Oltmanns, Broderick win Juvenile Pairs
|Olivia Oltmanns and Tyler Broderick await their scores with their coach in the kiss and cry. (Mickey Brown)|
The duo from Missouri scored a 39.64 as the third pair to take the ice on Saturday and had to wait as another 13 pairs skated -- each trying to surpass that score.
In the end, though, no one was quite good enough to knock them off the top of the podium.
Some came awfully close, though.
Coming from Houston, the pair of Emily Chan and Daniel Vallecilla were excited about their third-place finish. Excited, but not as much as they were for what awaited them after the trophy presentation.
"We're going to have a snowball fight and go snowboarding," Vallecilla gushed as he relaced his skates for the boys free skate routine he had yet to perform. "We skated last year in Cleveland, but they didn't have any snow. So this is the most snow I've seen."
Chan, who has been skating with her partner in the Houston area for nearly two years, said the weekend had been a blast but that there was a tricky moment or two. They felt especially happy to pull off the "death spiral," a move in which Chan lifts one leg high and the two rotate around each other at high speed.
"Our spins are pretty fun," Chan said. "We feel pretty confident together. The tension between us on the death spiral is pretty strong, so we had to hold it together."
That confidence and familiarity, Vallecilla said, have paid off over the weekend as they scored 39.09 to come in second place.
"We already had the experience together, since this is our second junior nationals," he said. "Just working together, we're like one skater."
Similarly, the Arizona team of Caitlin Fields and Max Settlage were in harmony with each other through their free skate.
Scoring 39.09, Fields and Settlage placed second behind Oltmanns and Broderick but left the event more than happy with their performances and the outcome.
"We did pretty good," Settlage said. "I kind of popped my double flip there at the end, but other than that it was great. I'm not disappointed at all."
Fields said she's been battling a cold this week, and the blustery conditions in Utah with a raging snowstorm outside probably didn't help matters.
"I was pretty tired," she said. "But when it came time to skate, you can't think about that. You just have to go out and skate."
Jaclyn Famiglietti and Andrew Reiss of New Jersey placed fourth with a strong program featuring several throws and leaps, scoring 34.51. Los Angeles FSC skaters Brooks Ishler and Brooke Johnson placed fifth at 34.18.