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Edmunds outpaces junior ladies in final at Liberty

Toe steps add charm to 13-year-old's program

Polina Edmunds with her mother and coach David Glynn. Her free earned 92.58 points.
Polina Edmunds with her mother and coach David Glynn. Her free earned 92.58 points. (Lynn Rutherford)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(07/17/2011) - California's Polina Edmunds outpaced the field in the junior ladies free skate final at Liberty, winning by a whopping 13.40 points over second-place finisher Ashley Cain.

Performing a charming routine to waltz selections from European operettas, Edmunds opened with a triple toe-triple toe combination followed by a triple Lutz.

The beaming 13-year-old also hit a solid triple flip; a triple loop-double toe-double loop; and two triple Salchows in the second half of the program. She sparkled in the straight-line steps and in-between moves -- including several ballet-like passages -- and showed off her flexibility with a Level 4 flying camel ending in a "donut" position.

Although three triples -- the second toe, Lutz and loop -- were under-rotated, it was an impressive early-season start, and she earned 92.58 points.

"I was tired, but it felt good after I landed the triple loop," Edmunds said. "My favorite jump is the flip."

David Glynn, who trains the youngster in San Jose, said the program was an important step forward for the skater.

"Her jumping has been a progression," he said. "Her technique and coordination are good, and slowly but surely the jumps are cleaning up. By the time she is 14 or 15 and a little stronger, they will [land] backward 100 percent of the time."

Edmunds, sporting opera gloves and an age-appropriate yet elegant pink dress trimmed with faux white fur, credits her mom, Russian-born skating coach Nina, with her on-ice creations.

"My mom makes them and I love to wear them," she said.

"Polina has a great team," Glynn said. "Her mom coaches in San Jose and creates her costume and program concepts. I do the elements, and Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko choreograph the programs. Sergei works mainly on her footwork and skating skills.

"Over the years, 'Team Polina' has really gelled. We're proud Polina has taken all we've offered and worked with it so well."

Cain, in her routine, opened to a Queen medley with two strong double Axels but had trouble with a few of her triples. The highlight of the program was an effective step sequence leading up to a difficult entrance into a triple loop.

The elegant blonde -- who will compete with partner Joshua Reagan at the Indy Pairs Challenge later this month -- earned 79.18 points for second place.

"It wasn't my best program," Cain, who turns 16 on Jul. 2, said. "I haven't been able to train it as much as I would like. I'm just happy to put it out there."

Ashley's father and coach, Peter, said Ashley has focused more on her pair skating in recent weeks in order to prepare for an assignment to Cup of Russia this fall.

"It's a new program," he said. "We basically wanted to get a critique on it and make sure it's going in the right direction. It's difficult music to skate to. We wanted to see if the jumps were in the right positions. I think some of them will be moved.

"Ashley would like a [ladies] Junior Grand Prix assignment, but we know there are a lot of girls and only 14 slots, so if she can be a substitute somewhere that's great. It gives her something to train for."

Cain and Reagan will perform two new programs at Indy: a short to Henry Mancini's "Moon River" and free to the theme from Dr. Zhivago. They plan to show off their singles skills with two different triples: the toe and Salchow.

"[The programs] are very different styles for Josh but he is handling them well," Peter Cain said.