(30 August 2012) Lake Placid, NY
Men's Short Program
The U.S. World Junior
silver medalist, Joshua Farris, who turned 17 on June 1, gave a
mature and enjoyable performance to lead, as expected, the
opening round of the Men's contest in the second of this season’s
seven Junior Grand Prix events, currently taking place in Lake
Placid in the arena where the Miracle on Ice US hockey win over
Russia took place in 1980.
“To me, it’s all about
how I skate,” said Farris, a Renton, Washington State born, now
Colorado Springs resident after banking 72.20 points
(39.00+33.20) for his Short Program. That was a massive 13.57
point lead over Keiji Tanaka of Japan who scored 58.63
(30.41+28.22), and lies second going into Friday night’s final.
Tanaka, who is also
17, performed to Afro
Freak. He lost marks stepping out of his triple Axel. His
combination of two triple toe loops was simpler than the one
Farris presented and had -0.60 removed from the base value
because of a flawed landing on the second jump.
Tanaka, who is from
Kurashiki in Japan, appeared to tire at the end of his routine
and his straight line steps and flying camel spin were only
Russia, lies third, 1.13 marks behind Tanaka. He wore a tan
outfit with a strange design. One poster declared she/he heard
“growls in the music”. Though he presented only a double Axel,
he brought off a +0.30 triple Lutz to triple toe for the
combination. Like Farris, he was saddled with an “e” for his
triple flip. He was the only competitor to earn three Level 4s,
which were given to all of his spins. His steps were Level 3.
Farris, who was inspired to
take up figure skating after watching the 1988 Olympic
champion Brian Boitano skate, was calm as he drew for his place
for the Free Skate. He explained that being the favorite had not
put extra pressure on him. “I don’t pay much attention to the
media. If I win, it’s the cherry on the top of the sundae. To me
it’s all about how I skate and how I perform the elements. Today
there were two bobbles that I wish had not happened.”
He began his routine,
with its seven required elements, with a gorgeous, soaring
triple Axel, which earned him an impressive extra +1.43 over the
base value of 8.50 points. Four of the nine judges awarded him
+2 Grades of Execution and the other four +1.
The judges appeared to
notice only one flaw, although they awarded his triple Lutz to
triple toe combination of jumps, just the base value, indicating
it was adequate in every way but nothing more. One generous
judge gave +1, which means it was more than satisfactory but the
rest punched in 0.
His triple flip was “dissed”
with an “e” for wrong edge take-off. However, two of his spins
gained the maximum Level 4, which means it could hardly be
better, while his final two moves, the combination spin and his
straight line steps were Level 3.
The routine was set to
the very rich sounds of Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello, No.1 in G
Major, played by the famed Yo-Yo Ma.
Farris was fourth in
2009, when a Junior Grand Prix was also held in Lake Placid.
Last year, he won Junior Grand Prix events in Poland and Estonia
and was third in the Final in Quebec City. This season, the
Final for both the Junior and Senior Grand Prix will be in
December, in Sochi, as a tryout for the facilities for the 2014
Winter Olympic Games.
James Schetelich, the
US Novice championship runner-up earlier this year, who trains
in Monsey NY with Debbie Davis, could hardly be disappointed
with his international debut although he lies 16th
of the 18 competitors from 15 countries.
“It is thrilling to be
here, only a four-hour drive away from my home,” he said. “I
never expected to be here. It’s only my second competition as a
junior and the other event was a domestic contest.”
He looked suave and
debonair performing to
Rich Man’s Frug by Cy Coleman, in a black suit with bow tie,
but was penalized for two falls.
The first was on his
opening move, a double Lutz to triple toe with the second jump
receiving an arrow for slight under-rotation and the first jump
an “e” for wrong edge take-off.
Level 3 for two of his spins but he was disappointed he didn’t
do better with the other elements. “I wish I could go back and
do it again, but I can’t so I have to put it out of my mind and
do better in the Free.”
Pairs Short Program
For the first
time, the host country of a Junior Grand Prix is being
allowed “as many pairs as they wish”, according to an ISU
official, who also revealed that next season five of the
seven Junior Grand Prix events will have a pairs competition
instead of just four. “There are not that many events for
pairs so the ISU is trying to make it easier for pairs to
That explains how
US Figure Skating was permitted four pairs this time instead
of the previous host maximum of three.
The Americans are
lying third (Haven
Brandon Frazier), fourth (Madelaine
Aaron and Max
Settlage), fifth (Jessica
Pfund and AJ
Reiss) and ninth (Olivia
Joshua Santillan) in the field of 14 pairs from seven
In the lead are
Russians with a Canadian pair second.
The top three
Americans could definitely have earned more marks. Denny,
16, and Frazier, 19, and Pfund, 13, and Reiss, 20, received
no marks for their back outside death spiral, while Aaron,
17, and Settlage, 20, got zero for their change foot
Denny and Frazier,
who were fourth in the world junior championships, and Aaron
and Settlage, who were 6th
in the 2012 US Junior championships, are trained by Dalilah
Sappenfield. Pfund and Reiss, who were 5th
in the 2012 US Junior championships are coached by Peter
Oppegard. These coaches certainly know pair skating.
Sappenfield said it was a little frustrating because her
pupils did the important things but made small but
significant errors on other points.
Denny and Frazier
performed to Malaguena, receiving 44.58 (21.39 +23.19).
Aaron and Settlage, who skated to The Swan from Saint Saens’
Carnival of Animals, were given 43.82 (20.99+22.83). Pfund
and Reiss, who scored 43.37 (21.73+22.64 -1) used Bolero for
Violin and orchestra played by Vanessa Mae. They got a point
removed due to a timing violation.
Taking the lead on
Thursday night were
Vasilisa Davankova and
the current Russian junior champions who won bronze in this
past season world junior championships in their first
In Lake Placid
they drew to skate first, setting a standard no one could
beat. They earned 67.64 (33.24+31.45) and lie 1.13 points
ahead of the second placed Canadians,
Margaret Purdy and
looks very short with her tall partner, turned 14 on May 2,
and Deputat, 19, who moved from Kiev in Ukraine to Moscow
searching for a new partner, are a team that is going
places. They got together in May 11, 2011.
He told one
interviewer, “My previous partner had a very difficult
character. Compared to her, Vasilisa is a real treasure.”
She said, “I liked Andrei from the start.” Their coach,
Sergei Doboskokov, says they are “workaholics”.
They opened with
double Axels followed by a throw triple Salchow and a Level
3 double twist. Their lift and the flying camel combination
spin were both Level 4, with the lift including a change of
direction. Their back outside death spiral and straight line
steps were Level 3. Their Grades of Execution ranged from
zero up to +0.29. She wore a red polka dot dress. They
skated to a well-known piece of German music, Bei Mir Bist
Purdy and Marinaro
skated to Pucini’s Oh My Beloved Father. They gave an
enjoyable showing which earned 47.84 (24.40+23.64). She was
in light pink and he had a white top. The pair who placed 6th
in the past Canadian senior championship and were 5th
in the World Juniors, presented an impressive “drop” lift
but lost marks on their back outside death spiral which got
a B. Their steps were only Level 1 and their last spin lost
unison at the end.
They train in
Strathray with Scott Rachuk. Alison Purkiss is their
Charlie Bilodeau, and
Shalena Rau and
finished in a virtual tie, 10th
and 11th with 37.75 and
37.73, just behind Oltmanns and Santinillan, who drew to
skate last. These Americans, who are trained in Minnesota by
her mother, performed to Zorba, the Greek. They scored 39.10
(19.56+19.54) losing points by singling an Axel and gaining
only Level 1 for their spin and a B for their death spiral.