2004 U.S. Nationals

Junior Men

by Maggie Doyle

Place Skater SP FS
1 Christopher Toland 3 2

Jason Wong

6 1
3 Wesley Campbell 4 3
4 Tommy Steenberg 2 7
5 Traighe Rouse 7 5
6 Ben Woolwine 5 6
7 Jeremy Abbott 10 4
8 Igor Matsipura 1 9
9 Tim Wright 8 8
10 Adam Aaronowitz 11 10
11 Michael Peters 9 11
12 David Sanders 12 12


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Tim Wright

  2. Igor Matsipura

  3. Tommy Steenberg

  4. Michael Peters

  5. Jeremy Abbott

  6. Ben Woolwine

  7. Christopher Toland

  8. Jason Wong

  9. Adam Aaronowitz

  10. Wesley Campbell

  11. David Sanders

  12. Traighe Rouse


Short Program Placements
Place Skater
1 Igor Matsipura
2 Tommy Steenberg
3 Christopher Toland
4 Wesley Campbell
5 Ben Woolwine

Jason Wong

7 Traighe Rouse
8 Tim Wright
9 Michael Peters
10 Jeremy Abbott
11 Adam Aaronowitz
12 David Sanders

Igor Matsipura is the current leader after the short programs and the only competitor to successfully land a triple Axel - double toe combination in his "Hungarian Rhapsody" short program during the junior men's short program competition at Gwinnett Center.  He moved to the United States with his family from the Ukraine at age 12 and has lived in the United States for the past six years.  He trains with Rashid Kadykaev and skates for the Peninsula SC.  He was second at the 2004 Pacific Coast Sectionals and is making his second appearance at the national championships, previously competing at novice level in 2001 (bronze medallist).   He skated a clean short program and will be the final competitor in the freeskating round for the 12-man field.   He had four first place ordinals, two-second placements, one third, a fifth and a sixth place ordinal.  "I have been doing the triple Axel for just over a year and I just started working on the quad toe last week just in practice but I haven't landed one yet," said Matsipura.   He landed his triple flip and just stepped out of his double Axel.  His marks ranged from 4.1 to 4.9 for technical merit and from 4.4 to 5.0 for presentation.

Tommy Steenberg of the SC of Northern Virginia finished in second position with three first place ordinals, two-second placements, two thirds and two fifth place ordinals.  He drew 8th position for the freeskate, the second skater in the final group.  He placed second in 2004 Eastern Sectionals and currently trains with Audrey Weisiger and Rob Schupp in Fairfax, Virginia.  His father is in the Army so he was born in Hawaii, and also lived in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arkansas (where he took up skating) and Virginia.  He landed a triple Lutz - double toe combination in his clean short program and plans a triple - triple combination for his freeskate. "I am really happy with how I skated," said Steenberg, while smiling from ear to ear, "I was just concentrating on doing the best I can do in my program because you never know how the event can go."  His marks ranged from 4.4 to 4.8 for technical merit and from 4.5 to 4.8 for presentation.

Christopher Toland of the Glacier Falls FSC currently sits in third place with two first place ordinals, two second placements, a third, a fourth, a fifth and two surprising 8th place ordinals from Judge 3 Claire Ferguson and Judge 5 Beth Graham after his Spanish flavored program to "Paco de Lucia" which Russ Witherby choreographed.  He trains with Ken Congemi at the Health South facility in Los Angeles.  

For the final he drew an early skate, skating seventh and the first skater for the second warm-up group.  "The long program is my favorite so I am pleased with my current situation.  This was not my personal best performance but I tried to present it well.  Working with Russ has really helped my connection to the judges and the audience.  I feel more like a man out there instead of a boy," said Toland. 

He started skating at age 8 after seeing the Disney film, "The Mighty Ducks."  He doesn't plan a triple Axel in his freeskating program but is considering including a triple flip- triple toe and a triple Lutz - triple toe combination.  "It depends how things are feeling during the program," Toland explained.  His short program included a triple Lutz - double toe, a triple flip and a double Axel. His camel spins were very slow today and the overall program was presented stronger on the practice session.  His technical marks ranged from 4.2 to 4.9 and his presentation marks had a range of 4.5 to 5.3

The strongest artisan of the field, Wesley Campbell of the Nashville FSC is in fourth place.  He is coached by Laura Sanders and his Fields of the Heart short program was created by Bill Fauver.   Campbell previously won the 2004 Midwestern Sectionals and placed sixth at last year's junior championships.  He struggled with his triple flip (fell) and double axel (hand down) landings.  On the strength of his artistry he received two second place ordinals, two third placements, one fourth, three 6th place ordinals and an 8th place.   He skates 9th for the freeskate on Friday at Phillips Arena.  "My goal for the freeskate is to be stronger both mentally and physically and improve on last year's placement," said Campbell.  He has won the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and would have pursued gymnastics if he hadn't chosen skating.  His technical marks ran from 4.0 to 4.6 and his presentation marks ranged from 4.5 to 5.4.


Free Skate

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. David Sanders

  2. Adam Aaronowitz

  3. Tim Wright

  4. Michael Peters

  5. Jeremy Abbott

  6. Traighe Rouse

  7. Christopher Toland

  8. Tommy Steenberg

  9. Wesley Campbell

  10. Jason Wong

  11. Ben Woolwine

  12. Igor Matsipura


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater
1 Jason Wong
2 Christopher Toland
3 Wesley Campbell
4 Jeremy Abbott
5 Traighe Rouse

Ben Woolwine

7 Tommy Steenberg
8 Tim Wright
9 Igor Matsipura
10 Adam Aaronowitz
11 Michael Peters
12 David Sanders


The Junior men's event at Philips Arena on Friday morning was full of surprises as the skaters in the twelve man field all changed positions with the exception of the skater in twelfth place.  

Christopher Toland of the Glacier Falls FSC had the best combination of short and free skate results and now is the 2004 U.S. Figure Skating Junior Men's champion.   He was 3rd after the short program and his "On the Waterfront" free skate had one first place ordinal, six second placements, and two third place ordinals for second place in the free skate but first overall. His first place ordinal came from former USFSA president, Clair Ferguson of Jamestown, Rhode Island.  His marks ranged from 4.9 to 5.3 for technical merit and from 4.7 to 5.4 for presentation. 

Toland plans to advance to championship men for next season.  Toland said of his performance, 'I was third in the short program. I was pretty confident going into the long because I've been training it every day. I know it like the back of my hand, and I wasn't going to give it up without a fight."   Toland does triple Axels at home in practice but did not attempt one here.  "It just isn't at the point where I'm comfortable putting it in the program. We just worked on what we needed to do for nationals (in recent weeks)," he said.

He landed five triples and only had one mistake on his second triple Lutz.   Toland opened his program with a nice triple Lutz - double toe combination and had considered doing a triple - triple combination for that jump.  He also completed a triple flip, triple loop; triple Salchow, a double Axel - double toe combination and a triple toe loop.

Jason Wong of the SC of Boston easily won the free skating round with seven first place ordinals, a third place and one surprising fourth placement from Steve Winkler of Palm Springs, California for his Spanish music program.  His program, choreographed by Jamie Isley was skated cleanly and he trains with Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson.   He did not attempt a triple Axel.  Wong said, "I opted to not attempt it (triple Axel) in my long program since I wanted to have a clean program. I can do it in practice but it is not one hundred percent consistent or ready to be put in the long program yet."

He had buried himself in the short program rounds; placing sixth after missing his triple flip.  Wong is currently undecided about his competitive level for next season.  Wong said, "My short wasn't exactly the greatest. "I popped my opening triple flip into a single. Everything else was good. It was just one stupid mistake. I really had nothing to lose today going into the long program."  His program included six triples, and he opened with a triple flip.  After a double Axel, he then included a triple Lutz - double toe combination.  After a triple loop, Wong next executed a second triple Lutz, a triple toe - double toe combination and a final triple Salchow.

Wesley Campbell of the Nashville FSC also skated to "On the Waterfront" and again had the strongest artistic interpretation of all the competitors.  He moved up from fourth place to third and takes home the bronze medal.  He plans to move up to senior level next season.   Campbell said of his performance, "I am getting stronger every time I come to nationals.  I really look forward to taking it a step further and taking maybe another step up on the podium, but I am thrilled to be in the top three."

Campbell did not attempt the triple Axel here due to a recent right knee injury right after his win at the 2004 Midwestern Sectional Championships, scaling back to a double Axel - triple toe loop combination.   Campbell explained, "A week after Midwesterns I sustained a partial tear in the ACL. The doctors thought I would not be able to skate. We went into the doctor a week later and he said it wasn't a full tear, only a partial tear and I was good to go. My doctor feels confident I will not have to have the surgery because it's healing."

He landed four triples but missed his final triple flip and triple Lutz.  He took a bad fall on his back on his second triple flip but still managed wonderful interpretation of his free skating program.  Elements included a triple loop, double Axel - triple toe combination, triple Lutz - double loop combination and a triple Salchow,

The short program leader Igor Matsipura fell to 9th place in the free skate and finished 8th overall after missing his two triple Axel attempts and only managing to successfully land two triples.  Matsipura was the only competitor to attempt the triple Axel. Tommy Steenburg also struggled for his "Mask of Zorro" program and dropped from second in the short program to seventh in the free skate.  This still netted this 2003 Novice men's bronze medalist the pewter medal for fourth place overall for his first year in junior men's. 


     J1: Samuel Auxier
     J2: Kathleen McBride
     J3: Claire Ferguson
     J4: Deborah Currie
     J5: Beth Graham
     J6:  Don Dei Cas
     J7:  Joseph Driano
     J8:  Steve Winkler
     J9:  Todd Bromley



Short Program
Place Skater J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 Maj. TOM
1 Igor Matsipura 1 1 2 6 5 2 1 1 3 6/2  
2 Tommy Steenberg 2 3 1 1 1 3 2 5 5 5/2  
3 Christopher Toland 5 2 8 2 8 1 4 3 1 5/3  
4 Wesley Campbell 3 4 6 8 3 6 6 2 2 5/4  
5 Ben Woolwine 4 7 10 4 4 4 5 9 9 5/5  

Jason Wong

7 6 11 5 6 5 3 4 10 6/6  
7 Traighe Rouse 8 5 3 9 2 8 7 6 6 5/6  
8 Tim Wright 6 9 9 3 11 7 8 7 7 5/7  
9 Michael Peters 9 10 7 12 12 9 12 8 4 5/9 37
10 Jeremy Abbott 11 8 5 9 9 10 9 12 11 5/9 40
11 Adam Aaronowitz 12 11 4 6 7 11 10 11 8 5/10  
12 David Sanders 10 12 12 11 10 12 11 10 12 5/11  


Free Skating
Place Skater J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 Maj. TOM
1 Jason Wong 1 4 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 7/1  
2 Christopher Toland 2 1 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 7/2  
3 Wesley Campbell 3 5 3 3 3 2 1 2 3 8/3  
4 Jeremy Abbott 4 9 4 4 9 4 4 6 7 5/4  
5 Traighe Rouse 7 2 11 5 4 7 6 4 8 5/6  

Ben Woolwine

6 7 6 7 10 5 7 8 5 7/7  
7 Tommy Steenberg 5 6 5 11 12 11 9 7 4 5/7  
8 Tim Wright 12 10 9 6 11 8 8 5 6 5/8  
9 Igor Matsipura 8 2 12 12 6 10 12 9 9 5/9 34
10 Adam Aaronowitz 11 11 8 9 5 9 5 10 12 5/9 36
11 Michael Peters 9 7 10 10 7 6 11 12 10 7/10  
12 David Sanders 10 12 7 8 8 12 10 11 11 5/10  

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