Miner rises to top of novice men at Easterns
Other action includes novice and junior ladies and junior pairs
|Ross Miner won the novice men's competition at the Eastern Sectionals on Thursday. (Nate Caulford)|
Rizo rises to the top of the junior ladies
Brittany Rizo (SC of Boston) took the lead among the junior ladies Thursday with a breathtaking short program to "The Giving," for which she earned 50.48 points.
Dressed in a chiffon yellow dress, Rizo reeled off a series of challenging jumps with great assurance, height and attack. She did a triple loop, a triple toe-double toe combination, and a double Axel.
"I love to jump. It's my favorite thing," said Rizo.
Rizo's artistry was also exceptional; it was as if she was telling a wonderful story. Her spirals were beautifully extended and featured a left forward, outside catch leg position into a difficult left forward, inside edge. She also did a fast layback spin with beautifully positioned arms.
Jane Ruan (SC of New York) was awarded second with a score of 47.20 for her high-powered rendition of "Rondo Capriccioso."
Ruan, attired in lavender, executed a triple flip-double toe, a triple loop, and a double Axel with confidence, determination and skill.
"I told myself I had to go all out," she said.
Masha Leonov (Tampa Bay SC) came in third with her athletic and artistic take on "The Feeling Begins," for which she earned 39.54 points. She hit a triple Salchow-double toe, but faltered a bit on the landings of her triple loop and double Axel.
"I was pretty proud of how I did, because I was in the hospital yesterday with a bad stomach virus. There were IV's in me and everything, so it was kind of scary," said Leonov, who will also be celebrating her 15th birthday this coming Saturday.
Erika Choi Smith (University of Delaware FSC) was fourth with her program to "Tango de los Exilados" that earned her a score of 39.01.
Smith's triple Salchow-double toe and double loop were strong, but her double Axel was popped into a single. The skater shone in her spins -- especially a fine layback -- and also did her spirals with good extension and speed.
Tight battle in novice ladies short program
Holly Alexander (University of Delaware FSC) rallied to victory in the novice ladies short program at the Eastern Sectionals on Thursday afternoon, earning 40.33 points for her lovely program set to the Beatles' "Yesterday."
The skater had one of the most technically challenging routines of the event, executing a triple Salchow-double toe combination; a triple toe; and a double Axel.
"I was nervous, but I am happy with my skate," said Alexander, who is 13 years old.
Felicia Zhang (SC of New York) was second with 39.27 points, definitely within close range of the leader. Her program to The Last Emperor was rich with artistry and strength, featuring a spread eagle into a textbook double Axel. She also performed a big double Lutz-double toe combo and a double flip. Zhang's spiral sequence was extended and wonderfully reminiscent of the classic style made famous by recent American stars, Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen.
Gretchen Donlan (SC of Boston) edged out third place with her high-energy program to music from "Cirque de Soleil," for which she earned 35.80 points. The petite powerhouse opened with an Ina Bauer into a double Axel, followed by a nice double Lutz-double toe and double flip. Her layback spin was one of the best of the competition, with lovely rounded arms and a beautifully turned-out free leg.
"I was happy with how I skated, but I think I can do even better," said Donlan, who is 13 years old. Samantha Veloso (Washington FSC) wound up fourth with 31.98 points for her program set to the classic disco tune, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." She interpreted the music well, and the choreography was interesting from beginning to end.
"I have really enjoyed this program," said Veloso, who selected the music herself.
Tanovich, Chau win junior pairs short program
Tracy Tanovich and Michael Chau (Southwest Florida FSC) took home top honors in the Eastern Sectionals junior pairs short program today.
Tanovich and Chau dominated the competition Thursday with a total point score of 46.81, almost ten points ahead of the second and third-place finishers, Rachel DeRita and Brandon Accardi (University of Delaware FSC), and Meg Byrne and Nathan Bartholomay (University of Delaware).
The winning couple impressed the judges with their poignant rendition to the film score of Harry Potter. They were dressed in navy plaid uniform-type costumes that resembled those worn by the Hogwarts students in the famous Harry Potter novels. They performed a one-handed lasso lift; throw triple toe loop; split double twist; and well-synchronized, side-by-side maneuvers.
"Today's program was good; the goal for us was to try to do our personal best," said Chau, who is 16. His partner, Tanovich, is just 11.
Tanovich and Chau worked hard this year to keep up with the ever-increasing standard of competition.
"This is a tough field, and it makes us go that extra bit more to push to be the best," said Chau.
DeRita and Accardi captured second place with their arresting interpretation of "Madame Butterfly," which earned 36.71 points. They reeled off a big throw triple toe; high split double twist; and good side-by-side spins and jumps.
"This is just the beginning. It was an okay performance, but they can do better in the next one," said Ron Ludington, their coach.
Byrne and Bartholomay wound up third with 36.16 points. Their program to "Earth Dance" was fast and full of great energy. Their side-by-side double loops were standouts.
Lara Shelton (SC of Boston) and Neill Shelton (New England FSC) were fourth with 31.22 points. They skated to "Cirque de Soleil."