2004 Skate Detroit

Thursday's report

I'm being fairly selective about what events I attend and how many notes I take this year in order to avoid competition burn-out. I did see the junior pairs and most of the junior ladies short programs but took no notes, sorry.

Senior pairs short program

Note: all the pairs have to do a toe lasso lift and back inside death spiral (bids) this year.

Hinzman & Parchem (2): I was told this was Pink Floyd. 2 twist nice, throw 3r bent forward on landing but didn't touch, sbs 3t she fell he doubled?, sbs spins, lift, spirals where she did all the spiral positions and he just twisted and pulled her around, bids, pair spin.

Roth & Hartsell (4): Take 5. Throw 3r with no flow on landing, 2 twist a little crashy, sbs 3t he fell out she doubled?, spirals kind of blah, sbs spins so close together it looks like they bailed early on the camels, lift, bids, pair spin.

Totmianina & Marinin (1): Ave Maria. Bids, spirals with both in catch-leg positions, throw 3r really big, sbs 3t he doubled, 2 twist crisp, lift with a 1-arm dismount, sbs spins totally out of sync, pair spin. Very smooth and fast. Totmianina's hair is blond and in a pony tail now. BTW, one of the people I was sitting with asked Marinin about their free skate music, and he answered that it's a secret. :-)

Castile & Okolski (3): No music notes. Very fast skating into lift with flip-out dismount, sbs 2x she turned out, throw 3r landed in a lunge, 2 twist, spirals nice, sbs spins with no unison, bids with a position change, pair spin fell out at very end. I was impressed by their speed and basic skating, but too many mistakes, and no solo triple jumps.... I guess they are doing the double axels because that's required for the JGP.

Senior men's practice

The #1 topic of discussion among the people I was sitting with all evening was Jordan Brauninger's new hair. No more peroxide -- he's gone to a darker brown with deep red overtones that's a better match for the rest of his coloring. (It's not like there's anything wrong with his natural color, though....) He's also wearing the hair longer again. Skating-wise, Jordan is looking great; he improves every time I see him. The axel is looking like a good jump for him now, he's got very good stretch and positions on his spins, the footwork bits he did were very light and dancy, etc. Jordan's first international is only a month away so at this point in the season he is probably the most prepared and trained of the guys here.

Ryan Jahnke spent most of his practice on unsuccessful quad toe attempts before going through his short program elements (no runthrough). He's changed things around this year so that now he is doing the lutz (with a 'tano variation) out of footwork instead of in combination. Ryan says he wrenched his lower back a few weeks ago and it is still bothering him a little. He thinks the trouble is all due to a bad pair of boots that threw his jumping out of whack.

I think Rohene Ward "won" the practice, as is common for him. He did a quad toe/triple toe/double loop combination (like Plushenko) that got a round of applause from everyone there. But, also as common for him, nothing was consistent. Many gigantic popped axels, but I did see him land a nice triple axel/triple toe combination in there as well.

Parker Pennington was also at the late-night practice but I'm afraid I didn't take particular note of what he was doing. Too many guys to keep track of at the same time! Others said they saw him working on quad toes as well.

Friday's report

Junior men short program

Junior men this year have to do a loop as the jump out of steps, a flying camel, and a sit spin as the spin with the change of foot.

R.J. Westfall (1): Jazz flute arrangement of "Bolero". 3r nice, 3z step 2t from an awkward-looking entrance, flying camel, 2x, change sit, circular steps, spin combination, straight-line steps.

Charlie White (2): "Zorba the Greek". 3r nice, change sit, fast straight-line steps, 3z fall, 2x overrotated scribble, flying camel, circular steps, spin combination. The footwork in this program was amazingly fast and complicated and some of the best I've seen from any skater at any level of competition.

Jordan Miller (3): Cirque du Soleil music. 3flutz/2t, 2r, flying camel, circular steps, 2x, change sit, easy-looking straight-line steps, spin combination with a change of edge sit.

John Salway (4): Noisy rock music. 3x hand down and step out into 2t, change sit, pop r, flying camel probably not enough rotations, spin combination, circular steps with one of Michael Weiss's heel moves, 2x, ended after music.

Ken Workings (9): Bond, I think. 2x, 3z fall 2t, flying camel very slow, 3r way underrotated and fall, spin combination, change sit, serpentine steps, straight-line steps.

Daniel Miller (8): Jazzy music. 3f turns 2t, 3r had it and then fell on his butt, spin combination with neat positions, straight-line steps, flying camel, 1x, circular steps, change sit.

Robert Dierking (10): Familiar movie music. Change sit, 3x fall 3(?)t fall, 3r fall, circular steps, flying camel, 2x hand down, straight-line steps, spin combination wobbly and slow. (Robert has grown a lot since I last saw him a couple years ago and is coming back from a long time away from competing in the meantime.)

Ben Woolwine (6): "Truman Show". 3r overrotated and step out, pop z, flying camel, change sit, straight-line steps, 2x, spin combination had to save it after he missed his hook on the camel, circular steps, ended after music.

Jonathan Cassar (5): Techno version of "Montagues & Capulets" theme. 3r, 3f cheated 2t, straight-line steps, stars into a spin combination with neat positions, 2x hand down and near fall, flying camel slow, circular steps, change sit nice.

Michael Peters (7): Latin medley. 3x fall out 2t, 3r fall, flying camel, circular steps fall, 2x step out, change sit, straight-line steps, spin combination.

Gaven Wilder (11): Guitar and drums. straight-line steps, 3s/2t, 3r underrotated and two-footed, flying camel, 2x fall, change sit, serpentine steps, spin combination.

Senior men short program

There was some very good skating in this event -- four good programs with triple axels and triple/triple combinations landed! Not bad for a summer club competition.

Parker Pennington (3): Same Spanish program as last year, or at least the same outfit. 3x, 3z/3t, flying camel, 3f couldn't hold the landing and had to step out, straight-line steps, change-foot camel, circular steps, spin combination.

Marc-Olivier Bosse (6): Flamenco guitar. 3t/3t, 2x fall, butterfly sit, 2f, circular steps, change sit, spin combination, straight-line steps, ended in an awkward split position.

Ryan Jahnke (1): Jethro Tull's jazzed-up flute version of Bach's "Bourree", in his old "Dance Macabre" costume that didn't really go with this music. 3x slightly cheated, 3f/3t two-footed on the back half, change sit spin with lots of position and edge changes, circular steps, wonky 'tano 3z from steps probably two-footed, butterfly sit, straight-line steps, spin combination with a jump on the change of foot. Given where Ryan is at in his training cycle and how he was skating in practices, this was a good performance for him and he said afterwards he was very pleased with it. The program as a whole looks a lot more difficult than last year's, too.

Luke Capizzo (9): Familiar circusy waltz music that somebody said was from "Eyes Wide Shut". Change sit, lunges and steps into 3r, 2z fall, straight-line steps, waxel, spin combination, serpentine steps, death drop.

Jordan Brauninger (2): Techno mix skated in last year's blue outfit with the top unzipped halfway to the waist (woo! woo!). Flying camel nice, playful serpentine steps, steps the full length of the rink into 3f, 3x, spin combination, 3z/3t, straight-line steps to the music, change sit. Whee! Jordan comes through again with another clean program. Personally, I would have had him in first place, and it seemed like a lot of people were mystified by the results. I wondered afterwards if I might have missed a spin deduction or something like that. Or maybe a costume deduction? ;-)

Rohene Ward (4): Electric guitar, basic black. 3x best of the night, 3t/3t (I think this was deliberate and not a popped quad), change camel beautiful, straight-line steps, cantilever into brackets into 3z with hand down, death drop with a definite toe tap on the landing, circular steps, really impressive spin combination. Rohene's definitely got the best spins and speed of this bunch of skaters. I think I would have had him ahead of Parker on that basis in spite of the easy combination.

Hugh Yik (7): Jazzy music. 3x fall, 2s, big flying sit spin, 3f, straight-line steps, change camel with stretched positions but little speed, spin combination. I know he did another step sequence in there somewhere...

Dylan Moscovitch (8): Rock music. Flying sit, 2z step out, 3f fell, change camel, straight-line steps, spin combination, 2x, circular steps.

Chris Mabee (5): Techno version of "Montagues and Capulets" (which everybody seems to be using this year) in a blue tunic with diagonal straps. 3f/3t, 1x (big oops), flying camel, 3z, change sit, straight-line steps looked too easy, spin combination.

Eric Radford (10): Familiar-sounding new-age violin piece. 3x way underrotated fall, 3z fall, change sit, straight-line steps, 3f (lipped?) fall, circular steps, death drop, spin combination travelled a lot. Yikes.

Justin Perdu (11): Jazz music. 3x fall, pop z, spin combination, circular steps, pop f, change sit, straight-line steps, fell out of flying sit spin. He looks kind of out of his league skating in the senior division.

Saturday's report

Junior ladies final round

The overall level of skating was pretty disappointing in this event. I'd been expecting better after the short programs (which I saw but for which I took no notes). Maybe everybody was tired by the time they made it to the final round.

Melissa Telecky (1): Movie music(?) in dark teal blue. 3r step out, 3t/2t, flying camel, 3s hand down/1t, 2x, straight-line steps, layback, 3t two footed with steps into a 2f (I think), 2z, spirals, 2x, spin combination. I noted that none of her spins seemed to be held very long.

Kendra Keenan (8): Classical violin in pink and purple. 2x step out, 2f, spin combination, straight-line steps, 2x two-footed/2t, 3s cheated and two-footed, flying(?) sit spin, spirals, 2r fell out into 1t, layback, circular steps, 2t/2t, 2z that was either cheated or two-footed or both.

Cara Kinney (5): Latin music in fuchsia. 2x/2t/1r, 3s step out 2t, 2r, death drop, layback, 2f, 2x step out, spirals, straight-line steps, 2z/2t, pop s, flying camel to back cross-foot spin.

Lauren Roman (12): "Legends of the Fall" in light blue. Camel into a back attitude spin, 2f, 3t way underrotated, 2x cheated/2t cheated, 2z/2t cheated, spirals, 2x cheated, 2r, layback, walley into 2f/2t cheated, straight-line steps, 2t, death drop, spin combination.

Stephanie Zastrow (3): Vaguely Spanish music in turquoise. 2x with no flow, 3t, 3s/2t, flying sit, spirals with nice extension, 3r with a tight landing pause 2r underrotated, layback? spin, 2x cheated/2t, 2z, 3s, circular steps into 2f, spin combination with a Sasha spin. I'm not sure why this performance didn't get first place; maybe the axel problems outweighed the good things she did.

Kaylee Handy (11): Was this Vanessa Mae? Or Bond? It all sounds the same to me. Royal blue dress. 2x nice, 2z nice, pop s, flying camel, 2r, spread eagle and spirals, pop s/2t, pop f, spin combination, walley into 2s, straight-line steps, layback.

Kristina Moore (2): "Sleeping Beauty", I think, in turquoise. 3z/2t, 3f, layback, spirals, 3r, 3z fell, circular steps, 2t that looked like an awkwardly popped triple, 3s fall, flying camel, 1x, 2x/2t, spin combination, ended after music. Although she landed the three harder triples, she has a nasty wrap on her jumps, and I thought her presentation was below average for a junior lady. Maybe she would have been better off skating to more powerful or upbeat music instead of going the classical ballet route.

Abigail Legg (4): Overdone black and purple dress trimmed with feathers on top, medley of "Cabaret" and "Chicago". 2x (I think), 2f, straight-line steps, flying camel, 3s fell, 3r with a slight cheat, 2z step out, layback, 2x/2t, spin combination.

Katie Pennington (7): "The Giving" in a copy of Kwan's blue dress from a couple of years ago. Flying sit nice, 3t fall, 3s step out, 2x (I think)/2t, layback, spirals, 2z/2r, straight-line steps, 2t/2t, change-foot camel, 2f, 2x step out, spin combination.

Theresa LoRusso (9): "Zorro" in a red dress. 2x step 2t, 3s fall out, wally into 2f, flying camel, layback, 3s step out, ina, 2x, spirals, 2r, spin combination, straight-line steps, 2z/3r fall, butterfly sit. Smooth stroking.

Lisa Zielinski (13): Another "Sleeping Beauty"? in turquoise and white. 2x landed on the toe, some jump I missed, straight-line steps into 2r, 3t fall, flying camel, wowcow, back spiral into 3t fall, spirals not held, layback, 2f/2t two-footed, 2z, circular steps, spin combination.

Ambar Kaiser (6): Jazzy piano music in a tux-style burgundy dress. 3s nice, 2f/2t, 3r fall, flying camel to donut spin, 2z with a stiff landing, spirals, 2x, layback, pop s, circular steps, nice spread eagle, 2f, spin combination. She's one of Ryan Jahnke's students and you can see his influence in her skating and choreography.

Hope Alexander (10): Sea-green dress, music sounded like Philip Glass, a very unusual choice for a female skater. 3t two-footed step out, 3s fell, 2x, spin combination, 2f/2t, 2x/2t, layback, 2r, 2z, straight-line steps, 2f, flying camel. Needed more speed and choreography to make this music work for her.

Lauren Anderson (14): "Montagues and Capulets" (again! groan!) in a navy dress. 2r/2r from steps, 2x fell, some jump I missed, 3s fell, spin combination, 2z, spirals, spread eagle, ina, 3r fell, ina, 2x cheated, steps into 2t/half loop/2s, flying camel, straight-line steps. All of the triples she was trying were hopelessly underrotated.

Lauren Beckler (15): Violin music in a black dress with cut-outs. Layback, spirals, 2x fell, 3t way underrotated fall, 2s, 2z/2t, spin combination, 2r, 2f, ina into 2t/2t, circular steps, split jump into 2f step-out, 2t, flying camel.

Junior men free skate

Ken Workings (10): Bombastic movie music in brown. 2x step out, a jump I missed, flying camel, 3z two-footed/1t, 3f two-footed, change camel slow with weak positions, 3r two-footed, death drop, 3s, serpentine MITF steps, 3t fall, spin combination, circular steps. He looked really tired by the end of the program.

Gaven Wilder (9): "The Bolt" in blue and silver. 2t, 3s, 3z fall, flying camel, 2x landed heavily on two feet with a step out, 2r, MITF, 3s held on, straight-line steps, 3t fall, 2x, spin combination, death drop.

Michael Peters (2 in FS, 3 overall): "William Tell", dark blue vest over a light blue shirt. 3x nice!, 3r, 3t step 2t, butterfly sit, spread eagle, posing on two feet, 2x held on, 3z possibly two-footed, change sit, 3f, straight-line step, 2s, circular steps, spin combination. One of the better performances I've ever seen from him.

Robert Dierking (6 in FS, 7 overall): Movie music, blue shirt with black trim. Wobbly camel, waxel (an intended triple attempt), 3z/2t turnout, straight-line steps, 2f step out and almost hit the boards, death drop, 3t with a low landing, 3r, spin combination, walley into 2z, straight-line steps, 3s. Much better performance than his short program. I was wishing he'd work on his posture as well as his jumps.

John Salway (4 in FS, 5 overall): Rock guitar in basic black. 3x nice, pop z, flying camel, spiral, 2s, MITF and steps, 3f fall, spin combination, 3s, circular steps, 2x, camel spin, ended after music. His arms and upper body are quite stiff and he skates without much expression.

Charlie White (1): Black vest with sparklies in a pattern on the chest (looked like a tree?) over a red shirt, some movie music I didn't recognize. Very fast. 3f, 3z/3r fell but a very good attempt, 2x/2t, flying camel with a change to a forward spin and then a butterfly into a back sit, 3r, back camel/sit spin, circular steps with spirals, 3z, shoot-the-duck into a 3t, big fast circular steps, straight-line steps with twizzles, 3s, spin combination into a fast back scratch spin. Not bad for an ice dancer! ;-) If he gets that 3z/3r combination he could do really well on the JGP this fall.

Ben Woolwine (8): Red shirt, no music notes. 3z underrotated and fell out on two feet, pop f, flying sit spin high, 2x, flying camel, MITF, pop r, 3t/2t, 3s turn out, circular steps, 2z, spin combination fell out on change of foot. This was really an embarrassingly bad performance for a skater of Ben's experience, sigh.

R.J. Westfall (5 in FS, 4 overall): Spanish music in an elaborate outfit with a fitted jacket that had a lot of gold braid on one side and a ruffly sleeve on the other, and a ruffle down his pants leg. 3z hand down, 3f fall, death drop, 2t, 3r fell, 2s with a tight landing, flying camel sit, circular steps, 2x overrotated and landed in a besti squat, 3f fell, straight-line steps with turning lunges. Yikes, what a let-down after he skated so well in the short. R.J. has this weird entry to all his jumps where he raises one arm over his head. It looks all wrong to me, but it must be too late for him to un-learn it.

Jonathan Cassar (7 in FS, 6 overall): Probably movie music in a brown and tan shirt with a jagged pattern. 3r fall, 3f landed on the wrong foot into a 2t, circular steps with a pattern that was too small, spin combination, 3t underrotated with hands down and a step out, spectacular spread eagle outside to inside on such deep edges that it drew gasps as well as applause from the audience, 3s/2t, 2z, death drop into a back crossfoot sit spin, straight-line steps, 2x/half loop/2r (I think), 2s, flying sit spin.

Jordan Miller (3 in FS, 2 overall): "Jupiter" from "The Planets" with some Spanish-sounding piece(!) edited in the middle, black outfit with yellow and blue stripes on the shoulder. 3z/2t wrapped, 3f wrapped, 2x, flying sit didn't fly, spirals, 2r, 3f/2t, spread eagles, 2x, 3s possibly two-footed, travelling camel, straight-line steps, 3t, spin combination.

Senior men free skate

After the high quality of skating in the short program, the free skates were a bit of a let-down. They were also having problems with the sound system in the rink that were very distracting -- not sure how much that might have affected some skaters' performances.

Dylan Moscovitch (6): Bombastic movie music. 3x way underrotated and landed on the wrong foot, 2z/3t, flying sit spin, steps into 3f, 2x, 3r, flying camel/back sit, 3z just hung on, circular steps, 3r/2t, death drop into a back crossfoot scratch spin, straight-line steps, spin combination.

Eric Radford (8): Unknown modern piano concerto. 2x step out 2t, 3z/3t with a "sticky" landing, 3f hard fall, butterfly sit, 2x, ina, 3r held on to wild landing, flying camel with layover position, some edgy steps, 3z fell, steps into 3s fall, spread eagles and circular steps in a small pattern, straight-line steps, a sit spin (I think), spin combination with a layback.

Hugh Yik (9): Medley of rock guitar and jazz piano. 3f, pop x, 2s, big death drop, another pop x, circular steps, change edge camel into a back sit spin, change edge spiral with pretty extension, pop z, pop r, flying camel, straight-line steps with a lot of one-foot turns, pop f, complicated spin combination with illusions and then fell out at the end. Aside from all the popped jumps, he seemed to be skating really cautiously throughout the whole program. Nice soft knees, though.

Justin Perdu (10): "Legends of the Fall", I think. Pop z, pop x, flying camel, pop f, 3s overrotated step out, deathdrop, MITF, 2r, pop z, spin combination, 2x fall, pop s, circular steps.

Parker Pennington (4): Mendelssohn violin concerto. 3x/3t, 3s, 3x fall, death drop, 3f hung on, circular steps, 2r from a cautious set-up, flying camel with a bent-leg position variation, nice spiral, ina, change camel, spread eagles outside to inside, 3z/3t, straight-line steps, spin combination. With two triple-triple combinations I was expecting Parker to pull some first-place ordinals, but I guess the judges on this panel were paying more attention to overall skating quality and presentation. I just don't understand the judges who had him *5th*, though.

Ryan Jahnke (2): Grieg piano concerto in last year's black SP outfit (because his new costumes aren't ready yet). 3x fell (after landing a nice one in warmup, sigh), 3t, lunge, 2x/2t (was supposed to be another triple), back edge spiraling in with a hand down directly into some sort of jump sit spin (I need to see this again!), camel with a change of edge on the forward spin then changing feet into a back donut spin, 3z/2r, back spiral and steps into a 3s, faster section of music to go with circular footwork, spread eagle into 'tano 3z placed at center ice, 3f fall, straight-line steps, spin combination with a funky new upright spin variation, spread eagles into a deliberate 2x landed with arms crossed, butterfly sit spin that came up and went down and back up into a fast back scratch. This program is just loaded with connecting moves and innovative entrances and my description probably doesn't do it justice. It's hard to take it all in on a first viewing.

Chris Mabee (5): "Finlandia" in an elaborate red and brown tunic. Pop s, 3x fall, 3z with an awkward landing, death drop, 3f, 3x with a hard fall, change sit, spiral, 3z steps 3r, upright spin, circular steps that didn't go especially well with the slower section of music, 3t landed bent at waist, straight-line steps, hydroblade, spin combination.

Rohene Ward (3): "Jesus Christ Superstar" in last year's blue and white outfit. Beautiful change camel, 3x, 3t/3t, straight-line steps, 3r, flying camel with a layover position, brackets into 3z fall, circular step, looked like he missed a butterfly or something like that, layback, 3f fall, spirals, CW axel into CCW 3s with hand down, spin combination. I noticed that while Rohene is fast and had some nice spirals and other field moves in his program, the connecting steps and transitions were pretty simple, and after the program started falling apart halfway through I had kind of figured he would be 4th. Not sure how he ended up with a first-place ordinal. Maybe that judge was giving him credit for the stuff he did in practice? :-)

Jordan Brauninger (1): Last year's "Patton" program. (He *does* have a new program for this season, but I'm told that as of now it only exists in the shorter version for the JGP, so at the last minute they dusted off the old senior program for this event instead.) 3z with a double three into 2r, 3f hung on to wild landing, 3x hand down, flying sit spin not pretty, 3r, edgy steps, 3x/2t, spin combination, circular steps, 3z, 3s, split into 2x into another split, death drop into a back scratch spin. In the end he got the business done with the jumps, but besides the program looking underrehearsed and not as crisp as it was at Junior Worlds, I think his skating has progressed beyond this since then. Next time I want to see the new program!

Marc-Olivier Bosse (7): "Red Violin" in a black and red fluttery outfit. 3r, 3t fell, 2.5z, flying camel, a couple of 1.5 flips, 3t, 1x, spirals, pop f, spin combination with some weird posiitons, straight-line steps, skid spiral, butterly sit, spin combination. I think I missed writing down some of his jumps because the program was really packed with connecting elements and choreography. Good stuff. :-) I was impressed to hear that he did the choreography himself, too.

BTW, I was told that the parallel CoP judging panel had the results reversed in both the short and the long: Jordan would have won the short and Ryan would have won the long. I do not know any other CoP placements, sorry.

I went out to eat after the men's event and returned to watch only the last flight of senior ladies, for whom I didn't bother to take notes. So, that's it from Detroit. Complete competition results are available here.

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