Ice Network

Rabbitt hops on over to Anaheim for Glacier Falls

California skater details succesful season debut at home club competition
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Sean Rabbitt (left) with several of his fellow senior men's competitors. -Vincent Zhou's Twitter

Longtime U.S. competitor Sean Rabbitt competed at the 2016 Glacier Falls Summer Classic. He kept a blog for icenetwork. 

Saturday, July 30

What a day! The morning started off with some beautiful weather -- sunny and HOT! The senior men had a 20-minute practice session around 12:30 p.m., so I went to the rink early to A) skip the traffic and B) meet up for a light lunch with some friends who came from Northern California to watch.

The practice was like a scene from The Hunger Games. The on-going joke was whoever came off the ice still in one piece was basically the champion of the Glacier Falls Summer Classic!

Soon, it was time for the competition. The senior men's event was on fire! No one put the "falls" in Glacier Falls tonight, and everyone brought their A-game, which made for a good show for the 1,000 people in attendance. Yes, you read that right -- the stands were packed, as they have been every year for the last few years, and it makes for quite the scene!

I was first to skate in the final warmup group and had a really strong warmup, making me really confident for my free skate. The men exited the ice, and I stood there getting a final laugh in with my coach, Tammy Gambill. Before the announcer could even call my club, an eruption of yells and encouragement came from the was so loud that I actually laughed out loud as I took my starting position!

I ended up scoring a new personal best by nine points and coming in fourth overall (third in short, third in the free...funny how that works out).

Afterward, I got a quick bite to eat and then went back for the final warmup of the ladies event. First up was Caroline Zhang, who is making a return to competitive skating after taking last year off to recover from reconstructive hip surgery. Caroline was strong, and skated with a tenacity that I have never seen from her. She was beautiful and received a huge applause.

Some other notable skaters in the ladies event were Heidi Munger and Megan Wessenberg from Boston, and of course the Glacier Falls champion, Mariah Bell. Mariah was flawless skating to East of Eden and had the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand. It was quite the sight!

This event was amazing, and I am so proud to be a part of such a great club that has the honor of hosting this event. I hope you enjoyed my short blog from Anaheim, and I look forward to writing you from wherever I am off to next!

Friday, July 29

The distance was short, but the travel time was long. Where am I? Anaheim, California! 

Sean Rabbitt here, writing to you from my home state of California, at the Glacier Falls Summer Classic. But seriously, I live in the next city over from Anaheim, where Glacier Falls (also my home club) is taking place, and it should only take about 15 minutes to get there. However, this is Southern California we are talking about, so it took me about 50 minutes to get to the rink!

This year, the Glacier Falls Summer Classic is huge and has all kinds of competitors, from recreational to Olympians, coming from literally the ends of the earth: Japan, Australia, France and Iceland, just to name a few of the countries that are represented here.

I came to the rink around noon to get in a little practice ice before the senior men's short program. The ice felt good, and the energy was amazing! After practice was the junior ladies qualifying round free skate, and I stayed to watch one of the programs I'd choreographed. From there, it was off to "the figure skating watering hole" aka Starbucks! After a coffee and bit of relaxation, it was back to the rink for the competition, where I was in the first warmup group for the short program. 

I skated right after my training mate, Sean Conlon...yes, the two Seans skated back to back. I took the ice waiting for my name to be called. Before the announcer could finish saying "From the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club," the crowd erupted in a noise I can only compare to that of a football touchdown. Man, do I love my club!

They gave me such good energy, and I think it showed through in my performance. I skated clean, with just one slight bobble on the combination jump. I felt really good about the program. After the short, I was in third place surrounded by the likes of Jason Brown (first), Vincent Zhou (second) and Grant Hochstein (fourth).

Unfortunately, I got a stomachache right after the short program, so I didn't stay to watch the senior ladies, but I will be sure to watch tomorrow (Saturday) and give you all the details!