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The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - March 1

Inside Jason Brown's memorable program

Want to know what Jason Brown focuses on during his program? Read on to find out!
Want to know what Jason Brown focuses on during his program? Read on to find out! (Sarah S. Brannen)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(03/01/2011) - We're starting a new feature in our latest edition: "Inside the program."

We'll be asking skaters to watch recent memorable programs and tell us what was going through their minds at each moment of the program. A couple of days before he left to compete in this week's 2011 World Junior Championships in the Republic of Korea, Jason Brown cued up his program on his computer and talked us through it.

"Before I skated, I was thinking to myself that I was prepared; I was ready. I'd been training really hard and consistent in practice. I kept telling myself, 'This is the first huge step. You know how to skate this, if you can't handle the pressure, how are you going to make it at junior worlds?'

"Going into my starting pose, I'm like, 'You can do it, come on!' Going into my double Axel, I'm just feeling the ice. It felt good and I felt confident going into my triple Lutz-triple toe. In practice we picked a point on the wall to focus on for this jump -- the Alka-Seltzer sign!

"I have a lot of breathing time going into the triple flip, and then going into my first spin I knew the two positions I do aren't the most common, so I'm like show them the difficult positions and count to eight...which I didn't exactly do. In the loop, I'm just trying to breath, and once I landed it, it was halfway through my jumps.

"The double flip-double Axel is more like a transition jump, it's second nature, because it's the easiest combo, so I'm just trying not to pop and not get ahead of myself because it's easy. In the footwork, I wanted to give my all, but I also didn't want to give too much and get tired. It's nice having the spins, to regroup and relax. In the spin, I'm thinking get eight revolutions, get eight, and in the first spin I did get eight, I'm sure. That's the worst part, I can never count right!

"Going into the second triple Lutz, it's the same thing, the Alka-Seltzer Plus sign. It's like a point in the arena that helps. Going into the triple flip-double toe-double loop, I remembered that my coach said, 'Remember this moment.' After I landed that it was really exciting, the crowd really got into it. Going into my choreographic step was exciting, and into the triple Salchow I was just like, 'You can do this, you can do this!' The worst part about the last spin was I was so excited I didn't get the eight. 'Why didn't I hold my closing pose longer? I should have stood there and taken it all in. Going over to Kori [Ade] after every event is the most emotional part of the whole thing, because it's a team effort, and being able to share the experience and the moment with her is unbelievable. She knows what happens in practice and she's been there every step of the way.

"It's so funny, because you see the scores, and somehow you don't register what they add up to. It doesn't even cross your mind. All year my goal was to get 200. When they said the technical and PCS, I looked at Kori in shock, and when the final score came up, I said, 'I got over 200!' It was amazing to share that moment with her."

Brown told us he had found training his junior long program challenging after developing his senior programs. On top of that, he only realized last week that he had been using the wrong cut of his junior long program, which solved the problems. We heard from him the night before he left for Korea.

"I am so psyched!" he texted. "I'm very, very excited." Good luck to everyone competing at the world junior championships!

RISE Redux
Like nearly everyone else in the skating world, we attended a screening of RISE on Feb. 17. It was entertaining to see all the talk about the film on Facebook and Twitter from the skaters we follow, which dominated our news feeds leading up to opening night.

We enjoyed the film, finding it interesting, educational and inspirational. We also loved the red carpet footage and post-movie discussion, and we were very interested in all of the fashions of the high-profile evening.

It was lovely seeing all of skating's "royal family" together in one place, including some members we hadn't seen in a while. Michelle Kwan was, as always, perfection, in a gorgeous silver-lavender short dress. The ruched bandeaus over shimmery lace reminded us of many of her on-ice fashion wins.

Tenley Albright looked regal in red satin with a sheer patterned black jacket. Fashionista Sarah Hughes was chic in a little black velvet and moiré dress by Sue Wong Couture, Stuart Weitzman black suede pumps and a gold -- the color of the evening -- bag from Judith Leiber.

"I added square-cut drop earrings, and a bouquet-inspired updo to show off and compliment the intricate beading on the back of my dress," Hughes told us.

Best friends Tara Lipinski and Lindsey Weber also rocked the red carpet. Lipinski wore a flirty strapless dress by Angel Sanchez, painted in gold over white, with sky-high strappy gold sandals.

"I really admire the work of Angel Sanchez, and I just loved the gold accents," Lipinski told us.

Weber, who looked stunning in a beautiful deep blue dress with silver accents, added, "I always love a chance to get dressed up, and I was excited when I found the navy Tadashi Shoji gown because most of the time I end up in black!"

Although most of U.S. Figure Skating's leading men went the classic route in black tuxedos, we have to give a shout-out to Evan Lysacek, for contemporary-fit tux paired with a slim black tie. Dick Button also gets a nod for use of his signature bow-tie, this time in gold, of course, with red and blue pinstripes.

All in all, it seemed to be a fabulous evening! We were delighted to learn that there will be another screening of RISE in theaters on March 7. If you missed the premiere, we highly recommend checking out the second and final showing.

Sisters
The Detroit Skating Club's Evolution Junior synchronized skating team won a silver medal a couple of weeks ago at the Spring Cup in Milan, Italy. Over the weekend, we talked to two members of the team, sisters Cara and Meghan Schooley, about the trip and what it's like to share the experience of skating on a synchro team as sisters.

Cara, the older sister, said she has been doing synchro for ten years, since she was seven. Meghan has been a synchro skater for eight years. Both have passed their senior moves test. They're not the only set of sisters on the team, either!

Cara said they really enjoyed their visit to Italy.

"This was my fourth international, but it was Meghan's first," she said. "It was our first international medal."

"It was my first trip overseas," added Meghan.

"We got to do a lot of sightseeing," Cara said. "We went into downtown Milan and saw the Duomo, we got to do a lot of shopping, and we got to go to Venice for one day. One day we got to go to a rink right by Lake Como so we got to warm up in front of the mountains."

The sisters clued us in to the current trends in Milan.

"There were a ton of really cute boots -- over the knee boots," Cara said. "And a lot of weird little fanny packs are coming back in style -- everyone had them!"

We're always interested to hear more about life on a synchro team, so different from pairs and freestyle.

"We go to boot camp before our season starts," said the sisters. "We learn our programs, and we do a lot of team bonding there. You're with the team 24/7 and you get to know everyone. Our coach makes sure that we're all on good terms."

What if, um, there's someone you don't get along with?

"There's not much you can do," admitted Cara.

"We have to put up with them!" said Meghan.

When the team travels, they synchronize their clothes, off the ice as well as on.

"We have matching everything," said Cara. "Matching tennis shoes, matching warm-ups. In Italy it was all red, white and blue. On the airplane they let us wear whatever we wanted though. When we went to downtown Milan we were allowed to wear our own clothes too, not to draw attention to ourselves."

The sisters leave for the U.S. Synchronized Championships Tuesday, and both said they were very excited.

"We would love to be on the podium, that would be ideal," they said. "But a lot of the teams have been working just as hard as us."

Ice Chips
The Skating Club of Boston will have a couple of very exciting guest stars for its venerable "Ice Chips" show on April 2 and 3: Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao. Other soloists include club members Ross Miner, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, Yasmin Siraj, , Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff and junior world competitors Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus. The show will benefit the Division of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.icechips.org.

Sarah and Drew
sarahanddrewblog@gmail.com
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