Easterns senior dance and pairs winners awarded

Small fields, but plenty of skating action at Easterns

Eastern Sectional pairs champions Christopher Pottenger and Kaela Pflumm.
Eastern Sectional pairs champions Christopher Pottenger and Kaela Pflumm. (Lynn Rutherford)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(11/17/2007) - The fields were small, with invitations to the 2008 U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minn. guaranteed, but none of the senior dance and pairs competitors at Eastern Sectionals took the easy way out.

Several were just returning to the ice after serious injuries, anxious to get extra mileage on their programs. Others squeezed in practice time between professional duties, school and coaching their own students. One did double duty as a pairs and singles competitor.

In dance, Clare Farrell and Charles Fishpaw captured the title just two weeks after Farrell broke her thumb in a nasty on-ice fall.

Skating to "Notre Dame de Paris," choreographed by Natalia Linichuk, the couple opened with a strong level-four twizzle sequence (+.13 GOE), followed by attractive serpentine steps. Their four lifts all rated level four, with their straight-line lift impressing judges the most (+.50 GOE).

"We're both really, really happy," Farrell said. "We had a clean run-through. We tried to put in both the expression and the elements, and we didn't have a major error."

Farrell and Fishpaw earned 68.09 points for their free dance and 136.86 total.

Skating to the familiar "Malaguena," Marsha Snyder and Peter Fischl had a strong level-four straight-line + rotational lift combination, as well as an exciting closing rotational lift.

"It went well," Fischl said. "We made it through, which is always a plus."

The two skaters are balancing not only school and skating, but coaching duties as well.

"We really don't have a lot of time for training; she has her professional life (as a doctoral pharmacology candidate) and I have my professional life in the military and studying at Carnegie Mellon.

"Plus, we're both trying to pay for our training. We teach one or two hours to pay for an hour of our own skating. We're really doing this for fun, not necessarily worrying about placements."

The couple earned 109.39 points overall.

In the pairs event, Kaela Pflumm and Christopher Pottenger reigned with a free skate to a Rachmaninoff piano concerto that suffered a bit on the jumps.

Pflumm fell on the landing of both the throw triple Lutz and loop, and Pottenger missed the second jump in a double Lutz combo. On the plus side, they executed a high double twist and solid spins.

Pflumm and Pottenger took the title with 131.64 total points, including 82.58 for their free skate.

"We've done better, that's for sure," Pflumm said. "Obviously, the throws weren't great, and the lift at the end was shaky. But there were some good things."

"I think Kaela did a great job competing here in both singles and pairs," Pottenger added.

The 16 year-old Pflumm skated two free programs today. A few hours before the pairs competition, she took 10th place overall in the junior ladies event.

"It was fine, but I guess today was a little hectic," said the multi-tasking teen.

Chloe Katz and Joseph Lynch took the ice just eight weeks after Katz suffered a painful PCL (knee) injury. They performed an entertaining free program to "Don Quixote", highlighted by their refined positions in the spins as well as two level-four lifts.

Katz and Lynch earned 125.87 points overall.