2007 US Figure Skating Championships: Ladies Highlights

Novice Division

Angela Maxwell (Hurst, Texas) was the gold medal winner in the ladies Novice division, while Kristine Musademba (Silver Spring, Md.) and Carolyn-Ann Alba (Anaheim, Calif.) won the silver and bronze, respectively.

Short Program

Performing to music from the Ladies in Lavender soundtrack, Alba landed a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, a triple toeloop, and a double Axel. The 2007 Pacific Coast Sectional Novice silver medalist also produced a very good level four layback spin and a good combination change spin, placing first with 45.04 points.

Maxwell performed her routine to music from the Mr. and Mrs. Smith soundtrack, opening with a good layback spin and a solid double Axel, followed by a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination and a triple toeloop. The 14-year-old earned 43.33 points for a second place finish.

Skating to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Fiedler, Ellie Kawamura (Los Angeles, Calif.) turned out the landing of a triple toeloop (in a combination jump), but otherwise landed a triple salchow, a solid double Axel, and produced a good layback spin to place third with 42.06 points.

Caroline Ferris (Wheaton, Ill.) was fourth (41.82). Her routine featured a double Axel, triple toeloop, a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, and a good level four combination change spin.

Musademba placed fifth after the short (40.81 points), followed by Danielle Seitz of Indianapolis, Ind. (39.84 points).

Long Program

Musademba, who stood in fifth after the short, stepped out of a triple loop in her routine to Malagueña by Raul DiBlasio, but then produced a solid triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a huge double Axel, a very good level three flying sit spin, and a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination. The 14-year-old also executed a very good triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a level four spiral sequence, and a triple Salchow for a first place finish in the long (88.44 points). With a total score of 129.25 points, the 2007 Eastern Sectional Novice Champion moved up to second overall to win the silver.

Performing to music from the Children of the Dune soundtrack, Maxwell opened with a very good double Axel, followed by a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, and a level three combination spin. She also produced a solid triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a good spiral sequence, a triple toeloop-double toeloop-double loop combination, a triple Salchow, and a double Lutz. The 2007 Midwestern Sectional Novice Champion was awarded 88.32 points for a second place finish in the long, and with a total score of 131.65 points, won the gold.

Deedee Leng (Naperville, Ill.), who stood in ninth after the short, stepped out of a triple Lutz (meant to be in combination with a double toeloop), but otherwise landed a triple loop, a double Axel-double toeloop-double loop combination, and a solid triple Salchow. The 13-year-old also produced two more good triple jumps (one in combination with a double), a good level four spiral sequence, a nice layback spin, and a good flying sit spin for a third place finish in the long (85.85 points) and fourth overall (124.51 points).

Overnight leader Alba placed fourth in the long (79.71 points) and third overall (124.75 points). The 13-year-old landed a double Axel-double toeloop-double loop combination, but fell on a triple toeloop and turned out the landing on combination jump.

Kawamura (13) placed fifth overall (115.65), followed closely by Ferris (115.39 points).

Junior Division

In the ladies’ Junior division, Mirai Nagasu (Arcadia, Calif.) was the gold medal winner, while Caroline Zhang (Irvine, Calif.) and Ashley Wagner (Alexandria, Va.) won the silver and bronze, respectively.

All medalists were selected to represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Rachael Flatt (senior) will be the first alternate.

Short Program

Skating to the energetic music of the Swing Kids soundtrack, Nagasu landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a solid double Axel. The 2007 Pacific Coast Sectional Junior Champion also produced a very good level four combination change spin and layback spin, receiving 54.26 points for a first place finish.

Zhang fell on a double Axel in her routine to Olga from the Ladies in Lavender soundtrack, but otherwise landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip. The 2006 JGP Final Champion also executed an excellent level three layback spin and level four combination change spin, placing a close second with 53.87 points.

Blake Rosenthal (Radnor, Pa.) displayed maturity in her routine to Close Without Touching and Spirit of Olympia, which featured a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a double Axel. The 16-year-old also displayed good circular footwork to place third with 51.67 points.

Wagner’s routine to Cotton Club featured a triple Lutz-double loop combination, a triple flip, and a double Axel, as well as a good level four combination change spin and a good level two straight line footwork sequence and layback spin. The 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist placed a close fourth with 51.20 points.

Michaelee Scarincio (South Glens Falls, N.Y.), who put her hand down during a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, was fifth (46.73 points).

Alexe Gilles (Colorado Springs, Colo.) placed sixth (46.43 points), followed closely by Victoria Rackohn of Westlake Village, Calif. (46.07 points).

Long Program

Overnight lead Nagasu opened her routine to String Quartet No. 12 in F major, 1st movement by A. Dvorak with a solid double Axel and triple Salchow, followed by a triple flip, a triple toeloop-double toeloop-double loop combination, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. Despite underrotating a triple Lutz, the 13-year-old also delivered a very good level four spiral sequence and level three layback spin, as well as good straight line footwork, placing first in the long (101.20 points) and overall (155.46 points).

“Last season was a disaster because I didn’t make it out of regionals,” said the 2007 Southwest Pacific Regional Junior Champion. “I was one of the people who expected to go, and that maybe made me overconfident. This year I worked to live up to my potential.”

Zhang opened her routine to Meditation from “Thais” by Jules Massenet with a triple Lutz-double toeloop-double loop and a double Axel, but then fell on a triple flip. Despite the mistake, the 13-year-old went on to produce four more triple jumps (two in combination with double jumps), a very good spiral sequence, and an excellent combination change spin and layback spin, placing second in the long (98.01) and overall (151.88 points) to win the silver.

“It was OK, besides the flip,” Zhang said regarding her performance. “I could have landed it (the flip), because I landed them all in warm-up today. It was just a stupid thing. I wasn’t paying attention much on it.”

Performing to Gershwin’s Summertime, Wagner opened with a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple Salchow, a double Axel, and a triple loop, however, later fell on a triple Lutz, touched down on the landing of her third jump in a triple flip-double loop-double loop combination, and had problems with her triple toeloop-triple toeloop sequence. The 2006 Triglav Trophy Junior Champion, who was fourth after the short, placed third in the long (94.66 points) and overall (145.86 points) to capture the bronze.

“I feel really good,” said the 14-year-old on winning the bronze. “It’s a good feeling.”

Chrissy Hughes (Issaquah, Wash.), who stood in eighth after the short, put out a good performance which featured four triple jumps and a solid double Axel, placing fourth in the long (84.81) and sixth overall (129.21 points).

Gilles (15), who landed two clean triples, stepped out of a triple flip, placing fifth in the long (82.94 points) and overall (129.37 points).

Rosenthal, who stood in third after the short, fell on a triple Salchow and singled a flip, placed eighth in the long (79.32 points) and slipped to fourth overall (130.99 points).

Scarincio fell from fifth to 10th place overall (118.53 points.)

Senior Division

Kimberly Meissner (Bel Air, Md.) on her first senior title, while Emily Hughes (Great Neck, N.Y.)and Alissa Czisny (Bowling Green, Ohio) won the silver and bronze medal, respectively.

All three medalists were chosen to represent the U.S. at both Worlds and the upcoming Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Beatrisa Liang (Granada Hills, Calif.) was chosen as the first alternate.

Short Program

Performing to Sviridov’s Snowstorm, Meissner executed a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a solid double Axel. The current World Champion also produced two very good level four spins, a good spiral sequence, and a very good level three straight line footwork sequence, placing first (65.69 points) after the short.

“I don’t think I’d do anything different. It was good,” said the 17-year-old. “I’ve been working really hard and tonight and I think I did what I have been practicing. I’m very excited, very happy.”

When asked about how it felt to have cameras in her face all the time, Meissner replied: “It’s kinda fun. You know that you are at Nationals when you see them. I always worry about the camera men tripping over the wires. I wouldn’t laugh at them.”

Liang delivered an excellent flying sit spin, a solid triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, and a triple flip in the opening of her routine to Firedance by David Foster. The 2006 Four Continents bronze medalist also executed an excellent layback spin, a very good spiral sequence, good level three circular footwork, a double Axel, and an excellent level four combination spin, placing second with 62.66 points.

On being in second place after the short, Liang said, “It’s definitely exciting. You know, I just need to make sure I keep my focus on the long program and just keep my mind straight.”

Liang is aware that she is known as a ‘short program’ skater. “I have to think about things one at a time, and I will have to concentrate on each element [in the long]. I tend to rush things in the free,” she added.

Performing to Carmen by Bizet, Hughes pulled off a very good triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple Lutz, and a double Axel. The reigning U.S. National bronze medalist also displayed a very good spiral sequence, an excellent level three straight line footwork sequence, and two very good spins, placing third with 62.32 points.

“I felt really good out there,” said Hughes. “After the music started, I was just really into it.”

Katy Taylor (Houston, Texas) began her Legends of the Fall routine with a very good level four combination spin, followed by a triple flip and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. The 2006 Four Continents Champion also produced a solid double Axel, two very good level four spins, a good spiral sequence, and a very good level two circular footwork sequence, placing fourth with 58.72 points.

“I’m so excited,” said the 17-year-old. “It was the best that I could do for the day. It might have been a tad slow, but I really feel like I am back.”

Skating to Prelude and Qaddukka-I-Mayyas by Jesse Cook and the Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble, Czisny opened with a fast and an excellent level four flying sit spin, a triple flip-double toeloop combination, and a double Axel. The 2007 Eastern Great Lakes Regional Champion singled a lutz, but otherwise produced an excellent spiral sequence and layback spin, as well as a very good straight line footwork sequence, to place fifth with 58.15 points.

Rachel Flatt (Del Mar, Calif.) underrotated a triple toeloop (in combination with a triple Lutz) in her expressive Brahms routine, but otherwise landed a solid triple flip and double Axel. The 2006 U.S. Junior silver medalist also displayed good spins and a very good circular footwork sequence, placing sixth (56.51 points).

Christine Zukowski (Newark, Del.) landed an excellent triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination and a solid double Axel, but put her hand down on the landing of a triple Lutz. The 2006 World Junior bronze medalist stood in seventh (54.30 points) after the short.

Melissa Bulanhagui (Newark, Del.) stood in eighth (52.64 points), followed by Juliana Cannarozzo of Reading, Mass. (49.93 points).

Long Program

Czisny, who stood in fifth after the short, underrotated a triple flip in her routine to music from the Sabrina soundtrack, but otherwise landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, two more triple jumps, and a double Axel. The 19-year-old also displayed an outstanding layback and combination change spin, as well as an excellent flying camel spin and straight line footwork sequence, placing first in the long (119.59 points) and third overall (177.74 points).

“I wasn’t really thinking about it until my last jump,” said the 19-year-old, regarding the crowds response. “I was like, ‘I’m doing it! It’s actually happening!’. Then I tried to focus on my last jump and after that, the whole crowd was lifting me up.”

“Last year, I had so many competitions before the 2006 US Nationals,” Czisny continued. “It was really hard. This year, I just had a couple and I didn’t do the greatest, but it was kind of a warm-up. I went back and worked hard and trained harder. It felt good.”

Hughes reeled off a solid double Axel, triple flip-double toeloop combination, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop-double loop combination in her routine to selections from the ballet Sylvia by Delibes. The 2006 Cup of China bronze medalist later fell on a triple flip, but otherwise delivered three more solid triple jumps (one in combination with a double toeloop), as well as good footwork and spins, placing second in the long (118.54 points) and overall (180.86 points) to capture the silver.

“After the short program, which I thought went really well for me, it was my goal to do a clean program,” said Hughes. “When I fell, that didn’t happen. I had to get up and keep going and I’m really happy I’m on the podium.”

“I’m really happy,” said the 18-year-old, of finishing so close behind Meissner. “It was really close. Next year.”

Meissner put her hand down on the landing of her opening triple Lutz and the landing of her triple flip-triple toeloop combination was flawed, however the 2006   Skate America silver medalist otherwise executed a two double Axels (one in combination with a double toeloop-double loop) , four more triple jumps and a very good level three straight line footwork sequence for a third place finish in the long (115.99 points). With a total score of 181.68 points, she placed first overall to win the title.

“I’m very happy that I was able to keep a head of the lead,” said Meissner. “It was a tough competition tonight. I’m excited.”

Meissner said she didn’t feel to nervous going into the long. “I was really excited. It shocked me when I put a hand down [on the triple Lutz], so I was thinking ‘refocus and get through the rest of the program.’”

Liang (18) fell on two triple flips in her Caravan routine, however, the 2006 Nebelhorn Trophy Champion produced four triple jumps (two in combination with double jumps), a very good level four spiral sequence and flying sit spin, a double Axel, and a very good level three straight line footwork sequence, placing fourth in the long (104.49 points) and overall (167.15 points).

Flatt underrotated and fell on a triple Lutz and doubled a loop in her program to An American in Paris by Gershwin, but otherwise delivered five triple jumps and a double Axel-double Axel sequence. The 14-year-old also produced a good spiral sequence and combination change spin, as well as a level three straight line footwork sequence to place fifth in the long (103.24 points) and overall (159.75 points).

Danielle Kahle (Simi Valley, Calif.), who stood in 10th after the short, fell on a triple flip, stepped out of a triple toeloop, and slipped on a forward crossover during her spiral sequence. Nevertheless, the 17-year-old produced three clean triple jumps (all in combination with double jumps), a double Axel, and three difficult spins in her Beauty and the Beast routine, placing sixth in the long (95.61 points) and overall (143.82 points).

Cannarozzo landed three good triple jumps and a double Axel, but stumbled on the landing of a triple Lutz and had problems again on a triple toeloop. The 17-year-old finished seventh in the long (93.73 points) and overall (143.66 points).

Michelle Boulos (Duxbury, Mass.), who stood in 11th after the short, placed eighth in the long and ninth overall (139.75 points).

Taylor slipped from fourth to eighth place overall (139.78 points) after placing 12th in the long.

Bulanhagui (16), who stood in eighth after the short, placed 14th in the long and 12th overall (130.42 points).

Zukowski (16) placed 15th in the long and was 10th overall (131.06 points).

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