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Midwestern Sectionals underway

Angela Maxwell performs at the Midwest Sectionals.
Angela Maxwell performs at the Midwest Sectionals. (Daphne Backman)

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By Tim Russell, special to icenetwork.com
(11/15/2007) - Competition is underway at the Midwest Sectionals at the Suburban Skating Academy in Rochester Hills, Mich., in the northern suburbs of Detroit.

The top four finishers in each event receive invitations to the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Saint Paul, Minn. in January.

Highlighting this year's competition will be 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy gold medalists Jennifer Wester and Daniil Barantsev in the senior dance competition.

The couple, who have been skating together since early 2003, won the trophy in late September.

Other competitors in the senior dance field include Mauri Gustafson and Joel Dear, Stacy Kim and Jonathan Harris, and Vitaly Novikov and Alexis Williamson.

The senior men's field should also be a top highlight with 2007 U.S. junior champion Eliot Halverson headlining the competitors.

Halverson, who was born in Bogota, Columbia, but resides in Saint Paul, Minn., is competing as a senior nationally and a junior internationally.

Other competitors include Wesley Campbell, Jonathan Cassar, Nicholas Krongard, Casey McCraw, Braden Overett, Michael Peters, John Salway, Rohene Ward and Ben Woolwine.

The 2008 Midwestern Sectionals kicked off at 7:20 a.m. Thursday, with the juvenile and intermediate compulsory dance. Then the Novice skaters take the ice with the pairs, ladies and men's short program, and the compulsory dance.

Juniors hit the ice at 4:25 p.m. Thursday, for compulsory dance and pairs, ladies and men's short program. Seniors round out the day with their compulsory dance.

Friday's action begins with the juvenile and intermediate pairs, followed by the novice free dance. Novice pairs, ladies and men all have their free skate. Junior and senior have their optional dance before the senior ladies, pairs and men skate their short program.

Saturday begins with juvenile and intermediate free dance, followed by the junior pairs free skate and the juniors free dance and men's free skate. The senior pairs and junior ladies then skate their free skate.

The event concludes with the senior free dance and the senior men's and ladies free skate.