Hometown Favorites Come Through with Gold

Sydney Schmidt and Christopher Pottenger

Local pairs team Sydney Schmidt and Christopher Pottenger (Dallas FSC) captured first place in the novice pairs free skate Monday at the 2003 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Reunion Arena in Dallas. All nine judges placed Schmidt and Pottenger in first.

The pair sat in first place after the short program but knew they had to skate well in the free skate.

"We were confident going in today but knew we had to skate a clean program," he said. "We would have been glad we accomplished our goals no matter what place we finished." Skating a clean program was their main goal for the free skate, Pottenger said. The program was skated to "Romeo and Juliet." They executed both throws and tried out a new platter-star-to one hand lift.

Support from the hometown crowd helped Schmidt and Pottenger rise to the occasion.

"Having that support helped me relax," Schmidt said.

Second place went to Katelyn Uhlig and Colin Loomis (Ann Arbor FSC). Skating to music from the movie "Black Hawk Down."

"We had nice triple twist today," Loomis said, "the best one we've done all week."

Jenna Yount and Grant Marron (Coyotes SC of Arizona) pulled up from fifth place to claim the bronze medal. Coach Doug Ladret said a goal for the team was to medal, so they were pleased.

"I felt they skated very good in the short program, and we were a little disappointed with fifth place," he said. "But they came out and skated a solid long program."

Helping pull them from fifth place was their throw triple Salchow, the only one completed in the free skate."