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Photos © Shirley McLaughlin

The Big Picture

29 Jan 2017

27 Oct 2016

News from the Southwest Pacific Region

Clubs of the SWP region are invited to send us news items for inclusion here.

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic Protocol

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic 6.0 Events


Sat, Nov 5 - 6 Autumn Antics Phoenix AZ
Nov 13 -14 OPEN  
Nov 16 - 20 2017 Pacific Coast Championships Salt Lake City UT

2017 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Williamsville, New York

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Eastern Great Lakes

Lansing, Michigan

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Southwest Pacific

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Central Pacific

Ogden, Utah

Oct. 5-9, 2016

South Atlantic

Ashburn, Virginia

Oct. 5-9, 2016


Plano, Texas

Oct. 5-9, 2016

New England

Burlington, Vermont

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Northwest Pacific

Wenatchee, Washington

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Upper Great Lakes

Rochester, Minnesota

Oct. 19-23, 2016

2017 Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Indian Trail, North Carolina

Nov. 16-20, 2016


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nov. 16-20, 2016

Pacific Coast

Salt Lake City

Nov. 16-20, 2016

2017 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Wayne, New Jersey

March 10-12, 2017


Cincinnati, Ohio


Pacific Coast

Burbank, California

March 10-12, 2017

U.S. Adult Championships

Wake Forest, North Carolina

April 18-22, 2017


  In the News:

2017 World Junior Championships

Preview - For the first time, the ISU Junior World Championships are held in Taiwan’s subtropical capital of Taipei this year. They take place in the huge Taipei Arena, a multi-purpose stadium which was opened in 2005. Although Taiwan has never had any top skaters, the federation is interested in holding big international skating events regularily and is quite experienced.

Ladies Event - The general level of the ladies competition at Junior Worlds 2017 was good, the majority of the skaters can jump all triple the jumps except the Axel which nobody tried, let alone quads. Alina Zagitova from the Moscow school of Eteri Tutberidze, winner of the ISU Junior Final three months ago, also took the first place in Taipei at her first Junior Worlds, this time with 208.60 points.

Men's Event - The men were the first ones to finish their competition at Junior Worlds in Taipei, Chinese Taipei. 24 of the 45 competitors reached the final and the overall level was excellent. Like in the senior competitions in this season, the junior men perform many more quad jumps than before. In the short program, no quad is allowed yet for juniors, but this rule will perhaps be changed at the next ISU congress in the summer of 2018. This time, the spectators saw 10 more or less clean quads in the free program plus around ten more which were popped or not successful.

Pairs Event - Only 16 pairs competed at Junior Worlds 2017 in Taipei because many countries especially in Europe and Asia don’t have pairs at all. Therefore it is a huge encouragement for them that no pair from one of the big pair skating countries was crowned Junior World Champion in 2017. For the first time in the history of the ISU, a pair and skaters from Australia won gold medals at ISU championships.

Dance Event Ice dance teams from the USA are quite successful at Junior Worlds. Therefore it was no surprise that at this competition 2017 in Taipei another ice dance couple from this country won the gold medal. Last year, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter won gold, this year their training mates Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons from the Wheaton Academy are the ninth U.S. team in 20 years to win this title, this time with 164.82 points in a close decision, like at the ISU Junior Final in December.

2017 Four Continents Championships

2017 European Championships

Preview - The European Championships 2017 will take place in Ostrava in the Czech Republic the week after U.S. and Canadian Nationals. Ostrava is the third-largest city of this central European country (behind Prague and Brno) and is situated in the North-East, about 10 miles from the border to Poland. It is the first time since 1999 that Europeans will be in this country.

Pairs Event - The first decision at the European Championships 2017 in Ostrava (Czech Republic) was the pairs competition in front of an enthusiastic crowd of about 10,000 spectators (in the free program) although the event was not on a weekend but on Wednesday and Thursday night. The level of the competition was excellent, at least for the top seven pairs.

Ladies Event - The ladies competition at the European Championships in Ostrava had a mixed level. In front of a sold-out rink with 11,000 often enthusiastic spectators, the three medalists and some others skaters showed first-class performances, but the second half was weak.

Men's Event - The men’s competition at the 2017 European Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, had a good but not excellent level. Unfortunately it has become normal that even the best skaters make some mistakes because they risk much more than five or 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. And all programs are now more intricate; not only the jumps, but the spins and steps and even the linking steps are also more demanding, therefore there is no more rest during a program.

Dance Event - The ice dance event at the 2017 European championships had the expected results on the podium, but some surprises on other places. The general level was good, but several observers said that the relatively long compulsory part in the short dance made this part a bit boring, because everybody had to do the same movements.  The technical panel with the controller Michela Cesaro (ITA), the specialist Sergei Ponomarenko (RUS) and the assistant Roxane Petetin (FRA) was very strict and did not give high levels to most of the dance teams, which several coaches and skaters criticized.

2017 U.S. Nationals

U.S. World Team Selections

U.S. team selections following the National Championships roughly followed order of finish, though with a few interesting exceptions.  The guiding principle for selections is to choose those skaters who are most likely to gain the U.S. the largest number of entries for the various 2018 ISU Championships and the Olympic Winter Games.

For the men, silver medalist Vincent Zhou was bypassed for Jason Brown for the World Championships.  Zhou was assigned to World Juniors instead, and also is an alternate for Worlds.  Junior Champion Aleksei Krasnozhon was the only medalist from the Junior event assigned to World Juniors.  The remaining U.S. entries and alternates for World Juniors were all age eligible men who competed instead in the U.S. senior event.  Had Zhou been assigned to Worlds he could have also been assigned to Four Continents to gain additional ISU exposure prior to Worlds, but not being so assigned, pewter medalist (fourth place) Grant Hochstein was assigned to Four Continents instead.

The ladies team was selected in order of finish for Worlds, but for Four Continents Ashley Wagner, who did not want to compete there (and for which there is no compelling need), was replaced by Mirai Nagasu.  Four Continents will afford "the youngsters" Mariah Bell and Karen Chen one additional opportunity for exposure before the international judges, and the chance to make a positive impression there on ISU judges to carry into the World Championships.

Selections for pairs appear to have strategic gamesmanship written all over them.  Champions Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier were selected, and will be joined by former National Champions Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim to compete at Worlds.  Sciemec Knierim & Knierim have not competed most of this season due to Sciemec Knierim recovering from an unspecified medical condition first announced in September 2016.  The team placed ninth at 2016 Worlds.

Selection of Sciemec Knierim & Knierim bumped silver medalists Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran from competing at Worlds (were it based on order of finish).  Further, Castelli & Tran were only made second alternates behind bronze medalists Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc for Worlds.  Castelli & Tran were also not assigned to compete at Four Continents, but were made first alternates, while Cain & LeDuc were assigned to compete instead.  Leaving the arena following the Sunday evening exhibition, Castelli looked despondent as she was consoled by a friend.

Speculation at Nationals was rampant that Castelli & Tran were not assigned to compete at Worlds and Four Continents because Tran will not have U.S. citizenship in time to be eligible to compete for the U.S. at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, with further speculation that competition experience has been reserved for teams that will be citizenship eligible for the 2018 Games.  If this is true, don't expect Castelli & Tran to see much love in international assignments next season.

Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker, the Junior Pair Champions were selected for World Juniors and they will be joined by Chelsea Liu & Brian Johnson, who placed sixth in senior pairs and were the highest scoring World-Junior-eligible skaters in the senior event.

For dance, the team selections went in order of finish for both the senior and junior teams for Worlds, Four Continents and World Juniors.


2017 World Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen

Alternate 1 – Vincent Zhou
Alternate 2 – Grant Hochstein
Alternate 3 – Max Aaron

2017 Four Continents Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen
Grant Hochstein

Alternate 1 – Ross Miner
Alternate 2 – Max Aaron
Alternate 3 – Alexander Johnson

2017 World Junior Championships

Alex Krasnozhon
Andrew Torgashev
Vincent Zhou

Alternate 1 – Camden Pulkinen
Alternate 2 – Kevin Shum
Alternate 3 – Tomoki Hiwatashi


2017 World Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Ashley Wagner

Alternate 1 – Mirai Nagasu
Alternate 2 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 3 – Caroline Zhang

2017 Four Continents Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Mirai Nagasu

Alternate 1 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 2 – Courtney Hicks
Alternate 3 – Angela Wang

2017 World Junior Championships

Amber Glenn
Bradie Tennell

Alternate 1 – Starr Andrews
Alternate 2 – Ashley Lin
Alternate 3 – Megan Wessenberg


2017 World Championships

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 2 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay

2017 Four Continents Championships

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 2 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 – Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan

2017 World Junior Championships

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker

Alternate 1 – Alexandria Yao and Austin Hale
Alternate 2 – Gabriella Marvaldi and Daniel Villeneuve
Alternate 3 – Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow


2017 World Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge

2017 Four Continents Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus

2017 World Junior Championships

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko
Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter
Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons

Alternate 1 – Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye
Alternate 2 – Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville
Alternate 3 – Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein

2016 Grand Prix Final

2016 Junior Grand Prix Final - Once again Russia dominated in the Junior Grand Prix Final. 13 out of 24 qualified skaters & couples came from Russia and seven of the twelve medals also went to this strong skating country. Japan this time was only strong in the Ladies and qualified three entries. The USA continue to be leading in Ice Dance with three couples in the Final, but had only one other entry in the Men’s category. Canada did not qualify a single entry in the juniors.

Thoughts on the 2016 Grand Prix Final


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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

Jan 21 - Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea, the reigning U.S. pairs champions, and Alexandria Shaughnessy and James Morgan have withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due injury/illness.

Kayne sustained a concussion in a fall from a throw element in the pairs short program Thursday afternoon and is under the care of event medical provided by the University of Kansas Hospital. After examination and follow up, it was the advice of the chief medical officer that Kayne should not compete for her own health and safety due to symptoms of concussion.

Shaughnessy is being treated for a stomach virus, the symptoms of which increased overnight.

Jan 9 - Polina Edmunds, the reigning U.S. silver medalist, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships as she continues to recover from a right foot bone bruise.   “I’m disappointed that I will miss the 2017 U.S. Championships and wish all the athletes good luck in Kansas City,” Edmunds said. “I will continue to focus on my health and look forward to a full return to ice.”  

Jan 9 - Adam Rippon, the reigning U.S. champion, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to injury. Rippon broke his left foot and sprained the same ankle during an off‐ice warm up on Friday, Jan. 6.   "I am heartbroken that I won't be able to defend my title at the 2017 U.S. Championships,” Rippon said.

 “Despite breaking my foot in a fluke accident off the ice, I am determined to grow from this and come back ever stronger.

 “I will use this as an opportunity to improve so that I can be fully prepared for next season and be at my very best to compete for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Games."

Rippon is expected to be off the ice for eight to 12 weeks and will resume training with his medical team’s guidance.   

March Competitions

2 - 5 Mar -  Nordics Open 2017 Reykjavik, Iceland

10 - 12 Mar - Coupe du Printemps 2017 Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg

15 - 19 Mar - ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

23 - 26 Mar - 12th Avas Cup Miskolc, Hungary

29 Mar - 2 Apr - World Figure Skating Championships Helsinki, Finland

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