Matthews and Zavozin Win Junior Original Dance, Move to Second Overall

Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavozin

The original dance this season is "Memories of a Grand Ball" with a choice of at least two of the three dance rhythms, waltz, march or polka. While skaters must use at least two of the rhythms, they can select a maximum of three rhythms. This portion of the competition counts for 30 percent of the total score. The free dance takes place on Thursday, Jan. 16, in Reunion Arena. Any of the top three couples could finish as the 2003 champion, depending on which team wins the free dance.

Kirsten Frisch and Brent Bommentre placed second in the original dance but held on to their lead overall. They skated to "Radezky March" and performed the waltz rhythm to the "Blue Danube." For the original dance, they had an early draw, skating third after the second warm-up, seventh in the skating order. They were stronger in the march portion of this dance.

Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavozin of the SC of New York won the original dance but are second overall because they finished fourth in compulsories. Matthews and Zavozin skated to polka and waltz rhythms with five-second place ordinals.

Flo Steed of the Texas Gulf Coast FSC and Augie Hill of the Dallas FSC skated before their hometown fans but finished third in a close decision. All three of the top couples had three first-place ordinals in the original dance but the placement decision was made on second place marks. They received one second-place ordinal and five third place ordinals for a majority of nine third places.

"This is the best we have ever skated our original dance," Hill said.

Steed fell on the warm-up but escaped injury.

"It was a choice of running into Sarah (Solomon) and Ben (Cohen) or the wall, and I chose the wall since that was safer than four pairs of skating blades," Steed said. "I just slid and was fine. It didn't affect us for our performance."

Hill wound up with a skating blade in his chest when he fell during Monday's practice and suffered a three-inch cut. He put a Band-Aid on it during practice, received medical attention after practice, and is currently fine.

Carly Donowick and Leo Ungar of the Peninsula Skating Club dropped down to fourth in the original dance from third in the compulsories to currently sit fourth overall at this competition stage. They skated to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" using a waltz and gallop rhythms.

by Marge Reynolds