1990 US Nationals

This page contains the reports I wrote up about the 1990 US Figure Skating Championships and posted to the Usenet newsgroup rec.sport.misc back in February, 1990. (This was before the creation of any newsgroups specific to skating.) I recently was able to recover these reports thanks to the Google archive which now goes all the way back to 1981.

Wednesday's report

Here are some (partial) results from the US figure skating championships, being held this week here in Salt Lake City:

Championship Ladies compulsory figures:
1. Jill Trenary
2. Holly Cook
3. Tonya Harding
4. Jeri Campbell
5. Kristi Yamaguchi
6. Tonia Kwiatowski
7. Nancy Kerrigan
8. Jennifer Leng

Championship Dance compulsory dance:
1. Wynne & Druar
2. Sargent & Witherby
3. Semanick & Kravette
4. Punsalan & Swallow
5. Miley & Verlich
6. McLean & Leib
7. Grove & Myers
8. Webster & Erickson

The Championship Pairs original program was held last night but I have not seen the official results yet. Yamaguchi & Galindo clearly won, though, with Kuchiki & Sand coming in second. The Championship Men's figures competition gets underway in about 45 minutes. I will post more results later.

Thursday's report

Here are some more results from the US figure skating championships:

Championship Pairs original program:
1. Yamaguchi & Galindo
2. Kuchiki & Sand
3. Carz & Williams
4. Urbanski & Naylor
5. Visingardi & Dungjen
6. Heurlin & Frederiksen
7. Lako & Marval
8. Denewith & Denton

Championship Men compulsory figures:
1. Todd Eldredge
2. Daniel Doran
3. Paul Wylie
4. Christopher Bowman
5. Doug Mattis
6. Mark Mitchell
7. Erik Larson
8. Shepherd Clark

People at the rink were very excited that Paul Wylie skated so well -- he's definitely the sentimental favorite in this competition. (Last year he had some trouble in the early phases of the competition and ended up placing 3rd overall in spite of getting a perfect 6 in the free skate.) Bowman, the defending champion, didn't seem too put out at his placement. He came up to the monitor to look at the results at the same time I was writing them down and he said that 4th place was his lucky position.

Friday's report

Here are today's results in the US national figure skating championships:

Junior Men Final Standings:
1. Scott Davis
2. Michael Chack
3. John Baldwin, Jr.
4. Steven Smith
5. Gig Siruno
6. Philip Dulebohn
7. Richard Alexander
8. Dan Hollander

Championship Men Original Program:
1. Todd Eldredge
2. Paul Wylie
3. Mark Mitchell
4. Erik Larson
5. Christopher Bowman
6. Craig Heath
7. Aren Neilsen
8. Daniel Doran

Championship Pairs Final Standings:
1. Yamaguchi & Galindo
2. Kuchiki & Sand
3. Carz & Williams
4. Urbanski & Naylor
5. Denewith & Denton
6. Azanakis & McKeever
7. Lako & Marval
8. Visingardi & Dungjen

In the men's OP, Bowman's poor showing was a big surprise. He had a hard fall on his triple axel jump combination (wasn't even able to try the second jump) and missed another jump later in his program as well. He is so far behind in the overall standings at this point that it really seems unlikely that he can win. He's been looking rather tense in practice sessions all week and I think the pressure has just gotten to be more than he can handle.

Eldredge and Wylie both skated very well. Wylie got a standing ovation and 2 perfect 6's in his marks for presentation but Eldredge won the majority of judges because of the greater technical difficulty of his program. Overall, Eldredge has a solid lead, Wylie is in second, followed by Mitchell, Bowman, and Larson.

In the pairs, all of the couples made some small mistakes. The big story of this competition is turning out to be Natasha Kuchiki. She is only 13 years old and although she has qualified to go to the world championships, there is an ISU regulation that requires skaters to be at least 14 to compete in international competitions. I have heard that the USFSA is going to petition the ISU for a special exception to allow her to compete. Her partner, Todd Sand, is 26, but suprisingly they seem to be a very well-matched couple with a lot of style, in spite of the age difference.

Saturday's report

Here are Saturday's results from the US figure skating championships:

Junior Pairs final standings:
1. Vega & Alexander
2. Purdy & Chiamulera
3. Offner & Helgenberg
4. Paxton & Cox

Junior Ladies final standings:
1. Alice Sue Claeys
2. Geremi Weiss
3. Dana MacDonald
4. Nicole Bobek

Championship Ladies final standings:
1. Jill Trenary
2. Kristi Yamaguchi
3. Holly Cook
4. Nancy Kerrigan
5. Jeri Campbell
6. Tonia Kwiatowski
7. Tonya Harding
8. Dena Galech

Championship Dance final standings:
1. Wynne & Druar
2. Sargent & Witherby
3. Semanick & Kravette
4. Miley & Verlich
5. Punsalan & Swallow
6. McLean & Leib
7. Grove & Myers
8. Webster & Erickson

In the ladies' competition, Tonya Harding was in 2nd place coming in to the free skating but she has been ill with the flu all week and really struggled through her program, finishing 10th. Nancy Kerrigan actually placed 3rd in the free skating ahead of Holly Cook, but Cook did so much better in the figures part of the competition that she came out on top overall. Yamaguchi fell twice but still skated a fairly strong program to finish second behind Trenary, who had only a couple minor problems with her jumps.

There weren't any big surprises in the ice dance. Wynne & Druar have looked really strong all through the competition and I don't think there was ever much doubt that they would successfully defend their title.

Sunday's report

Here are the results of the last competitions in this year's US national figure skating championships:

Junior Dance final standings
1. Buhl & Smull
2. Schulz & Stine
3. Lane & Meier
4. Demkowski & Czarnecki

Championship Men final standings
1. Todd Eldredge
2. Paul Wylie
3. Mark Mitchell
4. Erik Larson
5. Daniel Doran
6. Craig Heath
7. Shepherd Clark
8. Doug Mattis

Christopher Bowman withdrew from the men's competition earlier this morning. He apparently injured his back earlier in the week -- I've heard conflicting reports about whether this happened before or during the original program on Friday -- and decided the risks of continuing in the competition (both risks to his health and risks to his reputation) outweighed the benefits, since he had been promised a place on the world team anyway on the basis of his performance at last year's championships.

Paul Wylie skated an absolutely brilliant program to win the free skate. People at the Salt Palace were on their feet roaring with excitement even before he got to the end of his routine. This is his 9th year competing at the senior level nationals and his maturity and experience really show in the perfection of his technique -- he pays a great deal of attention to getting every detail of timing and position exactly right. He ended up getting 4 more perfect 6's to go with the 2 he got for his OP. He did not, however, win the championship because Todd Eldredge also skated well and his lead coming in to the finals was just large enough for him to beat Wylie in the overall standings, but they will both be going to the worlds.

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