by Carly Gold
Goku Endo Wins Novice Men’s Title
Goku Endo won the Novice Men’s title with a narrow margin over silver medalist Max Lake.
Endo placed second in the short program with a score of 54.11 points, delivering a solid, clean performance to “Business of Love”. He didn’t perform flip or Lutz, but executed a solid triple toeloop-double toeloop combination and triple Salchow. Endo performed nice spins, one of which earned a level 4. His step sequence earned a few 3s in GOE, although was only rewarded with a Level 3.
Endo’s “Tango de Roxanne” free program had a few mistakes, but was exciting to watch from beginning to end. His 102.03-point performance included a nice triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, two other triples, and two solid double Axels. Endo popped an intended triple loop, and had a fall on his second triple toeloop attempt. The Harbor City, California native earned all Level 4s on his spins, and a Level 3 step sequence.
Endo finished second in both segments of competition, but his score of 156.14 points was just enough to win the title. Endo is a “whole package” skater, with nice jumps, spins, and excellent skating skills. He will need to acquire harder triples in order to be competitive in the junior ranks.
The silver medalist of the event was Max Lake. He performed a triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination is his short program, as well as a secure triple Lutz and double axel. However, his lack of transitions and choreography left him with only the 6th highest components in the short. Lake finished third in the segment with a score of 52.66 points.
Lake delivered a technically ambitious free skate to “Cello Concerto in E”, which won the segment with a score of 103.11 points. He performed the only triple Axel of the event, which scored positive GOEs and was worth 10.97 points. He went on to land five other triples in the performance. Unfortunately, Lake suffered an unfortunate fall on his flying sit spin, and received no points for his final combination spin.
Max undoubtedly had the best jumps in the event, but his poor spin quality and lack of interpretation to his music kept him from taking the title. I think he can really become a top contender in junior and senior events if he improves upon these aspects. He finished with a total score of 155.77 points.
Nicholas Hsieh, the leader after the short program, has a rough free program and dropped to third place with a total score of 154.64 points. He opened with a nice triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, but had a rough landing on his second triple Lutz attempt. He continued to struggle throughout his performance, falling three more times. Hsieh finished 6th in the segment with a score of 94.89 points.
Hsieh has huge potential as a skater. He has a great presence on the ice, and massive jumps.
Lucas Altieri finished fourth in both segments to win the pewter medal. He attempted seven triple jumps, but unfortunately four of them were called under-rotated. He fell once, and had several other sloppy landings. Altieri also only earned level 2s and 3s on his spins, losing valuable points. He finished with a total score of 144.63 points.