2004

U.S. Nationals

Junior Pairs

 
Standings
Place Team SP FS
1 Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett 3 1
2 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski 1 2
3 Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier 2 3
4 Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger 4 4
5 Jenna Yount & Grant Marron 7 5
6 Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin 5 6
7 Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis 8 7
8

Lindsey Seitz & Andy Seitz

6 8
9 Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis 10 9
10 Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy 9 10
11 Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan 12 11
12 Rhea Sy & Benny Wu 11 12
13 Joanna Canny& Adam Parr 13 13

 

Short Program

 
Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski

  2. Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis

  3. Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett

  4. Rhea Sy & Benny Wu

  5. Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger

  6. Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis

  7. Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy

  8. Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan

  9. Joanna Canny Canny & Adam Parr

  10. Jenna Yount & Grant Marron

  11. Lindsey Seitz & Andy Seitz

  12. Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin

  13. Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier

 

Short Program Placements

Place

Team
1 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
2 Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier
3 Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett
4 Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger
5 Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin
6

Lindsey Seitz & Andy Seitz

7 Jenna Yount & Grant Marron
8 Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis
9 Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy
10 Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis
11 Rhea Sy & Benny Wu
12 Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan
13 Joanna Canny & Adam Parr


On a cold, clear, sunny Tuesday afternoon in the impressive less than a year old Arena at the Gwinnett Center 27 miles north of Atlanta, Midwestern champions, Brooke Castile, 17, from Grosse Point, MI, and Benjamin Okolski, 19, from Whitemore, MI, took the ice first of the 13 junior pairs in the first competition at junior level, and set a standard none could beat, despite making a major error.

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.

 

Free Skate

 
Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Joanna Canny Canny & Adam Parr

  2. Rhea Sy & Benny Wu

  3. Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan

  4. Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis

  5. Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy

  6. Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis

  7. Jenna Yount & Grant Marron

  8. Lindey Seitz & Andy Seitz

  9. Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin

  10. Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett

  11. Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski

  12. Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger

  13. Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier

 

Free Skating Placements
Place Team
1 Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett
2 Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski
3 Andrea Varraux & David Pelletier
4 Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger
5 Jenna Yount & Grant Marron
6

Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin

7 Katelyn Uhlig & Colin Loomis
8 Lindey Seitz & Andy Seitz
9 Sheila Harkaway & Cole Davis
10 Katie Boxwell & Joshua Murphy
11 Tanya Bakerman & Chad Brennan
12 Rhea Sy & Benny Wu
13 Joanna Canny & Adam Parr

 


After competing their short programs at Gwinnett Center on Tuesday, the final round took place at Phillips Arena, just before the opening ceremonies.  The top three teams all changed places in this thirteen-team field.  Only the pewter medalists and the last place team kept their same placement spot for the final round. 

Shantel Jordan & Jeremy Barrett of the Southwest Florida FSC won 2004 Eastern Sectional Championships and performed here to the Nutcracker Ballet for their freeskate to take the 2004 Junior Pair Championship title in a close five to four decision.  They train with Kerry Leich and their choreographer is Jim Peterson.  Jordan is only 11 years old and cannot yet compete internationally.  Once she has junior eligibility at age 13, Barrett currently age 19 will no longer have his junior eligibility so under current ISU rules, it could be four years before this duo competes on the international circuit and it would then be as seniors.  "I plan to take them to some local competitions in Spain and Belgium next season to give them some international experience, said Leich.  He hopes the ISU age rules change and they are able to compete as a junior team for ISU international events.  

They were 9th at the 2003 U.S. Championships as juniors and plan to move up to senior level for the 2005 U.S. Championships.  They advanced from 3rd in the short to first place.  "Obviously we'd like to skate internationally, but winning this title is better than any international event," Barrett said.  His partner added, "We have so many different competitions in the year that we always have something to look forward to."  Their only mistake was her missed triple Salchow. "All this year I have never missed my triple Salchow," Jordan said, "That is my best jump basically." I think I got too excited so I jumped too early and I went down. We weren't thinking about placement but with skating with our hearts today."  This is their third season as a team.

Brook Castile age 17 & Benjamin Okolski age 19 of St. Clair Shores FSC, train with Joe Mero and Marie Moscato and skated to the romantic "Romeo and Juliet" for their freeskate.   This duo also won 2004 Midwestern Sectionals and moved up from 6th place at 2003 Nationals.   This team competed at 2 JGP events this season and is in their second season as a team.  Their strongest element is their lateral triple twist.  "We almost accidentally did a quad throw off the ice in practice today,' said Castile.  After missing their first throw jump she said, "I've landed it in every competition for the year. I thought I had it and just lost the edge."   They have worked on the quad throw in the past but according to Castile they are primarily concentrating on other things they need to work on and I felt our presentation was the best ever today.  We have come together more as a team this year," said Okolski.  This team was plagued by bouts of mono this season but currently is healthy.

Andrea Varraux, age 17 & David Pelletier, age 21 of the Univ. of Delaware FSC train under the tutelage of Jeff DiGragorio, Ron Luddington, and Priscilla Hill.   Their soundtrack from Casablanca freeskating program was choreographed by Kelly Johnson.    This team won the JGP Croatia competition this season and competed at two others.  They placed seventh at the 2003 Junior Championships and had a bye to these championships.  They also are in their second season together.  A program highlight was their two triple Salchows, but she later singled her Axel and fell on their first throw.  "I am really happy with how we performed today and we have really been working on facial expressions.  It felt really comfortable out there and I am really proud of us for going out and doing our jobs today," said Pelletier.   He took a break from figure skating during his junior and senior years of high school to play hockey and skated with Disney on Ice in 2000 for four months prior to returning to competitive skating.

Sydney Schmidt & Christopher Pottenger from the Dallas FSC competed here in their first year in juniors and are last year's novice champions. They train with David and Holly Kirby and their choreographers are Allen Schramm and Natalia Mishkutenok.    They skated to the dramatic opera "Carmen" by Bizet and they had to end one of their lifts prematurely. They placed 2nd at 2004 Midwest Sectionals and competed at the JGP in Mexico this season.  

Notable was the performance of Jenna Yount & Grant Marron of the Coyotes SC of Arizona.  This team was the first alternate at the 2004 Pacific Coast Sectional and replaced Nicole Hartunian and Themistocles Leftheris.   They gave a solid performance here, moving up from 7th in the short to fifth in the freeskate and overall, making the most of this last minute competitive opportunity.

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 ISU championships.

The alternates are Emma Phibbs and Michael McPherson (1st alternate), Brandi Sandoval & Laureano Ibarra (2nd alternate), and Schmidt and Pottenger (3rd alternate).

 

Judges

     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

 

Ordinals

Short Program
Place Skater J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 Maj. TOM
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
6

Lindsey Seitz & Andy Seitz

6 9 7 6 6 9 5 5 8 5/6 28
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  

 

Free Skating
Place Skater J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 Maj. TOM
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
6

Lucy Galleher & John Coughlin

5 6 5 7 6 5 5 4 6 5/5 24
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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