Howerton and Pottenger Keep the Dallas Connection Alive

Amy Howerton and Steven Pottenger

Before a cheering home crowd, Amy Howerton and Steven Pottenger (Dallas FSC) returned to the junior level for the second year, skating cleanly as the last team in the skating order. Their short program to a Neil Diamond medley took all nine ordinals for first place.They skated with accuracy and assurance. The program started off a little shaky when Howerton made a slight timing mistake, but she recovered to skate even better.

"I just did an extra crossover at the beginning and that made me refocus," Howerton said.

Howerton and Pottenger also led after the short program at the 2002 State Farm U.S. Championships but placed fifth overall.

They train with David Kirby, and their programs were choreographed by Holly Kirby. Pottenger's brother, Christopher, won novice pairs with his partner, Sydney Schmidt on Monday, and they were trial judging this event as part of the Chevy Team 2010 program.

"We want to get a peek at those marks," Kirby laughed.

"We are all a team and we help motivate each other," said Pottenger of his relationship with his brother and Schmidt. "I was excited for him on Monday, but then I had to focus on what I needed to do today."

Brittany Vise and Nicholas Kole (Broadmoor SC) and train with Tom Zakrajsek and Dalilah Sappenfield. Their short program to the "Six Days, Seven Nights" soundtrack was choreographed by Sappenfield. Highlights included their throw triple loop (the only one performed in the event) and smooth transition on their pairs spin.

"We tried our best," Kole said. "We felt really good about our throw triple."

Vise's sister, Tiffany, competes in championship pairs in Dallas this week.

"This is one of the best skates we had," said Kole, who finished third in the novice event last year with Vise. "We were a little nervous since this is our first year in juniors."

Josh Martin returns with a new partner this season, Chelsea Meador, and they both skate for the Los Angeles SC. They train with Peter Oppegard who also created their short program to "Indian Spirits." These 2003 Pacific Coast Sectional champions skated clean in gold costumes. According to Oppegard, she takes on the role of a soaring eagle in this program.

They have only been together as a team since August. Meador also competed at the 2003 U.S. Junior Championships as an intermediate ladies competitor in December. This team is not eligible for junior international events as he turns 22 in May. However, she will be 13 in April so she is not yet eligible for senior internationals either yet.

"We blended together easily which was good since we only had a month and a half before the 2003 Southwestern Regional," Martin said.

"She (Meador) has grown four inches since Pacific Coasts which now makes them a good match," Oppegard said.

Last year's junior pairs champions, Colette Appel (individual member) and Lee S. Harris of the Detroit SC, skated to "Children" by Robert Parker this season for their short program. These 2003 Eastern Sectional champions finished in fourth here after he stumbled out of the side-by-side double Lutz, and she singled it.

by Marge Reynolds