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JUVENILE RISKY BY TROY SCHWINDT Things are lookin’ up in the juvenile


and intermediate ranks. A bonus scoring system that rewards


risk and is more forgiving of mistakes has helped to elevate these young athletes to new heights. In Kansas City, the top eight girls in the


juvenile division landed two double Axels in their programs. There was only one fall, total. The juvenile boys were great too, as all the medalists landed two double Axels. “It is exciting to see them at that


young age push the envelope and be ex- cited to compete against one another,” Justin Dillon, director of high performance development at U.S. Figure Skating, said of the juvenile boys. “There’s always that camaraderie with the boys. It’s fun to see them come through the ranks as that next generation and be lifelong friends as well as competitors.” In intermediate ladies, there were


more triple jumps landed — and bonus points awarded — than in any previous U.S. Championships. Last year’s juvenile girls champion Stephanie Ciarochi won the intermediate title with two triple jumps in her short program (one in com- bination) and four in her free skate (two in combination). “[Intermediate] skaters performed tri-


ple loops, triple flips and triple Lutzes. You don’t often see that in intermediate ladies,” Dillon said. “This really shows the promise of our athletes moving forward.” Mitch Moyer, senior director of athlete


high performance at U.S. Figure Skating, said someone watching the intermediate ladies event might think they are watch- ing the novice ladies because of the high quality of technical elements and overall skating.


Dillon and Moyer also heaped praise on the pairs and ice dancers, who showed that same progress and promise. After their competition was over, the


50 MARCH 2017 BUSINESS


Skaters capitalize on bonus-point structure


Juvenile girls (l-r) Tamnhi Huynh, Madison Nguyen, Haley Scott, Elise Freezer; Juvenile boys (l-r) Robert Yampolsky, William Annis, Kai Kovar, Liam Kapeikis; Juvenile pairs (l-r) Josephine Hagan/Evan Whitlow, Sydney Flaum/ Chase Finster, Jasmine Wong/Danylo Siianytsia, Ashley Fletcher/Cayden McKenzie-Cook; Juvenile ice dance (l-r) Alice Serbin/Kenan Slevira, Nastia Efimova/Jonathan Zhao, Elliana Peal/Ethan Peal, Sarah Dutton/Emmett King


MEDALISTS


juvenile and intermediate skaters, along with their coaches and parents, attend- ed Future U. (University), a program that offers them tools they can apply in their journey up the competitive ladder to the novice and junior levels. Five-time U.S. ice dance champion and Olympic silver medalist Tanith White was the guest speaker. “She talked to the skaters about not


only having success and being a complete athlete but the importance of being a complete person,” Dillon said. Information about boots and blades,


and nutrition also headlined the Future U. event.


On the ice, White provided instruction


to athletes and their coaches on the impor- tance of edge quality, power and speed, as well as proper posture and carriage. “We want to make sure that athletes


coming from the developmental levels understand that when they get to the U.S. Championships that quality is important,” Dillon said.


GIRLS Gold | Madison Nguyen Silver | Tamnhi Huynh Bronze | Haley Scott Pewter | Elise Freezer BOYS Gold | William Annis Silver | Robert Yampolsky Bronze | Kai Kovar Pewter | Liam Kapeikis PAIRS Gold | Sydney Flaum/ Chase Finster Silver | Josephine Hagan/ Evan Whitlow Bronze | Jasmine Wong/ Danylo Siianytsia Pewter | Ashley Fletcher/ Cayden McKenzie-Cook ICE DANCE Gold | Nastia Efimova/ Jonathan Zhao Silver | Alice Serbin/ Kenan Slevira Bronze | Elliana Peal/ Ethan Peal Pewter | Sarah Dutton/ Emmett King


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


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