Ice Problems Don't Keep Brauninger from Capturing the Early Lead
The junior men's event was delayed 30 minutes due to ice problems Wednesday at Reunion Arena. A hole in the ice that occurred overnight had to be repair, but the top finishers felt the delay had no negative effect on their performances.
Jordan Brauninger (Northern Kentucky SC) skated first to Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" adapted by Kennedy Experience. Chris Conte choreographed this program. Brauninger earned all first-place ordinals from the nine judges.
"By skating first I got to set the median mark for the competition," Brauninger said.
He trains with Stephanie Miller and Ted Masdea. Brauninger, the 2003 Midwestern Sectional champion, is a former hockey player. His program included a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, the only successful triple-triple in this event.
Dennis Phan (Los Angeles SC) performed to the "Pearl Harbor" soundtrack, which Philip Mills choreographed. The 2003 Pacific Coast Sectional champion was born in Dallas, Texas, but now trains in Riverside, Calif., and at Lake Arrowhead with Tammy Gambil. He also attempted a triple-triple combination, going for a triple flip-triple toe, but he stepped out of the second jump.
"I try to push up the presentation more when I' m not doing all the technical," he said.
He placed second with six second-place ordinals.
Christopher Toland (Glacier Falls FSC) is back at the U.S. Championships again; his last appearance was in novice men in 2000. He skated to the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" soundtrack that Russ Witherby choreographed, executing a triple flip-double toe combination. He did have a slight error on his triple Lutz.
"I just wanted to get out there and do my best and get out in front of the national judges again," he said.
Jason Wong (SC of Boston) went with a Spanish number for his program to "Latino" choreographed by his coach, Mark Mitchell. He finished fourth, turning out of his opening triple Lutz and two-footing his double Axel. He did land a triple loop-double toe combination.
Adam Aronowitz (American Academy FSC) performed to "American Beauty." He placedc fifth after falling on his double Axel. Wesley Campbell (Nashville FSC) skated to "Fields of Heat," a program that was created by Bill Fauver. Campbell is in sixth.
by Marge Reynolds