With an inspiring clean free skate, 12-year-old Nam Nguyen (BC/YT) obliterated the rest of the junior men’s field, scoring an impressive 169.89 points with a 114.67-point free skate.
After opening his program with a nice triple Salchow-triple toe loop combination, Nguyen’s only major mistake came from an underrotated double toe loop at the end of a triple Lutz combination. His classical program was joyfully skated and the crowd responded with a standing ovation when he finished.
Although one skater followed Nguyen, it was fairly clear when the marks were announced that he would take the title. Nguyen finished third at this event last year. This is his fourth Canadian title: he won as a juvenile in 2007, as pre-novice in 2008, and as novice in 2009.
The triple Axel in Shaquille Davis’ (CO) free skate was not as clean as the one in his short program, but it was still the only one in the event and helped him hang on to the silver medal. Although his 91.14-point free skate was only ranked fourth, his total score of 145.55 was still three points ahead of the bronze medalist.
Davis fell on a triple flip and only did one combination, but his performance to Carmina Burana had a bit of dramatic flair, and he was pleased with both his skate and his result. Last year, Davis was fourth at this event.
Moving up from fourth after the short was Peter O’Brien (EO), who was ecstatic to win the bronze medal in his first year at the junior level. He also stood on the podium last year at the novice level, when he won bronze.
O’Brien did stumble out of his opening triple loop and singled a flip jump mid-program, but he did not let the mistakes rattle him and kept fighting. He even landed a solid triple Lutz about halfway through his program. With 97.18 points, his free was ranked second and his total third-place score was 142.42 point.
After a beautiful short program that earned him a Possibility Award, Garrett Gosselin (SK) could not hang on to a medal after an 83.97-program that was ranked sixth. His Dracula routine was well-skated between the jumps, but unfortunately, the jumps were not secure for him. He muscled through a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination to open his program, but later fell four times.
Last year, Gosselin was fifth and had high hopes of reaching the podium this year, but the artistic 18-year-old has struggled with inconsistency.
On the strength of a third-place free skate that scored 93.90 points, Michael Marinaro (WO) moved from seventh after the short to fifth overall. Although he fell on a triple flip and incurred an edge call on a double Lutz, he fought for points throughout his program. Two of his spins were level four and the third was level three, as was his straightline step sequence. Last year, Marinaro was 12th at this event