Attired in simple white and light blue outfits, which matched the mood of their soothing Ave Maria music, they soared into their reverse press lift which had a graceful variation in which Castile flowed into a horizontal position, gazing at the ceiling.
"The music really relaxes us. I totally feel the music," said Castile. "Itís a really hard lift. I have to keep my left leg bend which is difficult and the exit is really different. Our lifts are our best elements."
Both messed up their double Axels. "The jump was good," Castile explained, "but I stepped out of it." Her partner added, "Mine had a shaky landing." However, they quickly recovered to execute a double twist that was lateral and a high throw triple Salchow.
No one got a 5.0 for the first set of marks, which are for technical merit, but Castile and Okolski, who were sixth in this event last year, gained eight 5.1s and one 5.2 for the second set, for presentation. That turned out to be five first place votes. The four other judges split their first places between the couples who finished second, third and fourth, with the fourth placed Sydney Schmidt and Christopher Pottenger getting two firsts (and one tenth!).
Skating last of the 13 pairs and finishing second, were Andrea Varraux, who is from Orlando, FL, and David Pelletier, from Lunnenberg, MA. Earlier this season, they won the Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. They were sixth in Juniors last year.
Interpreting the dramatic Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet music as interpreted by Vanessa Mae, they began with double Axels and ended with the back outside death spiral that had a unique entrance.
"Itís a hydro-blade move," said Pelletier, who is 21. "We learned it by accident. It just happened one day."
They had one deduction. Varraux, who is 17, explained, "I stepped out of the throw triple Salchow but it was the biggest one weíve ever done in competition."
Taking third place were the Eastern champions, Shantal Jordan, who is from Ellenton, FL, and Jeremy Barrett, from Venice, Florida. Skating to music from the movie, Independence Day, they had a wonderful reverse press lift in which he transferred her, while she was above his head, from one arm to another.
Their coach, Canadian Kerry Leitch who is now a U.S. resident, said, "Itís rare that you get a boy with that much strength in both arms." They both do strength training off the ice.
Jordon did put her hand down and had to step out of the landing of the throw triple Salchow but Leitch said, "For someone who just turned 11, she did really good." Barrett is 19.
The fourth placed pair from Texas (heís a 16 year old from Dallas; sheís a 15 year old from Coppell) Schmidt&Pottenger, who were last yearís Novice champions, had an interesting change of hand holds in the lift.
Their routine was accompanied by the dulcet piano tones of Beethovenís Moonlight Sonata. Schmidt survived an unfortunate fall on the throw triple Salchow and they did only double flips for their solo jumps.
Fifth and sixth places were very close with two 18 year olds, Lucy Galleher, from Denver, and John Coughlin, from Kansas City, gaining the edge over the Seitz brother and sister, Lindsey, 13, and Andy, 18.
Galleher and Coughlin looked very pleased at the end of the routine which included double Axels and he nearly crushed her with a bearlike hug of exhileration.
Although the Seitzís solo jumps were only double flips, they really attacked their routine with gusto.
Delighted with their seventh place were the Arizonians, Jenna Yount from Paradise Valley, and Grant Marron from Phoenix. They had placed only fifth in the Pacific Coast Sectionals but were brought in as a replacement for Nicole Hartunian and Themistocles Leftheris.
The U.S. Figure
Skating Association named their 2004 World Junior Figure Skating
Championships team on Friday evening. Britney Vise and Nicholas Kole,
Castile and Okolski, Varraux and Pelletier will be the three teams
representing the United States in the Netherlands on March 1 - 7 for this
J1: Margery Schleh
J2: Kathy Slack
J3: Jessica Bussgang
J4: Deborah Weldman
J5: Jeffrey Wolf
J6: Wayne Hundley
J7: Coco Gram Shean
J8: Kathleen Krieger
J9: Gretchen Wilson
|1||Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski||2||2||1||1||3||1||2||1||1||5/1|
|2||Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier||3||1||2||3||4||2||3||2||2||5/2|
|3||Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett||5||3||3||2||2||4||1||3||4||6/3|
|4||Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger||1||6||6||5||1||5||10||6||5||5/5|
|5||Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin||10||7||9||8||5||6||4||4||3||5/6||22|
Lindsey Seitz & Andy Seitz
|7||Jenna Yount & Grant Marron||4||8||8||4||7||7||6||8||7||6/7|
|8||Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis||9||4||4||9||8||3||8||7||6||5/7|
|9||Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy||7||10||10||7||9||8||9||11||9||6/9|
|10||Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis||8||5||5||12||10||10||7||10||10||8/10|
|11||Rhea Sy & Benny Wu||11||12||11||11||11||11||12||12||11||6/11|
|12||Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan||13||11||12||10||12||12||11||9||12||8/12|
|13||Joanna Canny & Adam Parr||12||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||9/13|
|1||Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett||1||1||2||1||2||1||2||2||1||5/1|
|2||Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski||2||2||1||2||1||2||1||1||3||8/2|
|3||Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier||3||3||3||3||3||4||3||3||4||7/3|
|4||Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger||4||5||4||4||5||6||4||5||2||5/4|
|5||Jenna Yount & Grant Marron||6||4||7||5||4||3||6||6||5||5/5||21|
Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin
|7||Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis||8||7||6||6||7||8||7||7||7||7/7|
|8||Lindey Seitz & Andy Seitz||9||12||8||8||8||10||8||8||10||5/8|
|9||Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis||10||8||9||9||11||7||10||9||9||6/9|
|10||Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy||7||10||10||10||9||9||9||10||8||5/9|
|11||Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan||11||9||12||11||10||11||12||12||11||6/11|
|12||Rhea Sy & Benny Wu||12||11||11||12||12||12||11||11||12||9/12|
|13||Joanna Canny & Adam Parr||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||9/13|
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