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Knoop scores with 'On My Own' short program

Seagers takes second in junior ladies

Dartmouth College's Caroline Knoop took first in the junior ladies short program.
Dartmouth College's Caroline Knoop took first in the junior ladies short program. (courtesy of Todd Conley Photography)

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By Brenda Glidewell, special to icenetwork.com
(07/23/2011) - The 2011 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships began Friday evening with the junior ladies taking the ice for short program in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. Fifteen junior ladies from thirteen different colleges competed in the event, many whom will begin their freshman year of college in the fall.

Caroline Knoop of Dartmouth College skated to a secure lead following the short program through a powerful and commanding performance to Les Misérables "On My Own." Knoop choose this piece of music due to a recommendation by her coach Jim Peterson to signify her return to singles skating after competing in pairs the last couple of seasons. Knoop will begin at Dartmouth in the fall and intends on majoring in psychology.

Knoop opened her program with a solid double flip-double toe combination followed by a huge double Axel. She executed her program with great confidence, despite a touch down on her double Lutz. Her solid skating skills and beautiful ice presence were especially evident during her intricate footwork sequence and solid spins that earned her a total score of 39.55.

"It felt great out there tonight. I fought for everything and am very pleased with how I skated; it was a nice way to return to singles competition," said Knoop in reflection of her performance. Knoop also added that "the atmosphere at the Collegiate Championships is great, very relaxed and fun. I especially love it here in Sun Valley!"

Finishing just behind Knoop in second place was Kirsten Seagers also of Dartmouth College with a score of 37.27. Seagers skated a well-choreographed performance to the music from West Side Story, especially enjoying her opportunity to perform in front of the crowd at her first U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships. Seagers will be a freshman majoring in engineering. She felt her Collegiate Championships debut was an "improvement over her skate at Liberty and [she] really enjoyed playing to music during her program."

Seagers' short program included a huge double Axel (that she turned out of) and a fall on a nicely rotated triple loop jump. She was able to securely execute a solid double Lutz and performed phenomenal spins during her program. Seagers has made the most of her time in Sun Valley by even doing some sight-seeing in the mountains prior to the start of the competition.

Finishing in third place in the short program with a combined score of 30.85 was Katie Soraghan of Robert Morris University. Soraghan skated solid during her second appearance at the Collegiate Championships and delivering a program that included a nice double flip-double loop combination, single Axel and centered spins. Soraghan said she was "very happy with how she skated and had a lot of fun on the ice." Soraghan is a nursing major beginning her second year at Robert Morris University.

The junior ladies long program, senior men and senior ladies short programs take place Saturday.