Camden Pulkinen Crushes It in Junior Men
Camden Pulkinen in Junior Men's Short Program
Camden Pulkinen topped the field in the Junior Men's event with a nearly 20 point margin of victory. He paced first in the Short Porgram where he landed a strong triple Axel. His win in the short, however, was by only 0.6 point due to popping the second jump in his combination to become a triple flip - single toe loop. As a double or triple is required for the second jump, the element earned points only for the flip. He also fell out of his combination spin and had a slip in his step sequence. His program to "Fix You" by Coldplay was nonetheless well choreographed and nicely interpreted.
In the free Pulikinen had a stronger skate, performing to music by Frederic Chopin. He landed six clean triples, including two triple Axels. The Axels, in fact, are his highest quality jumps. His seventh triple (the loop) was two footed and he put two hands down.
Dinh Tran placed second in both the short and the free to finish second overall. He gave a decent interpretation of "Exogenisis Symphony, Part I" by Muse, but had major errors on his opening jump combination and change foot camel spin. Despite the errors, his higher base value and remaining clean remaining elements (including a moderately strong triple Axel) put him ahead of Pulikinen on technical score, but he trailed in components, averaging 6.05 vs. 6.80 for Pulkinen. In the free, intensely skated to "Poets" by Vincente Amigo, he landed seven triples but the quality of his elements generally trailed Pulkinen. In components he averaged 6.53, again trailing Pukinen who averaged 7.33.
Maxim Naumov took the bronze medal, placing third in the short and fourth in the long. He was 40.95 points behind Tran and more than 40 points behind Pulkinen. He had two rough skates, and the fact he still won the bronze is a testament to the lack of depth among the Junior men.
In the short Naumov fell on triple Axel, and had a poorly executed triple flip- triple toe loop with an edge call on the flip. He landed triple Lutz. He had only two clean triples in the free and six of his elements in the free were scored negative for GoEs. Skating to "Luck be a lady" in the short he scored an average of 6.24 for components, while in the free he scored an average of 6.10 skating to "Who wants to Live Forever."
Ryan Dunk missed all three jump elements in the short program, falling twice. Skating to Malaguena" his components averaged a lackluster 5.62.
Dunk came back stronger in the Free Skate, where placed third, to finish fourth overall. He landed three clean triples of seven attempted. His components averaged 5.74, skating to music from "The Nutcracker."
The lack of depth in the Junior Men's event was profound. Only three men landed clean triple Axels in the Short Program, and only two in the long. Tony Lu was the only skater to attempt a quad (Salchow) and he fell on his attempt. Only one man had components that averaged greater than 7.0. Only Pulkinen looked like a skater close to being ready to move up to Senior.