Krentz leads junior men in Salt Lake City

Chicago skater performs clean short; New Yorker Ma in second

Brian Krentz's Cirque du Soleil short program was rated tops among junior men.
Brian Krentz's Cirque du Soleil short program was rated tops among junior men. (Jay Adeff)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(09/13/2012) - Chicago's Brian Krentz took a 1.72-point lead over New Yorker Jimmy Ma in the junior men's short program at Salt Lake City's U.S. Challenge Skate Thursday morning.

"It went pretty smooth," Krentz said of his short to music from Cirque du Soleil. "I was happy with where my jumps were at in that program."

The 17-year-old, who is coached by Cindy Caprel, landed a triple Lutz-double toe combination, triple flip and double Axel, and also showed off some unique steps and arm movements. He earned 49.78 points.

"The music is very distinct," he said. "Phillip Mills choreographed the program, and I'm trying to give it its own style. I'm moving forward and back, getting some emotion into the choreography."

Also a stylish skater, Ma skated a solid short to Tango music, with a slight misstep on the landing of his double Axel.

"I got a little overconfident on it," the 16-year-old said. "I also need to work on my spins; I didn't get the levels I wanted. I'm going to tell my coach, Elaine Zayak, that for my next lesson I want to work on spins for 30 minutes."

Cincinnati's Ryan Hartley stands third with 41.74 points after an entertaining routine to Tommy Dorsey's "Satan Takes a Holiday" that featured some snappy steps. The skater lost ground when he failed to fully complete an intended triple Lutz-double toe combination.

"Overall, I'm pretty happy, but I wish I could take back that triple Lutz combo," he said. "I land that 99 out of 100 times."

"Satan Takes a Holiday" was a famous program of 1980 Olympic champion Robin Cousins, who used it to win several professional competitions, including the 1985 World Professional Championships ("Landover").

"Actually, I never knew he did a program to it, until I did my program," Hartley said. "My father (Richard, also his coach) picked it out. It's a lot different from my norm, but I'm enjoying it."