished 6th in Novice Ladies in 2010, 7th in Junior Ladies in 2011 and 6th in Junior Ladies in 2012.  She won gold at Central Pacific Regionals and gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the top short program, free skate and total scores.

Amanda Gelb: She is 15 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  She is the reigning Novice Ladies bronze medalist.  She won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best short program score.

Amber Glenn: She is 13 years old and represents the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She is the reigning Novice Ladies silver medalist.  She finished 10th in Intermediate Ladies in 2011 and 12th in Juvenile Girls in 2009.  She won silver at Southwestern Regionals and bronze at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 4th best short program, 6th best free skate and 5th best total scores.

Brianna Laxson: She is 13 years old and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2011 Intermediate Ladies pewter medalist.She finished 20th in Juvenile Girls in 2010 and 6th in Novice Ladies in 2012.  She won pewter at South Atlantic Regionals and pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.     

Barbie Long: She is 16 years old and represents the Illinois Valley Figure Skating Club.  She won silver at JGP Slovenia.  She finished 6th in Juvenile Girls in 2009, is the 2010 Intermediate Ladies bronze medalist, the 2011 Novice Ladies silver medalist and the 2012 Junior Ladies pewter medalist.  She won gold at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 5th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Dyllan McIntee: She is 14 years old and represents the Skating Club of Phoenix.  She is the 2010 Juvenile Girls Champion.  She finished 11th in Intermediate Ladies in 2011 and 9th in Novice Ladies in 2012.  She won pewter at Southwest Pacific Regionals and bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Olivia Serafini: She is 16 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  She finished 5th in Novice Ladies in 2012.  She won gold at North Atlantic Regionals and bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 10th best free skate and 10th best total scores.

Katia Shpilband: She represents the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2009 Juvenile Girls pewter medalist and the 2010 Intermediate Ladies Champion.  She won gold at Eastern Great Lakes Regionals and pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 9th best total score.

Madison Vinci: She is 16 years old and represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She is the 2011 bronze medalist in Intermediate Ladies and the 2012 Novice Ladies pewter medalist.  She won gold at South Atlantic Regionals and silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 10th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores of the season.  

Maria Yang: She represents the Washington Figure Skating Club.  She finished 8th in Juvenile Girls in 2010.  She won bronze at South Atlantic Regionals and gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  She has the 6th best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Eastern Sectionals Junior Ladies Results

Place Start No. Name Short Program Free Skate Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 8 Maria Yang, Washington FSC 3 46.73 1 94.23 140.96
2 10 Madison Vinci, Washington FSC 1 47.30 2 87.63 134.93
3 11 Olivia Serafini, SC of New York 2 46.77 3 82.72 129.49
4 9 Brianna Laxson, Washington FSC 4 45.28 4 80.09 125.37
5 12 Melanie Chang, Washington FSC 6 39.75 5 71.22 110.97
6 7 Morgan Sewall, North Atlantic FSC 5 40.70 6 69.94 110.64
7 3 Heidi Munger, SC Of Boston 9 36.34 7 67.18 103.52
8 2 Eve Agler, SC of New York 10 34.69 8 63.04 97.73
9 1 Sydney Jones, SC of New York 8 37.01 9 59.97 96.98
10 4 Adrianna Gonera, SC of New York 7 38.23 11 56.23 94.46
11 5 Olivia Pastore, SC Of Boston 12 28.90 10 58.06 86.96
12 6 Ainsley McGill, Charter Oak FSC 11 33.83 12 47.85 81.68