Meissner Hits the Triple Lutz and Lands Gold

Kimberly Meissner

Kimberly Meissner (University of Delaware FSC) probably thought her skating at the 2003 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships would be over when the novice ladies competition was complete. But after winning the novice ladies event Monday at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Meissner will skate in the exhibition on Sunday.

"Now I've got to get a show program in the next couple of days," Meissner said.

Meissner was in good position to win a medal after placing first in the short program on Sunday. In her free skate she completed three triples, including a triple Lutz. However, she singled a planned fourth triple - a Salchow.

"I felt a bit wobbly going in to that one," she said. "I just didn't jump as high as I needed to."

Regardless of the missed triple Salchow, Meissner ended her program strong with a double Axel-double toe-double loop combination.

"I wasn't exhausted at the end of this program," Meissner said. "I was so excited about this competition that I wasn't tired."

Katy Taylor (Texas Gulf Coast FSC) rose from fourth place after the short program to win the silver medal. She skated a near flawless program to a medley of music from the movie "Forrest Gump." Taylor started her program with a double Axel-double toe-double loop combination, then performed two more combinations including a triple Salchow-double toe. She had a little trouble with her only triple loop, but she stuck the landing.

"I felt really strong today and didn't have some of the bobbles that I have back home," Taylor said. "I felt comfortable out there and had a burst of energy."

The bronze medal went to Jessica Houston (The SC of Boston), who also placed third in the short program. The program contained three triples (with a fall on one) and two combination jumps.

"I trained hard for this and it feels great," Houston said. "I opened with a double Axel and it was big with a solid landing."

Houston skated to "The Iron Monkey," a unique piece of music that was found by her coach Mark Mitchell.

"She said she wanted something that nobody else would have," he said. "I had to look for a long time to find this piece of music. I think it really showcased her."