Charlie White Takes Lead in Novice Men's Short Progamby Sal Zanca, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Photo by Paul Harvath
(1/4/04) — Charlie White (Detroit SC) has an unusual combination. He will also compete in junior dance this week with Meryl Davis, but he's also a very competitive novice men's competitor. He leads the short program portion of the novice men's competition after a good performance that included a triple Lutz-double toe combination. He had eight first-place ordinals with his routine to "13th Warrior."
A tall, confident 16-year old, he was pleased about skating in front of the enthusiastic Atlanta crowd at the Gwinnett Center. Even wearing glasses on the ice doesn't faze him, although others see it differently.
"A lot of the dance judges have been hounding me to get contacts," White said. "But I try not to squint too much. I just try to present out there like I see perfectly."
While some skaters might have concerns about only having one practice session per day in Atlanta, he doesn't mind with double duty.
"I have an advantage," he said - he gets twice as much ice time with singles and dance.
Princeton Kwong (Peninsula SC) has been moving up the ranks - he placed fourth at the U.S. Junior Championships in juvenile a couple of years ago and was second in intermediate last year. Like White he has a dance connection, but in a different way. His coaches are 1992 Olympic champions Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko.
"He (Ponomarenko) works with me on my jumps and she (Klimova) mainly works with me on my choreography," Kwong said.
However, they instill in him something different on the ice.
"They have given me courage, confidence and determination," Kwong said. "I am not as nervous going into competitions."
The 14-year-old confidently landed a triple toe-double toe to the "Russian Sailor Dance."
Daisuke Murakami (All Year FSC) was a solid third with his short program that included a triple toe-double toe combination to "Sing, Sing Sing."
He is less than two weeks away from his 15th birthday.
The men have their free skate on Monday Jan. 5 at 3:20 p.m.