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2014 U.S. National Championships

Borromeo Takes a Commanding Lead in the Novice Men’s Short Program

 by Doris Spicer Pulaski





(5 January 2014)  Paolo Borromeo, of the Los Angeles FSC, leads the 2014 US Nationals Novice Mens Championships after the Short Program by nearly four points, with a score of 54.07 points. Borromeo, who is the 2014 Pacific Coast Novice Champion, made his coaches, AngelaNikidinov, Ivan Dinev, and Derrick Delmore, proud when he completed a nearly clean, technically correct performance, whose only flaw was an edge call on his triple Lutz-double toe loop combination. Particularly impressive was his lightning fast combination spin, which earned grade of execution ratings of +2.00 and +3.00 from every judge, and his level 3 step sequence, which received an average grade of execution of +2.00. Borromeo, who skated to "Ulichnie Strasti” by Didulya, gave a workmanlike performance that clearly showed his fine technique, but his fine posture also worked well to successfully create the arrogant impression of a male flamenco dancer.

Eric Sjoberg, the bronze medalist from the 2014 Eastern Sectionals Novice Championships, finds himself in the second position headed into the Free Skate with a score of 50.35 points. The slightly-built twelve-year old, who is coached by Rafael and Vera Arutunian, skated to "Fuego Malaguena" by Esteban, choreographed by Irina Romanova. Wearing a black jump suit decorated with red and gold flames, Sjoberg bravely placed both his triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and his solo triple flip in the bonus half of his program. Sjoberg had a wide-swinging free leg on the triple flip, but otherwise earned positive grades for his other elements, including his two level 4 spins.
The third place competitor, Sean Conlon, of the SC of New York, scored 45.60 points to "Puss and Boots Suite" by Henry Jackman. Conlon skated his fast-paced routine with swash-buckling panache. His triple flip-double toe loop combination was well done, but his triple loop was a bit shaky and landed a bit too far forward on the blade. Conlon's best elements were his double Axel and his step sequence. The 2014 Eastern Sectionals Novice champion is coached by Steven Rice and Helen Hyun-Bowlin.

Harrison Wong, All Year FSC, nabbed fourth place by scoring 45.48 points to "Art on Ice, performed by Edvin Marton. The second place qualifier from Pacific Coast Sectionals, who is coached by Eric Millot and Frank Carroll, turned out of his rather weak triple flip, which resulted in -2.00 grades of execution. Wong landed a triple loop-double toe loop combination. His best element was his change-foot sit spin, which received grades of execution of +2.00 and +1.00. He increased his score by locating his double Axel in the bonus region of the program.

Colorado resident Luke West, of the Broadmoor SC, very narrowly claimed   fifth place by a margin of 0.01 points over the sixth place finisher. His score for his performance to "The Lady Caliph Nocturne", performed by Yo Yo Ma, was 43.22 points. The skater, whose hometown is Plattsburgh, NY, and who is coached by Tom Zakrajsek and Becky Calvin, fell on his triple Lutz. The landing to his triple flip was so flawed that he was unable to complete his combination. However he completed a lovely double Axel and a great level 3 step sequence.

Anthony Boucher, Rocky Mountain FSC, was awarded 43.21 points and sixth place for his program to "The Original Mambo Number 5 and Cha-Cha de Amor, performed by Perez Prado, choreographed by Scott Brown. Boucher, who is coached by Cindy Sullivan, completed his triple loop, but fell attempting a triple toe loop, which made it impossible for him to complete a combination jump. The highlight of his program was his level 3 step sequence, for which he received high grades of execution.

Bennett Gottlieb, of the hometown Skating Club Of Boston, finds himself in seventh place with a score of 39.71 points. The student of Suna Murray completed only a double Lutz-double toe loop combination, a triple Salchow, and a level 2 step sequence while skating to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson.

Micah Tang, Coyotes SC of Arizona, earned the eighth place and a 38.82 point score. He completed a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, had problems landing his triple Salchow, and executed a very weak change-foot sit spin for negative grade of execution.

The ninth place finisher, Eric Stinehart, Skokie Valley SC, scored 36.54 points. He was penalized for under-rotating his double Axel and both jumps in his triple toe loop-double toe loop combination. The skater did execute a very fine change of foot sit spin as his last element.

Andrew Torgashev, the silver medalist from Eastern Sectionals, had a disastrous skate in which all his jumps elements were flawed, and which only earned 34.26 points and tenth place. . The twelve-year-old from Florida popped his combination jump to a single Lutz-single toe combination, with an edge call on the Lutz. Torgashev, who is coached by his father Artem Torgashev, was able to rotate his triple flip, but he had problems with its landing. At last, he popped his double Axel to a severely under-rotated single Axel.

Justin Ly, Salt Lake Figure Skating Club, scored 34.09 points and eleventh place. The gold medalist at the 2014 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships received an edge call on his triple Lutz, on which he also fell. The student, who is coached by Lisa Kriley, also under-rotated his triple loop which caused him to be unable to finish his combination jump.

Colton Johnson, FSC of Bloomington, MI, fell on a triple toe loop, and chose to do only a double Lutz-double toe loop combination. The pewter medalist at the 2014 Midwestern Sectional Championships finished in twelfth place with a score of 33.67 points.