2001 US Nationals

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Travel hints

The Sheraton and other official hotels for Nationals are part of the Prudential Center/Copley Place complex in Back Bay. Besides the hotels, this consists of two interconnected shopping malls, various office buildings, and the Hynes convention center.

Do not try to drive in Boston! The streets are a mess to navigate, while parking is both hard to find and very expensive. (To give you an idea, the regular public rate for parking in the Prudential Center garage is $28/day.) Local people either walk or take the T to get around.

If you are in the Sheraton, the closest T stations are Hynes/ICA (B, C, and D trains on the green line) or Prudential (green line E trains). If you are in the Marriott or the Westin, the closest T stations are Copley (all green line trains) and Back Bay (on the orange line).

You can walk to Matthews Arena from the Pru. Walk southwest on Huntington Avenue to Mass Ave, turn left, and then right on St. Botolph street. You can also take an E train on the green line to Symphony, or the orange line to Mass Ave station.

To get to the Fleet Center, you can take either a green or orange line train to North Station.

The Skating Club of Boston is located directly across the street from the McDonalds on Western Ave in Brighton, and is served by the #70 and #70A buses from Central Square in Cambridge, and the #86 bus from Harvard Square. From the Prudential area, my recommendation is to catch the #1 bus on Mass Ave and take it to Central Square, and change there to the #70/70A. (Both Central and Harvard are also accessible from the red line subway.) Check the bus schedules on the MBTA web site to make sure you are allowing enough time. Although it's possible to get to the SCoB rink by public transportation, it's not particularly convenient, and you might prefer to take the LOC shuttle bus, or a taxi.

To get to the hotels from the airport, if you have more baggage than you can carry easily, you should take a taxi or one of the commercial hotel shuttles. If you want to take the T, you need to get on the free MassPort shuttle bus from the terminal to the Airport T station on the blue line, change from the blue line to green at Government Center, and then walk from the Copley/Prudential/Hynes T station to your hotel. (Do you really want to do this while carrying all your luggage?) If you are coming by Amtrak, get off at Back Bay station, which is right across the street from the entrance to Copley Place.

If you are going to be relying on the T for transportation instead of the LOC's shuttle buses, it's a good idea to buy a visitor pass. Unfortunately, you can't buy these at the subway token booths, but I think you can get them at the information booth in the central court at the Prudential Center. If not, try the ticket windows at Back Bay station. The regular subway fare is $1.00.

The Prudential Center has a food court and the usual assortment of restaurants and coffee stands. There is also a regular supermarket (Star Market) on the lower level at the Boylston St entrance. You'll find some food places across the street from the Fleet Center, and on Mass Ave near Matthews Arena. The SC of Boston rink not only has the McDonalds, but another Star Market across the street.

In terms of recommendations for sit-down restaurants, I think Legal Seafood is an overpriced tourist trap. The food is OK, but they seem to cater to visiting business people on expense accounts. There are a lot of good restaurants just outside the Pru on Boylston St and Newbury St -- Vinny Testa's (Italian) directly across from the Boylston St entrance to the Pru, Steve's (Greek) on Newbury at Hereford (also has a takeout counter), Himalaya (Indian) on Mass Ave at Newbury, etc.

Newbury St is also a popular shopping district. The upper end, closer to Mass Ave, has a distinctly funky character (there are a couple good second-hand bookshops here), but as you walk towards the Public Garden end, the shops become progressively more upscale.

Senior men

Tim Goebel

SP (3): "2001". Quad "salchow"/double toe, fell out of triple axel, turn out of triple flip. My notes also say "spin combo ugly".

FS (1): "Henry V". Triple flutz, quad "salchow"/triple toe, triple axel/double toe, sloppy spin, pop toe loop, circular steps, camel/sit spin, triple axel, quad "salchow" with a fall, change sit, straight-line footwork, triple flip, triple toe, butterfly spin. Didn't attempt a triple loop; isn't it supposed to go where he did the solo triple toe instead?

I wasn't paying particularly close attention to Tim in practices because he was in the same group as Todd Eldredge and Ryan Jahnke, but it's my impression that he was doing a lot fewer quad attempts than he was at last year's Nationals (when he hardly did anything else). He also did program runthroughs when his music was played, which he didn't do last year.

I'm afraid that being in the same practice group as Todd and Ryan really highlighted Tim's deficiencies in posture and extension. When the guys first came out on the ice and were stroking around and doing edge exercises to warm up, you would have no problem identifying who the better skaters were. On the other hand, I do see some improvements in Tim's skating since he's started working with Frank Carroll. His lutz is not as badly flutzed as it used to be, and he's clearly been working hard to fix the incredibly ugly hunched back sit spin position he used to have.

Todd Eldredge

SP (2): "Exotica". Double toe (no combination), triple axel, triple lutz.

FS (2): Generic Todd music. Triple toe, triple axel/double toe, triple lutz, flying camel to sit spin, change camel, triple toe/double toe, triple axel, double loop, double salchow, death drop, butterfly spin, spin combination. Bad costume, looked too stiff and constraining.

Todd spent most of his practices working on his quad, with a few triple axels thrown in. As at Skate America, I observed that it usually took him a really long time to warm up the quad, often doing several doubles and triples before being able to rotate a quad. I thought it would be an advantage for him to skate first in the final group for the free skate, since he would be fresh from the warmup, but it didn't work out that way. Maybe he should have spent more time practicing his loop and salchow instead. If he'd landed them, he probably would have won this competition.

Matt Savoie

SP (5): "Passion & Power". Splat on triple axel, triple flip/triple toe two-footed on the second jump, triple lutz. Matt was one of the few skaters to do a serpentine footwork sequence in the short (most of the guys were doing circular and straight-line).

FS (3): Gershwin. Back split leap, triple salchow, triple axel with a step out into a triple toe, double axel, butterfly spin, triple flip/triple toe, camel, triple loop, spirals, spread eagles into a triple axel, flying camel with a layover position, straight-line steps, hydroblade into a triple lutz, spin combination.

Matt had some really bad practices early in the week, and in the short program I could see that before he even started to skate he had that "deer in the headlights" look he sometimes gets. In the free skate, it was really great to see him pull himself together after the early mistake on the axel and skate the rest of the program clean. I thought he should have been placed above Eldredge in this phase of the competition, since he had both more difficulty and variety in the elements he actually completed.

Michael Weiss

SP (1): "Taras Bulba". Quad toe a little two-footed/double toe, triple axel, triple lutz.

FS (5): "William Tell". Fall on quad toe, fall on triple axel, another fall on a triple axel attempt. Ugh. Butterfly spin, some footwork with brackets, circular step sequence, triple flip with a step out, triple loop (his first completed jump, at about 3:20 into the program), triple salchow, straight-line steps, triple lutz barely hung onto the landing, spin combination. No jump combination. What a disaster. I think the choreography of this program is great, but Mike got the benefit of some very generous judging here. I would have had him 8th, I think.

As he did last year, Mike didn't show up for practice until very late in the week, and once he got there he seemed not to be doing very much on his sessions. I guess this worked for him last year, but not this time.

Trifun Zivanovic

SP (4): "The Mummy". Triple flip/triple toe, triple axel, triple lutz. The only clean program of this event.

FS (4): "Dracula". Fell out of triple axel that went up sideways, triple flip, triple axel/double toe, death drop, straight-line step, triple loop (is this the first time Trifun has landed this jump in competition?), change sit spin, spread eagle into a triple lutz, flying camel, straight-line steps, triple flip/triple toe sequence, triple salchow, butterfly spin.

A lot of people had written Trifun off this season following his troubles at his fall internationals, but he's baaaaack!

Johnny Weir

SP (6): "Umbrellas of Cherbourg". Triple lutz/triple toe, pop axel, triple flip.

FS (6): Folky zither music. Flying camel, triple lutz/triple toe, triple axel with a step out, death drop, triple flip, triple axel/triple toe, serpentine footwork, straight line steps, spin something (my notes are illegible here), spirals, more straight-line steps, triple salchow, spin combination. Got a standing ovation. This program was even more front-loaded than it had been at Easterns because he left out the triple loop at the end.

Johnny's stroking and edge quality were the best of the field; I'm not sure this comes across well on TV (I haven't looked at tape of the broadcast yet). I think he's going to be a formidable competitor in the years to come, since he really has it all except experience at this point. I'm really encouraged to see a 16-year-old with a triple axel. Johnny was also landing triple lutz/triple toe/triple loop with some regularity in practice -- wow!

Justin Dillon

SP (9): Jazzy-sounding music. Triple flutz, double axel, triple loop/step/triple toe. Fairly slow.

FS (7): "Sorcerer's Apprentice". Spin combination with a layback, triple flutz/triple toe, double axel, triple salchow, triple loop, side layback, triple toe, triple flip/double toe, flying camel, triple loop/double loop, circular step, double flutz (darn! I was hoping he'd skate a clean program), split jumps, double axel, butterfly spin. A well-deserved standing ovation for a creative and imaginative program that was skated about as well as he could do it.

Justin had skated one of the most memorable programs from 1999 Nationals, too, but at last year's Nationals I thought he looked out of shape and he was struggling with his jumps a lot. This year Justin showed up looking like he'd lost a good bit of weight, and he was having very good consistency with his triple/triple combinations in practice. The main things that are holding him back at this point are (1) the flutz (2) lack of a triple axel and (3) lack of power and knee bend in his stroking.

Ryan Jahnke

SP (7): "Take Five". Triple axel underrotated and landed on the wrong foot, triple lutz/double toe, triple flip. I was disappointed that the judges were still not giving him the presentation marks he deserves, but his placement behind Johnny Weir was correct.

FS (8): Ravi Shankar. Triple axel again underrotated and heavily two-footed, triple lutz/triple toe with a very slight two-foot, flying sit spin, triple flip, camel with variation in position, triple salchow with an unchecked landing into a double loop, MITF steps, triple lutz stepped out with hands down, triple toe with a step out, triple loop with another light two-foot.

This is the first instance I can recall where Ryan has let a free skate get away from him at Nationals. The axel is still not quite there for him when he needs it, but he was doing clean triple salchow/triple loop combinations in practice both on Friday and Saturday, and the dumb mistakes on the last three jumps in his program were completely uncharacteristic of his practice runthroughs.

Ryan Bradley

SP (8): Rimsky-Korsakov "Dance of the Tumblers". Wild popped axel, triple "lip"/triple toe maybe two-footed(?), triple lutz. Another one of the skaters doing a serpentine footwork pattern. I think he got a spin deduction on his flying camel. More like "Dance of the Stumblers", I guess.

FS (10): "William Tell". Triple "lip"/triple toe, wild popped axel, triple lutz/triple toe looked two-footed, death drop, spirals, spread eagle, triple loop, flying camel, circular step, stroking into another wild popped axel, straight-line step, popped lutz, popped salchow, spin combination, triple lutz, another spin combination.

I really have to question Tom Zakrajsek's coaching of Ryan at this competition. He had Ryan trying his triple axel over and over and over again in practices, and it was obvious that it just wasn't going to happen -- the ones Ryan didn't pop, he was invariably taking very hard falls on, oftentimes slamming into the boards with a resounding thunk. It was also pretty obvious that Ryan himself had no confidence in his ability to land this jump, so that the only things that were accomplished by having him continue to work on it were (1) making him look bad in front of an audience (2) sabotaging his self-confidence and (3) risking unnecessary injury. Hasn't Ryan been dealing with a knee injury already? Whacking his knee into the boards, or on the ice, several times every day can hardly be helpful to him. It would have been far better for them to have Ryan just do a clean double in his program and spend some of that practice time working on his other elements instead.

Derrick Delmore

SP (11): Hmmm, violin music, I think? Triple flip with a fall, popped axel, triple lutz, double toe. Ouch.

FS (9): "JC Superstar" medley. Triple lutz, triple flip with hands down into double toe, popped axel again, spin combination, triple flip/triple toe, spread eagle into a triple loop, another popped axel, flying camel, ina, yet another popped axel, double axel, change sit spin (I think that's what my notes say), triple salchow, double axel, butterfly spin. This long program music really grates on me because it seems to have too many cuts that don't fit together well, and I hope Derrick comes up with something new next year.

Danny Clausen

SP (10): "When a man loves a woman". Double axel, triple flip(?)/triple toe kind of ground out, triple lutz with a step out and hands down. It looked to me like he clipped the boards, or came close to it, on both his circular and straight-line footwork sequences.

FS (12): Italian medley. Double axel with a scrape of the free foot on the landing, triple flip step out into triple toe, triple lutz with hands down/double toe, flying camel, triple salchow, spin combination, edgy steps, triple loop, flying sitspin, triple flip with a hand down, triple lutz with a hand down, inside axel, straight-line steps, flying sit spin, sloppy stumble as he was getting into his ending pose.

Evan Lysacek

SP (15): Techno music. Fall on triple lutz, double axel, triple "lip". The elements don't look so bad compared to the other guys, but his speed and ice coverage are not yet up to senior level. The costume Evan wore for this program made him look painfully thin. Looks like he's shot up quite a bit since last year but hasn't yet started to fill out.

FS (11): Vanessa Mae medley. Double axel, triple lutz/triple toe, popped loop, flying camel, circular footwork, double axel, popped flip into a triple toe (I think), spin combination, triple "lip", more circular footwork, crossfoot spin, spirals, walley into a triple lutz, death drop. Evan seemed to be skating with more speed than in the short.

Kurt Fromknecht

SP (13): "Money". Triple loop/triple toe landed on two feet, triple axel heavily two-footed with hands down, triple lutz.

FS (13): "Four Seasons" that segued into angry, dissonant tango sections. Triple toe/triple toe, triple axel with a turn out, triple lutz/double toe, flying camel, circular steps, serpentine steps, triple salchow, another camel spin. Kurt's shirt had been coming untucked throughout his whole program, and at this point he tucked it back in, accompanied by laughter and applause from the audience. Unfortunately, it immediately came untucked again, and he just left it alone after that. Triple flip with a hand down and step out, triple loop, flying sit spin, bailed out of double or axel on two feet, straight-line steps, double axel with a step out, combination spin, stumbled as he was getting into his closing pose.

I really liked Kurt's long program. It had a lot of footwork in it that looked complex and challenging, and the music had an engrossing intensity to it. On the other hand, I'm really sick and tired of his short program -- I think this is the third year he's used it?

Josh Figurido

SP (12): "Nightmare". Triple flip, fell on triple lutz, double axel.

FS (14): "Don Quixote" (but not the familiar piece everybody uses). Double lutz/triple toe, triple flip with a step into double toe, double axel, flying camel, triple salchow with a step out, spread eagle, fall on triple loop, change sit spin, triple lutz two-footed, spin combination, half axel, inside axel, double flip, circular steps, triple toe, butterfly spin.

Josh was looking really good in practices all week, landing huge triple lutz/triple toe and triple flip/triple toe combinations. His strong upper-body carriage and spins really stand out, too. It would have been nice if a few more of those jumps had made it from practice to competition, but he has a tendency to tense up in competition, so this was still the strongest competition performance I've seen from him in at least a couple of years. He did a much better job keeping his speed up than at Easterns, for instance.

Braden Overett

SP (17): "A league of their own". Fall on triple axel, triple loop, overrotated double lutz with steps into a double toe.

FS (15): "Zorro". Triple salchow, popped axel, moving very fast into triple lutz/double toe, flying camel, double loop with a step out, change sit spin, slow straight-line steps and macho strutting, triple flip with a fall, split jump, fall on a triple salchow, spread eagles, double axel, spin combination, straight-line footwork, triple toe/double toe, ended with a fast scratch spin.

Braden's another skater who has really good basic skating skills and fine carriage and presentation skills. His long program, in particular, was really a delight.

Don Baldwin

SP (16): James Bond, complete with shoulder holster. Double axel, fall on triple lutz, triple flip. I thought his flying camel might have been short a rotation and his change sit spin travelled a lot.

FS (16): "Spartacus". Double axel into triple toe, double lutz, triple flip, death drop, triple loop, flying camel, MITF sequence in a serpentine pattern, cross-foot spin, double axel/half loop/triple salchow with a fall, circular steps, popped flip, straight-line steps, change sit spin. He started out fast but slowed down noticibly by the end of his program.

No miracle triple axel for Don this year. I saw him landing some triple lutz/triple toe combinations in practice, but it seemed to be very inconsistent for him. I have to say that I always find his programs entertaining, though.

Johnnie Bevan

SP (14): "The Natural". Triple axel with a step into a double toe, triple lutz, double axel. Unfortunately, he had a fall in a footwork section.

FS (17): "Gladiator". Triple axel with a step out and hand down, triple lutz kind of ground out, double axel, spin combination, triple flip with a bad two foot and step out, slow steps, popped lutz, flying camel, still skating slowly, triple toe/double toe, straight-line steps, triple salchow, change sit spin, circular steps, death drop.

Scott Smith

SP (18): Shostakovich. Quad salchow with a step out into a double toe, triple lutz looked underrotated and landed scratchily on the toe, double axel.

FS (18): Dvorak's Slavonic Dances. Double lutz, fell on quad salchow attempt, double axel, butterfly spin, skating slowly into a triple loop with a fall, flying camel, triple flip, fell on another quad salchow, circular steps, walleys into a triple salchow, camel spin, inside axel, spread eagles, death drop, straight-line step, triple toe/triple toe, spin combination.

I wonder what the judges would have done with Scott if he'd actually landed one of those quad salchows. His other jumps are not particularly consistent or of high quality, and his stroking and spins also still have a juniorish quality about them.

Robert Brathwaite

SP (19): I forgot what his music was. Stood up on a triple axel, but it wasn't pretty; triple toe looked two-footed in combination with a double toe, fell on triple salchow. Spins were exceptionally weak for a senior man.

FS (19): Surfer dude music, I think. Triple axel, double lutz-double toe, triple salchow kind of sloppy, flying camel, circular step, a "whoop" -- slid off the entrance edge to a loop -- spin combination with really weak positions, double flip/double toe, fell out of triple toe, did the same on a salchow, death drop, scratch spin. Poor ice coverage.

Not much to say; clearly the weakest skater of the competition. During practices he seemed to work almost exclusively on his triple axel, which appears to be his only consistent triple.

Senior ladies

Michelle Kwan

SP (1): "East of Eden". Double axel, triple lutz/double toe, triple flip. Got a huge ovation and 7 6.0's for presentation. Personally, I thought that this performance was a notch below the one she'd turned in on her Wednesday morning practice, which was stunning.

FS (1): "Song of the Black Swan". Triple loop, double toe/double toe (oops), triple lutz/double toe, opposite-direction camel, layback, triple salchow, triple flip, charlotte and spiral, double axel, spin combination, straight-line steps, triple lutz, spiral, triple toe, death drop. This program has been substantially revised and rechoreographed since Skate America, to break up all the end-to-end skating that it formerly had, and vary the placement of the elements. (E.g., the spins are no longer all done in exactly the same spot on the ice, and she is doing her lutz combination more in the corner again instead of straight down the middle of the ice.)

I had the strong impression at this competition that Michelle was back to being "packaged" as the Ice Princess in anticipation of next year's Olympics. At Skate America, she was practicing in plain leggings and a tank top with her hair in a ponytail, but here she showed up for her first practice at the Fleet Center on Tuesday morning wearing a blindingly sparkly gold dress (is that a statement, or what?) with her hair in the bun again, and at the subsequent practices that I saw, she was wearing her competition outfits. The change of her short program from earlier this season, too, seems like a very calculated move -- this one is totally designed to wring a standing ovation from the crowd and 6.0's from the judges.

On the other hand, I kind of felt sorry for Michelle the person underneath all that packaging. At that Tuesday practice, there were large groups of schoolchildren at the Fleet Center who were shrieking every time Michelle skated near them, and it quickly turned into a contest of which group could scream loudest, instead of anything about Michelle. Finally some of the arena staff, I guess, managed to get the kids to shut up. This must have been terribly distracting to the other skaters in Michelle's practice group, as well. Michelle also had to deal with more flash bulbs going off in her face than any other skater, and the usual huge mobs of people wanting to get her autograph when she came off the ice from her practices. Actually, I observed that she had a strategy for dealing with the autograph seekers -- she lingered around on the ice near the boards at the end of the practice until the other skaters in her group were done too, then she'd sign a few and disappear backstage, leaving the other skaters to deal with the crowd!

In any case, Michelle was skating well this week, she'd obviously been working hard to address the deficiencies in her programs and in things like the speed of her spins. It was clear that she was there to win and that she wasn't going to let herself get upstaged at Nationals again.

Sarah Hughes

SP (2): "Vocalise". Double axel, triple flutz/double toe, triple flip visibly cheated (she did it right in front of me).

FS (2): "Don Quixote". Double axel, triple salchow/triple loop combination with the second jump much underrotated and landed on the wrong foot, flying camel, triple loop, triple flutz maybe two footed/double toe, triple flip, spin, circular steps, layback, triple flutz in the same place, triple toe, series of leaps, spin combination.

The new free skate costume is a definite improvement over the old one, which had a tendency to look like it was falling off. On the other hand, the program itself is sure getting old. During one of the early-week practices when Sarah had not yet arrived in town, when her music was played some of us fans "skated" it for her by throwing our arms up in the air at appropriate moments.

Angela Nikodinov

SP (3): Generic pretty music. Triple lutz/double toe, triple flip, double axel with a wild landing.

FS (3): "Sleeping Beauty". Double axel, triple lutz, triple flip, triple loop, flying camel, layback, triple salchow, triple lutz, triple toe turn into double toe with a step-out. In addition to the lack of a successful combination, the program seemed rather spare to me, in terms of connecting elements.

Well, well. Three or four years ago I was going around saying that Angela was the strongest technician of all the US ladies, but she's had so many problems with her head that I felt that her career was going to be over unless she did something to pull herself together this season; next year it was going to be too late. Her recent coaching change seems to have been a very, very good thing for her. The only things that Richard Callaghan did for her, that I could see, were to give her wretched programs (remember that horrible short from last season?) and to ruin her lutz technique and make her start flutzing. The flutz is nearly gone again now. It also looks like Angela has regained some of the excess amount of weight she had lost earlier this season, so she is looking a lot healthier and less skeletal than she did at Skate America -- you couldn't see her ribs sticking out any more, for instance.

Jennifer Kirk

SP (4): "Evita". Triple flutz/double toe, triple flip, double axel. It looked like she had a slight slip in her spin combination.

FS (4): "Nutcracker". Triple salchow, popped lutz, triple toe/triple toe, death drop, double axel, lying camel, triple loop(?), layback, spread eagle, ina bauer, spirals, triple flip(?), spread eagle into triple flutz/double toe.

I don't think the mistake on the first lutz in her free skate ended up costing Jenny anything; she would have finished 4th anyway. Jenny's speed doesn't look bad at all taken in isolation, but it's obvous that Nikodinov is a more powerful skater.

Amber Corwin

SP (5): Jazzy music. Triple toe/triple toe, triple lutz, double axel.

FS (5): Slow new-age music. Triple toe/triple toe, triple lutz/double toe, triple loop/double loop,spin combination, triple flip, circular steps, a scribble in my notes I can't read, triple lutz, triple salchow, spin combination, spirals, double axel, flying camel. I thought both lutzes were cheated to some extent -- Amber has such a nasty leg wrap it probably makes them look worse than they are.

After her melt-downs in the short program at last year's nationals and in the free skate the year before, a lot of people had written Amber off, but I'd been hearing that she'd been skating pretty well in practice this season so I was not shocked myself to see her back in the final group.

In practices in Boston, people were talking as much about Amber's sleazy practice outfits as they were about her skating. In one practice that I saw, she was wearing a leotard with so little fabric on the bottom that she had a permanent wedgie that she was continually pulling out again. I was told that at another practice, she was wearing transparent white leggings with thong underwear clearly visible underneath -- well, it would have been worse if she hadn't been wearing underwear.....

Beatrisa Liang

SP (6): "Scene d'Amour" (Maria Butyrskaya's music). Double axel, triple lutz/double toe, triple flip. Slow, poor ice coverage.

FS (6): Tchaikovsky medley. Triple flip, triple lutz/double toe, flying camel, triple toe/double toe, spirals, combination spin, double loop, spread eagles, death drop (I think), spirals, fall on triple salchow, double lutz with a step out, double axel/double toe, flying camel into a back scratch spin.

I was shocked to see Beatrisa show up for her first practice at the Fleet Center without a coach. Can you imagine being 12 years old and at your first senior nationals, and being completely on your own? But it turned out that she did just fine -- she was very businesslike, warmed up her elements, did her runthrough, and then went back and worked on the two or three things she had missed.

In spite of her small size, Beatrisa's jump technique is fundamentally sound -- she gets a very nice spring, and doesn't habitually flutz or cheat. I would have had her a notch lower in the short program because of the speed issue, but I think her free skate placement was correct.

Ann Patrice McDonough

SP (8): Can't remember her music. Fell on triple lutz, double axel, triple "lip".

FS (7): "Romeo & Juliet" movie score. Double lutz/double toe, triple loop, circular step, reached on triple toe, flying camel, leaps, double flip, double axel, layback, fell on triple salchow, flying camel with donut variation, double lutz, spirals, triple flip with an awkward landing in combination with a toe axel.

I'm not sure what happened to A.P.'s triple lutz at this competition since it's normally her strongest triple. She does a genuine lutz and not a flutz, too. OTOH, she was having tons of trouble with that salchow in practices, very rarely landing it.

Andrea Gardiner

SP (9): "Spartacus". Very slow entry into a triple flutz with a fall, double axel, triple flip.

FS (9): Rimsky-Korsakov medley. Triple loop, triple flutz/double toe, double flip, waltz jump, flying camel, spirals, double salchow, fell on triple toe, walley into a triple flutz with a two-footed landing, death drop, double toe, spin combination.

Andrea seemed to be having a lot better luck with her jumps when she was doing them in isolation, than she was in her program runthroughs or competition.

Sara Wheat

SP (12): Dreadful disco version of "Sing Sing Sing", in an equally dreadful costume. Triple flutz/double toe from a very quick entrance, double axel, big splat in footwork leading into the solo jump and could only manage a double flip when she got up.

FS (8): Cirque du Soleil in another unflattering costume. Flying camel, triple flip (or flutz?)/double toe sequence, triple flutz (or flip?), straight-line step, triple loop, spin combination, lunge/spiral/ina bauer sequence, double axel, another ina bauer, spin, double flutz, triple salchow/double loop, butterfly spin.

Honestly, I like Sara, but her programs this year really grated on me. Her lutz continues to be a trouble spot, and I was having real problems even figuring out which ones were supposed to be lutzes and which ones were supposed to be flips.

Ye Bin Mok

SP (11): Didn't recognize the music. Fall on triple lutz, triple toe, double axel. Superb layback.

FS (10): Saint-Saens piano concerto #1. Fell on triple lutz, double axel, triple toe/double toe, flying camel, straight-line steps, triple salchow/double toe, spin combination with a biellmann, double loop, layback, illegible scribble, double toe, triple salchow with a messy two-foot landing, popped axel, death drop.

I hadn't seen Mok since 1999, and I was blown away by the overall quality of her skating at this competition. Her triple lutz is inconsistent, but it's gigantic, a true lutz with delayed rotation like Chen Lu or Nancy Kerrigan. Wonderful edge quality, carriage, and spins, too.

Lisa Nesuda

SP (10): "On Golden Pond". Double axel, double lutz with a step out, triple loop/double loop.

FS (11): "Romeo & Juliet" movie score (same music as A.P. McDonough). Layback, spread eagle into a double loop, double axel, spin combination, popped lutz, edgy steps, triple toe, triple lutz maybe two-footed/double toe, double salchow, triple loop wrapped and underrotated, double axel with wild landing.

I know there are some other netters who are crazy about Lisa, and the judges seemed to like her presentation a lot (especially in the short program), but personally, I don't see what the fuss is about. To me she seems somewhat stiff and I don't think she uses her knees enough; I don't see a lot of power or flow in her stroking, for instance.

Alicia Cavanaugh

SP (13): "The Swan". Triple toe/double toe, double salchow (oops), double axel.

FS (12): Piano music, I think. Triple toe/double toe, 2.5 loop, flying camel, double lutz, triple salchow/double toe, double axel, layback, triple salchow. At this point, I was distracted by having to replace my camera batteries, and I wasn't able to write down the rest of her elements, but I know she landed another triple toe loop towards the end of her program. A very fine performance within the limits of her technical abilities; I thought she was undermarked on presentation.

Stacey Pensgen

SP (7): Bach Toccata & Fugue. Triple lutz/double toe, triple toe, double axel. I thought that in her spin combination I saw her touch down with her hand, but I would have had her one place higher in the short.

FS (15): "Giselle". Splat on triple lutz, fell out of double flip, triple toe, another splat on double axel, layback, tripped out of the landing of a triple salchow, death drop, tripped on her toe picks, popped a lutz and went splat again, flying camel, edgy steps, slipped again in a spiral, double axel, double flip, spin combination. Shudder. Stacey looked so completely out of it in this performance that I wondered if she were sick or spaced out on something -- she never had her feet under her at all.

Looks to me like Stacey is being "packaged" now too. Her hair is now dyed blond and cut in a softer style that's not short enough to stay out of her face and not long enough to pull back. I see that there's also been a real effort to give her "prettier" choreography, with more emphasis on line and position.

Katie Lee

SP (14): Irish-sounding music. Triple toe/double toe, triple salchow, single axel (oops).

FS (13): "Danse Macabre". Triple toe, double lutz, camel, circular step, triple salchow/double toe, double axel, spin combination, spirals, triple loop, popped flip, layback straight-line step, triple salchow with a hand down, double axel/double toe, flying camel.

Sometimes I've found the bottom group of ladies at Nationals to be pretty awful, but this year they all did themselves proud, with cleaner programs and less tentative skating than many of the girls in the middle group.

Stephanie Chace-Bass

SP (15): I remember her skating to a polka or something like that. Triple salchow/triple loop landed on two feet, cheated triple lutz, fell on double axel.

FS (14): Verdi opera medley. Two double axels in a row, triple salchow/triple loop cheated, double flip, spin combination with hop changes, spirals, fall on triple lutz, triple salchow, cheated-looking triple loop/double toe, fell on triple toe, spirals, double axel, serpentine steps, big split jump, fall on a double(?) flip, flying camel with illusions.

IMO, Stephanie needs to clean up the cheats on her solo jumps instead of worrying about doing triple/triple combinations just yet.

Stephanie Roth

SP (17): "Paint It Black". Triple toe/double toe, double axel, fell in stroking, popped her flip.

FS (16): "Firebird". Triple toe/double toe, triple salchow in sequence with a triple toe that she fell on, flying camel, popped flutz, death drop, double axel, spirals and ina bauer, layback, triple salchow/double toe, straight-line step, more spirals, double axel with a hand down, spin combination, back scratch spin.

Elizabeth Kwon

SP (16): Rachmaninoff. Double axel, triple lutz two-footed/double toe, popped salchow. I noted her circular step pattern was not closed.

Elizabeth withdrew after the short program; I think I heard she had an ankle injury.

Senior dance

The only part of the dance competition I saw was the two compulsory dances, the Westminster Waltz and the Silver Samba. I didn't take photos or really detailed notes, but here are some quick observations.

For the Westminster Waltz, I was sitting where I had a really good view of the part of the pattern where the man is supposed to do a LFO counter and the lady is supposed to do an RFI rocker, so that they turn in opposite directions while changing lobes. I say "supposed to" because that wasn't always what happened. Handra & Sinek seemed to do the neatest turns of all the couples, but I noted that on every pattern Ben Agosto was doing a change of edge and three turn instead of a counter, Valentine & Kossack were both doing three turns, and just about everyone else was doing some amount of skidding through those turns. Belbin & Agosto and Valentine & Kossack also did noticibly smaller patterns. Koegel & Fediukov fell at the very end of their dance, as they were transitioning into their closing pose, and it looked like Lang & Tchernyshev nicked the wall on the far side of the rink from where I was sitting as they started their first pattern.

As far as I can tell, the main difficulty with the Silver Samba is that the steps are frenetically quick. Valentine & Kossack, the first couple up, had to restart about 5 times because of some problem with the music. Handra & Sinek were very fast on this dance and skated with a lot of expression, as did Lang & Tchernyshev. Joseph & Forsyth were noticibly less aggressive, and once again Belbin & Agosto skated a smaller pattern although their expression looked good to me. Koegel & Fediukov were out on the ice for the warmup for this dance, but when it was their turn to skate it was announced that they had withdrawn; it looked like Oleg had injured his knee in that fall in the first dance.

Senior pairs

I find it really hard to take good notes on pairs when I'm taking photos at the same time. It's also pretty depressing to have to list all the mistakes the lower-ranked teams made, so I'll stick with just making some general comments on the top finishers here .

Ina & Zimmerman

Two mistakes in the short -- him on the triple toe, her on the throw -- dropped them to second place. The long wasn't perfect either, with another botched throw and a weird stumble at the end of the program. They're clearly the strongest US pair team right now, but I can't see them in the top 5 at Worlds if they skate like this.

Scott & Dulebohn

I was told that their competition performances were a lot better than the way they had been practicing, but I thought they still looked pretty ragged. They've also taken out some of the difficulty in their long program compared to earlier this season -- the double axels into triple toes have become triple toes only, and they were back to doing only a throw double axel instead of triple loop. I keep wishing they'd take some time off to deal with their various injuries which seem to be handicapping them.

Hartsells

I didn't see the bloody practice accident, but people who did told me they wished they hadn't. During the short program I noticed Paul Binnebose sitting in the next section over from me and acting as their biggest cheerleader. Very, very gutsy for them to come back and skate as well as they did. It seems to me that the Hartsells' strength has always been their ability just to do their elements, rather than the quality of their in-between skating, and when Danielle missed two jumps in the long that was enough to knock them down to third again.

Kalesavich & Parchem

This was the first time I'd ever seen this team, and I was impressed. They're very smooth in their stroking, although they could use more speed. They're trying triple salchows as their solo jumps instead of triple toes, but Stephanie couldn't land it cleanly in either the short or the long, and she also splatted on both throws in the long.

Magarian & Guzman

Kind of messy in both the short and long programs. Jered tripped over his toe picks at the beginning of their long program and it seemed to have disrupted their focus and unison through the entire first half of the program. One good thing I particularly noticed about this team is that on their twist lifts, Jered very definitely catches Amanda and sets her down on the ice, instead of merely supporting the lady as she comes down as so many other pairs do.

I was told that they got a deduction in the short program for doing an illegal lift. It kind of angers me that they were sent to compete at 4 internationals in the fall and this is the first time anybody bothered to tell them about this problem. It really sounds to me like their USFSA monitors fell down on the job, and why weren't the coaches and team leaders at their internationals more active in getting feedback from the judges?

Just a couple more quick comments....

Spielberg & Joeright were a disaster at this competition. Larisa had been injured in the fall and it didn't look like they were ready to compete yet.

The Stieglers pulled out after the short program not because of injury, but because Tiffany had bronchitis. Their stroking and presentation is still top-notch, but they had problems with almost every element in the short program -- fall on the throw, they both botched their triple toes, he's still pushing her up by the butt on the twist, their lift was about as basic as it comes, etc.

I'm encouraged to see John Baldwin switching to pairs. Rena Inoue is also a strong singles skater and they actually tried side-by-side triple lutzes in their free skate. They need more difficulty in their pairs elements, but they didn't look at all scary.

Junior men

Parker Pennington

SP (3): All but fell on triple flip, triple lutz/triple toe, bailed out of double axel. Parker was very, very lucky to stay in third place with this program, only because so many of the other guys made mistakes. A lot of us thought he should have been 4th behind Rusty Fein.

FS (1): Flying camel, double axel, triple lutz, circular steps, triple flip/triple toe, death drop, spirals and spread eagles, camel, triple salchow, triple loop with a step out, triple lutz/double toe, straight-line steps, more spread eagles, spin combination.

No triple axel attempt from Parker this year.

Benjamin Miller

SP (1): "Firebird". Triple lutz/triple toe, triple flip barely held on, double axel with a step out.

FS (2): Latin medley. Triple lutz/triple toe, triple flip/double toe, double axel, wimpy flying camel, triple loop, illegible scribble spin, triple salchow, triple toe, serpentine steps, triple flip (or lutz?), spin combination. I thought Ben outjumped Parker, but his spins and presentation were of lower quality.

Michael Villarreal

SP (2): "Dracula". Triple flutz/double toe, triple flip, double axel. I noted that his spins were generally good except that his flying camel position needed help.

FS (3): "Gettysburg". Triple flip, double axel/double toe, triple flutz/double toe, triple loop, flying camel, triple toe/double toe, change camel, triple salchow, straight-line step, triple toe, spin combination (I think).

Very popular skater with the audience, although I heard several people commenting that he seemed to be too young for such "heavy" program themes.

Shaun Rogers

SP (5): Triple flip, fell on triple lutz, double axel. Bad travel on change sit spin.

FS (4): "Rodeo". Straight-line steps, triple flip, triple lutz/double toe, triple toe/double toe, triple salchow, change sit, neat footwork with figures stuff in it, double axel, triple loop, triple flip, series of inside axels, walleys in both directions, flying camel, double axel, butterfly spin.

I thought Shaun deserved to be 3rd in the long because he had so much in the way of connecting elements in his program (choreographed by Nathan Birch). He's still a small guy and "skates young"; he needs to work on power and looking a little less tentative on his jumps.

Rusty Fein

SP (4): Triple flip, triple lutz/double toe, double axel. One of the few clean short programs of the competition, probably ought to have been ranked at least third.

FS (6): Classical mishmash. Triple salchow, triple loop with a sloppy step out, triple lutz/double toe with a step out, triple flip, spread eagles, popped lutz, triple toe/single toe, spin combination with a hop transition, straight-line step, walley, triple toe, double axel.

A disappointing competition for Rusty. He is really getting too old to stay junior any more (he is 18 already) but I'm not optimistic about his chances in senior.

Rohene Ward

SP (7): "Istanbul". Tripped on his toe pick as he was setting up his lutz combination and quickly substituted a double axel instead, tried the combination again and only got off a single lutz/single toe, triple flip. He was flying through his circular footwork and did beautiful, unusual spins, including a back-to-front spin combination with a layback position.

FS (5): "Romeo & Juliet". Triple flip, triple lutz/triple toe, fell on triple axel, circular step, clockwise single axel into counterclockwise double axel (in practice this was doubles in both directions), spin combination, fell out of triple salchow, spirals into a triple toe with a fall, triple lutz, more spirals, layback spin, straightline step, double loop, triple loop.

Wow wow wow. I cannot say enough good things about this skater. Tremendous flexibility and extension, and his jumps look very strong. I saw him land a couple triple axels in practice even if he didn't do one in his program -- he was the only one of the juniors even attempting it this year. Even more amazing, in practice I also saw him do a complete set of double jumps in his reverse direction, and he was also working on a reverse direction triple lutz.

I think that Rohene's mistakes in this competition were probably due to inexperience; he hasn't competed at Nationals since 1997. While waiting to start his short program he was goofing around with the audience and I kind of thought he just lost focus. I also did wonder about the amount of practice time he was spending on elements that were not in his program, like the reverse-direction jumps and some of his bendy moves.

Nicholas LaRoche

SP (6): Triple lutz/triple toe with a hand down and near-fall, triple flip with a step out, double axel. Change sit spin was very weak.

FS (8): "Lord of the Dance". Double axel, double lutz with a step out and fall into a triple toe, triple "lip" with a step-out, triple salchow with a two-footed takeoff, spin combination, change camel, double loop, awkward triple toe, hydroblade, butterfly spin.

Sigh. So much talent, so little ability to deliver a good program under pressure. I think part of the problem is that, when his adrenalin starts going, Nick's reaction is to skate even faster than he does normally, and start rushing through his elements.

Michael Sasaki

SP (9): Triple lutz with a step out/double toe, double flip, double axel. Slipped in the camel part of his spin combination but was able to recover.

FS (7): "Man in the Iron Mask". Triple lutz with a step into a double toe, triple toe/triple toe, triple salchow with a step out, triple loop, camel, triple lutz with a step out, straight-line steps, spin combination, double axel, double axel, spiral, death drop.

Dennis Phan

SP (10): "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (same music that Ryan Bradley used last year). Double axel nice, triple toe/double toe with a hesitation between the jumps, almost fell in change sit spin, popped his flip and then fell on it, too.

FS (9): Double axel, fall on triple toe, double lutz, flying camel, triple loop with a step out, spin combination, spread eagles, triple salchow/double toe, spiral, triple toe/double toe, circular step, double flip, splits, death drop, triple salchow.

Pierre Balian

SP (8): "1492". Triple toe/doule toe, triple flip with a hand down, double axel.

FS (10): Bruch violin concerto #2. Triple lutz, double salchow, double flip, double toe, spin combination, floppy flying camel, triple toe with a wild landing, change camel, circular step, double axel, change sit spin.

Sam-Tyler Dafoe

SP (11): Rock music in shiny pants. Triple toe/double toe, double flip, double axel. Flying camel was very slow and probably short of rotation.

FS (11): "Zorro", with much macho posing and strutting. Death drop, double axel, triple toe/toe axel, triple salchow landed on toe, straight-line steps, spin combination, triple loop with a fall, triple toe with a hand down, double flip, change camel slow, double lutz, triple salchow with a fall, double axel with a step into a double toe.

What a cutie! Several people commented that he skates like a baby Michael Chack. He's 17 according to his bio, but he looks younger.

Mauro Bruni

SP (12): "Happy Valley". Popped flip, double axel with a step out, triple lutz with a step out into a double toe.

FS (12): "Man in the Iron Mask". Triple flip, popped axel, flying camel, triple lutz, triple toe/triple toe probably underrotated and two-footed on the second jump, triple salchow, circular steps, popped loop, popped lutz, spin combination, double salchow. Quite slow, but I thought he deserved to finish a couple spots higher.

Mauro came down with an inner ear infection in December that completely disrupted his equilibrium and ability to do his jumps. He was getting over it by the week of Nationals, but he was clearly still in the process of finding his jumps again, and skating pretty tentatively otherwise. Before this happened, he'd been having such a great fall season that I'd thought he might be able to finish high enough to get internationals next season, but now he'll have to wait another year. Maybe in the long term that won't be so bad -- he really does have work to do still on the speed and power issue.

Junior ladies

Joan Cristobal

SP (1): Triple salchow/double toe, double axel, double flip. She won the short on the basis of her presentation scores -- she has a very smooth flow over the ice.

FS (2): Rachmaninoff piano concerto #3. Triple salchow, triple toe, double axel/double toe, spin combination, spirals, layback, triple salchow/double toe, double axel with a delay, double lutz, double flip, flying camel.

Well, what can I say. Joan is a very pleasant skater, but her only triples are the toe loop and salchow, and I think it's going to be tough for her to be competitive on the international junior circuit. I also thought that her programs were constructed with too much stroking around and not enough in the way of connecting elements or footwork.

Alissa Czisny

SP (5): Moonlight sonata. Single toe/step/double toe, fell on double axel, double flip. Also had problems with travel and recentering on her spin combination. Her placement was pretty generous given all those mistakes.

FS (1): Flying sit/change sit, double axel, double lutz/double toe, triple flip, circular steps, layback/biellmann, spirals, triple toe/double toe, double salchow, triple lutz(!), double axel/double toe sequence, double flip, high split jumps, spin.

It's actually easy to tell the Czisnys apart -- Alissa is a reverse jumper, Amber is not.

Lindsey Weber

SP (2): Triple flip with no footwork on the entry, triple salchow/double toe, double axel. Layback had a weak position, very stiff back without much lean.

FS (3): "Yellow River" piano concerto. Fell on triple flip, triple toe/double toe/double loop combination, double axel, fell on triple lutz, triple salchow/double toe, spin combination, layback, double loop, spirals, triple salchow, flying camel.

Colette Irving

SP (3): "Thais". Triple toe/double toe, fell on triple flip, double axel may have been cheated.

FS (4): "Swan Lake". Double flip, triple toe/single toe, layback, messy triple loop(?), triple salchow(?)/double toe, spirals and spread eagles, double axel, circular step, a jump I missed, death drop. Slow and sloppy skating throughout.

Amber Czisny

SP (4): Double axel, triple salchow overrotated with a step out into double toe, double flip. Super layback spin.

FS (6): Double lutz, double axel, double salchow, triple toe, death drop, spirals, triple loop cheated, spread eagle into a double axel, layback/biellmann, opposite-direction camel, double flip, ina bauer, double salchow/double loop, split/double flip/double toe sequence, spin combination.

Louann Donovan

SP (9): "Bolero". Fell on triple lutz, fell again on double axel, double flip.

FS (5): "Chicago". Fell on triple lutz again (but this one was pretty close), triple toe/double toe, jiggle, triple loop, layback, double axel, walleys into a triple salchow with a step out, spirals, split jump into a triple toe, spin combination.

Jordana Blesa

SP (7): "Time to Say Goodbye". Triple flip with a fall, triple flip underrotated, double axel. Probably the first flip was supposed to be a lutz, but as far as I could tell, she never got on an outside edge at all on it, and I think at least one judge nailed her for doing two flips.

FS (7): "Zorro". Fell on triple flip (was this supposed to be a lutz again?), triple flip, double axel, death drop, triple salchow, spirals, double loop, spin combination, straight-line step, double flip, double axel/double toe, camel spin.

Amanda Fritz

SP (8): Fell on triple loop, good steps into double flip, double axel. Big bobble on the flying camel, and another wobble on the spin combination.

FS (8): Double salchow/double toe, triple lutz two-footed/double toe, flying camel/back sit, triple loop, layback, double axel, spirals, triple salchow with a big step out, double lutz, straight-line step, double axel two-footed, spin combination.

Lindsey Berg

SP (6): Popped lutz/double toe, double flip, double axel.

FS (10): "Butterfly Lovers". Double axel, triple lutz two footed, triple salchow two footed, spin combination, triple loop with step out, popped lutz, spirals, triple salchow/double toe, lost her hair scrunchie, layback, fell on triple toe, double axel, circular steps, death drop.

Joanna Glick

SP (10): Mendelssohn violin concerto. Fell on triple lutz, triple flip with no footwork, double axel.

FS (9): "Turandot". Double axel, triple lutz cheated, triple loop, nice layback, circular step, triple flip cheated, spin, triple lutz cheated/double toe, spirals, spin combination, double axel maybe two-footed.

Kailee Watson

SP (12): "Live and Let Die". Triple salchow/single toe, double flip, double axels. Spiral sequence was really, really weak.

FS (11): "Rhapsody in Blue". Layback/back layback, triple salchow/double toe, fell on triple lutz, fell on triple toe, double flip, spin, ina bauer, spiral, double axel, flying camel/sit, triple salchow, double axel/double toe, death drop.

Erica Aden

SP (11): "GWTW". Triple salchow/double toe, double axel, double flip (but tripped in the footwork preceding it). Probably got a spin deduction on the flying camel.

FS (12): Triple salchow/double toe, fell out of triple toe, camel, triple salchow two-footed?, butterfly spin, spirals, fell on triple loop, double axel, spin combination, circular steps, double flip, double lutz.

Katie Mulvaney

SP (13): I think this was either the Barber or Korngold violin concerto. Double axel, triple salchow/toe axel, fell on double flip. Her jumps have very little height and she tends to "spin" them.

FS (13): "The Mummy" (dress looked like a copy of Angela Nikodinov's from last year). Double flip, double axel, double lutz, fell on triple salchow, flying camel, ina bauer into a double loop, change-edge spiral, layback, triple salchow, double axel, circular step, spin combination. She seemed very slow to me.

Junior dance

I saw the compulsory dances and the OD, but didn't really take very much in the way of notes, and I can't claim to be much of a dance expert anyway.

Judging in the compulsories was pretty wild -- judge #1's marks and placements were all over the board, so that everybody was wondering if he was watching the same competition as the rest of us. About all I could do was separate the top couples from the ones in the middle and the ones at the very bottom. (There was one team, in particular, who really struggled with the Rhumba, hanging on to each other for dear life through the choctaws....) I probably would have picked the Youngs to be first in both dances, but what do I know?

In the OD, I thought it was pretty close between the top three couples. Goodwin & Obzansky looked like the fastest of the three; their foxtrot section had especially nice flow. Manon & Klus had a particularly nice change-of-direction lift. The Youngs had some really unusual choreography in their program -- their side-by-side footwork pass was done as mirror skating, and their quickstep included a lot of syncopation in its steps. After them came Ralph & O'Meara, who have been together for less than a year but who have tons of potential, and Galler-Rabinowitz & Mitchell, who got into a bit of trouble with getting too far apart on their side-by-side footwork (she couldn't keep up with him).

Novice men

I saw the long programs only....

Matthew Lind

FS (1): "Robin Hood". Triple flip, triple flutz with a step out into a double toe, fell on triple loop, triple salchow was two-footed, triple toe/double toe, weak sit spin, ina bauer and spread eagle, triple flutz maybe two footed, another spread eagle, double axel, death drop. Matt is almost 18 and a big guy, which gives him an advantage in speed and power over his competitors, but this was a very sloppy and dissatisfying performance.

Adam Aronowitz

FS (3): Tango. Flying camel, double axel/half loop/triple salchow, double loop, triple toe/triple toe attempt with second jump way underrotated and landed forward, illegible scribble spin, fall on triple flip, triple salchow, double axel from steps, fell in a spin, double lutz connected with hops into a double toe or flip. Not Adam's best skating, either.

Egor Matsipura

FS (2): "Man in the Iron Mask". Flying camel, triple salchow/double toe, straightline steps, double flip, double axel, double axel with a step out into a double toe, triple salchow from a spread eagle, double lutz/double toe, triple toe. Egor had fine flow and carriage throughout this program, and I would have put him in first place.

Jordan Brauninger

FS (4): "Romeo & Juliet". Double axel/triple toe fell, fell on double flip, triple salchow, change sit spin, fast, double lutz/double toe, combination spin, triple toe, double axel wild, double flip/double loop, crazy death drop, splits, butterfly spin. Another program filled with errors on jumps, but he's a high jumper and skated fast.

Joshua Uster

FS (5): Rock medley. Double axel with a step out into a half loop and triple salchow, double lutz, double toe/double toe, a jump I missed, double axel, straight-line step, walleys into a triple toe, death drop. Didn't have much choreography between his elements.

Ben Woolwine

FS (6): Dvorak "New World" symphony. Fell on triple lutz, triple toe/double toe with a hesitation between the jumps, high flying sit spin, bailed out of double axel, triple salchow, triple toe, change camel, long combination of edge jumps -- I think double axel, half loop, double salchow, double loop -- edgy straight-line steps, double flip, double lutz/double toe, flying camel. Other than the flying sit spin the spins were not so strong, but he was quite fast. I would have placed him a couple notches higher.

Wesley Campbell

FS (8): "Jupiter" from "The Planets". Camel spin, double axel, popped salchow, double loop two footed, fell on triple toe after I thought he'd landed it, double lutz, triple salchow fell, double axel/double toe, double flip, double lutz, death drop.

Steven Hsu

FS (7): Double axel, triple flip not clean, flying camel, triple salchow with maybe a slight two-foot, double flip/double toe, fell on triple salchow, double loop, spin combination, double lutz, double axel/double toe, butterfly spin.

Jason Wong

FS (9): Fell on double toe, triple salchow, ugly flying sit spin, fell on triple lutz, double axel, double toe, double loop, circular steps, double axel/double toe, walley into double flip.

Leif Hafstrom

FS (10): "Lawrence of Arabia". Triple toe with a step out into double toe, double axel/double toe, scribble spin, footwork into a double lutz, double flip, popped toe loop, straight-line step, double axel, triple salchow two-footed with a step out, split flip into a double flip, death drop.

Michael Dimalanta

FS (11): Death drop, double axel, triple toe with a two-footed step out, triple loop underrotated and two-footed, weak spin combination, double salchow, double axel/double toe, triple toe, nasty big fall in circular footwork, popped lutz, double flip.

Novice ladies

Once again, I saw the long programs only....

Kelsey Drewel

FS (1): Double axel, triple toe, triple salchow, butterfly spin, popped lutz (was supposed to be a triple), spirals, fell on triple loop, spin combination, triple toe/double toe, double flip, scratch spin. Fast and smooth, and the jumps she landed were of good quality, but having heard so much hype about her coming into this event I was left sort of thinking, "Eh, what's the big deal?".

Shanell Noji

FS (2): "Last Emperor". Double lutz/double toe, flying sit spin?, triple salchow two-footed, two double axels in a row, double loop, spirals, double flip, triple toe, double axel, double lutz from steps, spin combination.

Jennifer Don

FS (3): Triple toe/double toe with a fall, double axel wild, layback, double loop, circular steps, popped lutz, death drop, fell on double flip, ina bauer into a double lutz, double axel, spin combination.

Kristen Scheaffer

FS (4): Triple toe, double salchow, double lutz, double axel, I think a layback spin, spin combination, spirals, double loop with arms overhead, double flip/double toe, death drop, ina bauer, spread eagle, double axel with a hop out, triple toe with a hand down, butterfly spin.

Lea Nightwalker

FS (5): Dixieland jazz. Double lutz/double loop, triple toe/double toe, double axel/double toe wild, spin combination, double axel, layback, fell on triple salchow, double loop, flying camel, double flip. I noted that her presentation seemed "rushed".

DeAnna Clark

FS (7): "Four Seasons". Double flip, triple salchow, flying camel, double axel/double toe, double loop, double flip/double toe/double loop, layback, double axel, double lutz, spin combination. Very nice program with interesting choreography. I thought she'd place higher than this.

Adriana DeSanctis

FS (6): Spanish guitar music. Double axel, triple salchow with a bad wrap, butterfly spin, fell on (double? triple?) lutz, double loop, double axel/double toe, spirals, triple salchow, double flip/double toe sequence.

Samantha Mohr

FS (9): Cirque du Soleil music. Double axel, triple salchow with a step out, flying camel, double flip/double toe, fall on triple loop, double axel, double salchow/double toe with a step out, double flutz, spin combination.

Sandra Rucker

FS (8): Malaguena (groan!). Triple salchow/double toe, double lutz, layback, double axel, flying camel, triple loop maybe two-footed, spin combination, sat down on double axel, double salchow, popped flip, death drop.

Kristin Mita

FS (11): Double axel/double toe, triple toe fell, flying camel, double lutz/double toe, layback, double salchow, triple toe with a step out, double axel fell, circular steps, double loop, spin combination, double flip two-footed.

Samira Banna

FS (10): "Legends of the Fall". Double axel/toe axel, triple salchow very tight/toe axel, triple toe two-footed/toe axel, double salchow, single axel, spin combination, double lutz, double flip, another spin.

Mattina Alonge

FS (12): Double axel, double toe, flying camel weak, triple salchow, double axel/double toe, spin combination, triple salchow with a fall, double flip, double flutz/double toe, back spin.

Aanya Reiten

FS (13): "Miss Saigon". Double loop, double axel/double toe with a hand down on both jumps, double flip, double salchow, spin combination, fell on double flutz, double axel with a hand down, triple toe with a fall, layback, double lutz/double toe, weak flying camel.

Lisa Dannemiller

FS (14): Double axel, fell on triple toe, triple salchow two-footed, double flip, fell on flying sit spin, double axel sloppy, fell on triple toe, fell on double lutz, double loop, double flip with a step out. Lisa is really a much better skater than this -- she won intermediate nationals last year and her regional in novice earlier this season -- but I was told that she had an injury (broken foot?) and came into this competition with only 2 weeks of training time.

General comments on the event

The opening ceremonies were kind of blah this year. The Boston Ice Theatre performed a program that was supposed to be a commemoration of the 1961 World Team, but it didn't really impress me very much and I didn't see an obvious connection in the choreography to either the theme of remembrance or the 1961 skaters specifically. I did enjoy the Haydenettes, though.

I heard generally good things about the competition organization from everybody. I didn't buy a shuttle bus pass myself, but everybody seemed impressed by the police escorts -- except, I suppose, the residents of the city of Boston, who had to deal with sirens and traffic disruption all week long. I hope the taxpayers didn't get stuck with the bill for this.

There was actually real food to be had at the Fleet Center -- one of the food stands made a tasty chicken salad wrap sandwich. Of course, the lines were impossible during the competitive events. The arena staff weren't hassling people about bringing in outside food, as far as I could tell. In fact, the arena staff were very lax in general. I was told that there were people who got in on practice passes and stayed all day because nobody ever checked their tickets once the competitive events started. They did ask everybody to leave the arena between the men's and ladies' finals on Saturday, but I heard that some people didn't.

Matthews Arena has a resident cat, a pretty long-hair tortie with white feet. I met her when she came around to check out the chicken sandwich I was eating during one of the early-week events. I guess she got a lot of attention and hand-outs during the week.

I managed to get sick at this competition, for the first time in several years. I'm not sure if it was cause or effect, but I found it very tiring to be dashing back and forth between Matthews and the Fleet Center every day, in an attempt to see as much as possible, and staying up late every night to try to get photos up on my web page didn't help either.

Photos from the event

Photos are Copyright (c) 2001, Sandra J. Loosemore, and are provided for personal viewing only.

At this time, I have been uniformly turning down all requests for republication of these photos. Part of the problem is the USFSA's camera policy, which permits photography for "personal use" only. I also cannot do prints or enlargements of these photos because they were taken with a digital camera with a wimpy zoom lens, and aren't high enough resolution to produce a good-quality print.

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