Phan Takes the Extra Step and Wins Gold

Dennis Phan

The new 2003 U.S. junior men's champion, Dennis Phan, received six first-place ordinals and three second-place marks for his "Three Musketeers" soundtrack program. He included a triple loop-triple loop combination with a turn out on the second jump.

"This was his best attempt so far in competition for this combination," said his coach, Tammy Gambil.

"Being second in the short program got me to work harder and concentrate more for the free skate," Phan said.

He also included a triple flip-double toe combination and a triple Lutz-double toe combination for a total of seven triples. Phan announced he does plan to move up to the senior level for next season.

Jordan Brauninger, the 2003 U.S. junior men's silver medalist and leader after the short program, showed wonderful musicality in his program to "In the South Overture." Three of the nine judges put him in first place; the other six gave him second-place ordinals. He hopes to add a triple Axel to his arsenal next season. He did a triple loop-half loop-double Salchow combination, along with a triple Lutz-triple toe and a triple loop-double loop combination for a total of seven triples.

"I was pleased to be here to represent my club, and I had a lot of fun skating out there. I am still very pleased with my performance," he said.

He says he is not sure yet what he will do as far as junior or senior level for next season.

"I guess I will surprise everyone next year," he said with a big smile.

Adam Aronowitz had seven third-place ordinals for his Rachmaninoff Concerto # 2 program. He moved up from fifth place in the short program after he fell on his double Axel in that event.

"I hadn't missed a double Axel, even a step out, in the past six months so that really surprised me," he said of his short program yesterday.

On Friday his program was clean except for a popped triple Loop.

"The loop used to be my worst jump, but it has gotten really consistent for me this year. I just refocused and went on," Aronowitz said.

He is undecided whether to remain on the junior level another year but says his parents would like to see him stay a junior. 

"This medal was a surprise today," said Aronowitz's coach, Craig Maurizi. "The best ones are always the ones you don't expect."

Christopher Toland dropped to fourth place and the pewter medal for his "13th Warrior" soundtrack program after he popped his first triple Lutz. Members of the 2003 World Junior Team have not yet been announced by the USFSA's International Committee as some internationally eligible junior men compete as seniors in senior men's event on Saturday.

by Marge Reynolds