Home Archive Photos Slideshows Database


2014 U.S. National Championships

Amber Glenn is a Brilliant Junior Ladies Champion

by Klaus-Reinhold Kany

(10 January 2014) Amber Glenn of Plano, Texas, is the new ladies junior champion at US Nationals in Boston with a difference of more than nine points. She won with incredible 186.51 points, which is much more than the big majority of the seniors get. Last year, she was fifth in the junior competition at Nationals. This season, she had been third at her only Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic and had won Midwestern sectionals to qualify for Nationals. The 14-year-old skater is coached by Ann Brumbaugh and Ben Shroats. Nick Traxler, who competes in senior ice dance here in Boston, has worked with her on choreography in McKinney, Texas.

Skating to a Giovanni version of Gershwin’s “Summertime”, she began her elegant and nonetheless fast short program with a very good combination of triple flip and triple toe loop, followed by the required triple loop. It was the first time this season she landed this combination in a competition. All her four level elements got a 4, the +2 from the judges was dominant, but for her layback spin, she even got four +3. Later she commented about her combination: "I felt really relieved. But I really tried to stay focused for the rest of the program."

Glenn commanded the crowd’s attention from the first element in her fast free program to a new version of David Garrett’s “Who wants to live forever”. It was her very solid combination of triple flip and triple toe loop which she already nailed in the short program. This time she was awarded a + 3 from two and a +2 from the other nine judges. She maintained her energy in a combination of triple Lutz and triple toe loop, followed by three more triples, two double axels and three level 4 spins.

She commented: “I plan to skate in seniors next year. I felt the adrenaline that was really kicking in. I really tried to skate fast so I could land the jumps nicely. It would be a dream for me to be nominated for Junior Worlds, but I have to wait until Sunday." Glenn also revealed why she was so confident and not very nervous: Her coaches often imitated a competition during practice at home by asking their skaters to do a six-minute warm-up and then to perform a complete run-through.

Tyler Pierce won the silver medal with 175.07 points and was the best of the four junior ladies who competed and who Tammy Gambill is coaching in Riverside, California. The 15-year-old skater takes regular ballet classes in order to underline her elegant style. She won the novice lady’s title last year and was sixth at her only Junior Grand Prix in Latvia in the fall.

The 15-year-old skater started her short program with an excellent combination of two triple toe loops, followed by the required triple loop and double axel. Like Glenn, she had four level 4 elements. Her step sequence even got two +3 and seven +2 from the jury. In the long program, she had five clean triple jumps, but stepped out of the triple flip. All her three combinations (including one with double axel and triple toe loop) were in the second half of the competition which showed how much stamina she has. But she had not triple-triple combination in the long program. “It was too early to put it into my free program here”, she explained.

Ashley Shin of Dallas won the bronze medal with 155.18 points. Her best element in the short program was an excellent combination of triple flip and triple toe loop, her triple loop however, was shaky. In the long program, the two triple-double combinations with lutz and flip were solid, but she stepped out of a triple flip and could not take off for the double axel.

Bradie Tannell of Carpentersville, Illinois, sits on fourth position, earning 141.99 points. In the short program, she had a solid combination of two triple toe loops, but her best elements were her three level 4 spins. In the long, a triple toe loop and a triple Salchow were clean, but she singled the loop, fell on the second toe loop and the second Salchow was shaky. Elena Taylor of Forth Worth, Texas, is fifth with 141.62 points after a short program with a solid combination of triple toe loop and double toe loop, but only a double loop. In the free program, two triple Salchows and one triple toe loop were at least good, but she missed another triple toe loop and a double axel. Her main coach Peter Cain will be technical specialist in the pairs competition at the Olympics in Sochi, if his daughter Ashley Cain does not qualify for Sochi. Amy Lin of Riverside, California, coached by Tammy Gambill, moved up from a bad short program (12th position) to sixth position with 137.87 points overall.

Karen Chen, another student of Tammy Gambill, had been first and third in her two Junior Grand Prix in Slovakia and Latvia and qualified for the ISU Junior Final. But in October she broke her ankle in practice and was back on the ice only in December. She was fifth in the short program. Her program featured a good combination of triple lutz and double toe loop, but she stepped out of the double axel and fell on the triple loop. It was too short to get into good shape again and therefore she decided to withdraw before the free program. Gambill: “If she had had about two more weeks, she would have been fine.”