This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
JUVENILE


higher than their mark at Midwestern Sectionals. “It means a lot because we have been work-


ing so hard this year and the hard work pays off,” Hagan said. Finster and bronze medalist Danylo Si-


ianytsia (All Year FSC) have the distance thing in common. While Siianytsia isn’t making a regular cross-country commute, he moved halfway across the world last fall when he relocated to Minnesota from Ukraine.


Te understandably shy Siianytsia, who


didn’t know English upon arrival in the United States, and his partner Jasmine Wong (Dakotah FSC) started skating together in August. It’s their first foray into pairs, and Wong has also only been skating since April of 2015. Coach Trudy Oltmanns spoke glowingly of


her young team. “Jasmine and Danylo have done a terrific


job,” she said. “Tey’re both learning how to skate and how to skate pairs at the same time. It’s a lot to take in and can be overwhelming but kids do a great job of making the transition.” Less than two points separated the bronze


medalists from the champions as they earned a score of 44.47 points for their Cirque du Soleil free skate.


Ashley Fletcher and Cayden McKen-


zie-Cook (Orange County FSC) claimed the pew- ter medal with a score of 40.57.


ICE DANCE BY LYNN RUTHERFORD


Partner together for three years, and you can practically finish each other’s sentences. Take Nastia Efimova and Jonathan Zhao, for instance. Te skaters had just won the juvenile ice dance title with a sassy Latin medley, and an ebullient Efimova could barely contain her excite- ment.


“I was just expressing myself, acting with the


music . . .” she began. “When the music is happy, you’ve got to be


happy,” her partner cut in. “When it’s slow, you’ve got to be a little slower.” Efimova and Zhao, who both represent the


SC of North Carolina, led from start to finish, dominating the two pattern dances — Fourteen-step and Willow Waltz — and surviv- ing a stumble from Efimova to earn Level 4s on four of the five elements in their free dance. Teir 88.02-point total marked a significant improve- ment over their seventh-place finish last season, and they won the event by nearly five points. “We did pretty good,” Zhao said. “I thought the spin and lifts were awesome. We trained really hard.”


“Overall, it was a strong skate, and I’m hap-


py with the work they’ve done this season,” their coach, Nathan Truesdell, said. “I try to make them competitive with the next level up (interme- diate). Teir confidence is growing, and that’s a big thing.”


Te tiny Efimova comes by her talent natu-


rally. Mom Natalia, a former ice dance competitor for the Soviet Union and longtime Holiday on Ice performer, coaches the team alongside Truesdell.


SKATING 53


Efimova’s older sister, Alina, and her partner, Al- exander Petrov, placed seventh in junior ice dance in Kansas City. Te two teams skate together five days a week, for up to two to three hours a day. “Sometimes we kind of argue a lot, because


we are sisters,” Nastia said, as her partner, Zhao, cringed.


“Tey push each other and motivate each


other, especially on the days it’s not so much fun,” Truesdell added with a laugh. “Tey’re sisters, there are times they bicker, but they are always there for each other.” Second after the two pattern dances, Alice


Serbin (Colonial FSC) and Kenan Slevira (All Year FSC) skated a high-energy free dance to an African samba from Te Lion King, highlighted by well-done twizzles and a challenging straight-line lift. Tey placed third in the segment with 40.04 points, but were able to hang on to second place and gain the silver medal with 83.15 points. “I think today was one of the best skates


we’ve ever done in competition,” Serbin said after the free dance. “We took what we practiced and put it on to the competition ice.” Both skaters added that their true love was


performing the program for audiences. “I love the music; it’s so much fun to skate to,” Slevira said. “I remember in the beginning of


Nastia Efimova/Jonathan Zhao


the season when our coach (Dmitri Boundoukin) found it. It’s just so much fun to do, it almost makes training seem easy.” Fourth after the pattern dances, siblings Elli-


ana Peal and Ethan Peal (Skokie Valley SC) claimed the bronze medal with 76.25 points. Teir charm- ing routine to music from Mary Poppins was judged the second-best free dance of the event. “Tere were some things we can improve on and definitely work towards for next year, but I’m happy that all of our hard work really paid off,” Ethan said. “I’m working on my (facial) expressions,” El-


liana said. “I try to really sell the program and get things right on the music. I just really enjoyed my time here.” Skating is a true family affair for the Peals;


their father, Robert, a former U.S. competitor, is also their coach. “It’s hard as a parent to be able to stand back and let them go out and do their thing,” Robert said. “I think it’s more nerve-wracking for me to watch than for them to compete.” Sarah Dutton (Louisville Skating Academy)


and Emmett King (Louisville Skating Academy) placed fourth, taking home the pewter medal with 72.50 points.


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92