Hiwatashi crushes field, parades to men's title

DuPage FSC skater wins intermediate men's with ease

Tomoki Hiwatashi demolished the competition, outscoring all challengers by 17.66 points.
Tomoki Hiwatashi demolished the competition, outscoring all challengers by 17.66 points. (TSS Photography)


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By Renee Felton, special to
(12/14/2011) - His coaches say he's explosive, and after watching him skate this week, there is likely nobody who disagrees.

Big jumps, speed and flexibility are what characterize intermediate men's champion Tomoki Hiwatashi. Not to mention his huge scores. The DuPage FSC skater won easily at the U.S. Junior Championships, totaling 102.34 points, including 66.56 on his free skate.

"He's an explosive skater," coaches Cydele and Alexandre Fadeev said, agreeing with each other. "At competition, he always brings it up 10 notches. Not to say he doesn't keep us guessing in practice, but he brings it at the right moments."

Those moments have translated into consecutive U.S. titles, as last year he won the juvenile boys gold medal.

The "South Rampart Street Parade" program, which drew huge cheers and several bags of goodies from spectators, included two triple Salchows, one in combination, two Level 4 spins and nearly 30 points worth of program components.

"I didn't even have a hand down or anything," Hiwatashi said with a grin. "It was the best skate of my competitive career."

Silver medalist Sean Conlon (15) missed out on a trip to the 2011 U.S. Junior Championships by one spot. The SC of New York athlete was determined to change his fate this year. He upped his training time from five hours a year ago to at least 15 over the last several months.

"Regionals last year provided all the incentive he needed," coach Helen Hyun-Bowlin said. "He worked really hard this year and proved he's a star."

The Casablanca free skate was highlighted by a double Axel-double toe combination. Meanwhile, Conlon, who earned 55.76 points for the piece, worked the crowd in an elegant white tuxedo jacket and received a program components score of 27.45. He totaled 84.68 points for the week.

Paolo Borromeo (13), from the Palm Beach FSC, rebounded from a ninth-place showing after the free skate to earn the bronze medal with a total score of 81.84 points. His Lawrence of Arabia program featured two triple Salchows and a pair of double Axels.

"My goal was to come to intermediate with two solid Axels and Salchows in my programs," he said. "Now I feel I have accomplished a lot at the intermediate level and hope to move to novice next year to see what I can do."

Harrison Wong, of the La Jolla FSC, is the pewter medalist with 81.23 points.