2001 Boston Open

Thursday

Yes, the Boston Open is going on as planned this weekend, with the novice ladies short programs being held tonight. There were very few spectators at the rink as no doubt many people were preoccupied with thoughts of the recent terrorist attacks, but personally I found it refreshing to get away from the constant stream of bad news for a while.

They had the novices skating in 4 groups with 4-6 skaters in each group (there had originally been more entered, but there were the usual number of scratches). I didn't take detailed notes on anybody, but here are a few highlights.

Erica Archambault easily won the first group, doing a triple salchow with a wild landing and steps into a double toe, and her usual assortment of bendy spins. She did only a single axel, but nobody else in this flight was able to successfully land a double.

Carly Milden won the second group with a double lutz/double toe combination and probably slightly cheated double axel. Chynna Pope also landed a double axel that looked a bit underrotated, but she got too close to the boards on her combination and popped it into just a single lutz. Otherwise I would definitely have had her ahead of Carly on the basis of her superior speed and ice coverage.

Sarah Farley was the class of the third group -- she fell on her triple salchow attempt, but landed an incredibly high and springy double axel.

In the last group, Holly Bugbee gave what was probably the best performance of the entire evening with a 'tano double lutz/double toe, effortless-looking double axel entered from a back spiral in layover position, and a double loop executed with both arms over her head.

Saturday

Today's events are already kind of a blur in my mind. I hardly remember anything about the intermediate and novice men's free skates. I believe Justin Clements won novice. Philip Deyesso, unfortunately, had a rough skate -- very disappointing to see that he is going nowhere with his jumps, because he's developed into an awesome skater otherwise. Wonder if it's too late for him to switch to ice dance....

Junior ladies short programs were also kind of forgettable, as this was quite a weak field. Meaghan Alix won -- she landed a good double axel and fell on a triple salchow, which I think was the only triple attempt in the competition. She also had a very bendy layback spin and a decent flying sit spin. Watching junior ladies attempting flying sit spins can be pretty painful, to tell the truth.

Junior men SP turned into an exhibition with just Mauro Bruni, who seemed not to have much fire in his skate as a result of the lack of competition. Mauro's skate was immediately followed by the senior men SP, which was more or less a total loss. First Josh Figurido simply gave up in the middle of his program, when he had only the footwork and two spins left to complete -- it seemed like he just lost concentration and decided to quit, as if it were a practice runthrough instead of a competition. It's really a shame, because if he had finished his program he surely would have won! Fedor Andreev's US competition debut was a complete and total disaster, no doubt about it. He not only waxeled his axel, but fell on both jumps in his combination and on his jump out of footwork, plus his spins were nowhere near the quality of Josh's and his footwork and in-between skating involved far more flapping of arms than anything to do with his feet. Fedor *was* very fast, but those wild arms left the impression that he was barely in control. Eh. Color me unimpressed.

Senior ladies were up next, and thankfully this wasn't a complete splatfest as sometimes happens at club competitions. I didn't get the final results but I'd guess Colleen Tremblay probably won; she did an underrotated triple salchow with a step into a double toe, and a good double axel and double flip out of footwork. Kristin Tudisco landed a clean triple salchow/double toe combination but her axel looked a bit cheated and she still skates like a junior. Tiffany St. Bernard fell on an attempt at a triple lutz combination -- she came pretty close in warmup, though. One peculiar thing I noticed is that she doesn't seem to do a regular sit spin, or at least she didn't have one in her program. Kristin Ward did a triple toe/single toe combination and an unsuccessful attempt at a triple loop as her jump out of footwork. Kate Liberman skated her usual beautiful program with beautiful spins and spirals, but fell on all of her jumps.

Sunday

This is going to be pretty sketchy. I'm afraid I OD'ed on senior ladies for sure today -- there were two whole flights of them. I didn't take notes on anybody, but here are a few things I do remember. Cheryl Smith is back with a new coach and she came out fighting with a big triple salchow/double toe combination and a two-footed triple loop in addition to spins in both directions, etc. Kristin Ward landed a triple toe/double toe sequence and also had a nice program all around. I kind of zoned out during Kristin Tudisco's program, but I think she did two triple salchows and an iffy triple toe, and I definitely noticed that her double axel was underrotated again. Tiffany St. Bernard landed a triple lutz/double toe combination (!) but all of the several other triples she attempted were underrotated, two-footed, etc. She did do an axel/reverse axel/double axel sequence though that was pretty neat. Once again, I noticed that she doesn't do a regular sit spin. There were a lot of really awful-looking falls in this event, and unhappy skaters leaving the ice.

Before the senior ladies, we had junior ladies free skates and exhibitions by one junior and one senior man. I'm afraid I remember nothing at all about the junior ladies, sorry. The junior man was Mauro Bruni, who skated his program from last year. He got the triple lutz/double toe combination but doubled everything else, I think. He seems to be going through a bit of a rough patch right now. The senior man was Fedor Andreev, who started out on the same track as yesterday by popping what was probably intended to be a quad toe into a double, falling on two successive triple axel attempts, putting hands down on a triple lutz, and popping a flip, before he landed triple loop, salchow, and toe loop at the end of the program. He also had some trouble with a couple of his spins. On the positive side, his "Firebird" program seemed to have less frantic arm-flapping than his short, the MITF section was awesome, and he also did a nifty back spiral into a back camel/sit spin. Once he stops flapping his arms, I find that Fedor resembles Robin Cousins, somewhat.

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