Jordan and Barrett Move Up to Claim Gold in Junior Pairs

by Sal Zanca, Special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Shantel Jordan and Jeremy Barrett
Photo by Michelle Harvath

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Junior Pairs Free Skate Results

Junior Pairs Free Skate Photos

(1/7/04) — Shantel Jordan and Jeremy Barrett (Southwest Florida FSC) are in a difficult situation. They are now U.S. junior champions, but she can't go anywhere internationally anytime soon because she is too young.

Jordan is just 11 years old. The pair has to wait almost four years for her to turn 15 before they become eligible together for senior competition. He will be nearly 23 by then.

When she turns 13 and is eligible for the World Junior Championships, he will be too old. Their coach, Kerry Leitch, said he would try to take them to some local European events for experience next year, but Barrett is just pleased with this title.

"Obviously we'd like to [skate internationally], but winning this title is better than any international event," Barrett said.

"We have so many different competitions in the year that we always have something to look forward to," Jordan said.

Jordan and Barrett edged out short program leaders Brooke Castile and Benjamin Okolski by a  5-4 decision to take the title. Both couples had marks in the 4.9 to 5.3 range.    

Jordan has been skating more than half her life, starting when she was 4. She now weighs just 70 pounds, and her 19-year-old partner was able to lift and throw her easily. The two throws were their best elements with her completing the rotation in the air.

"It feels like I am doing my own jump except it is a little higher," Jordan said.

Barrett said he doesn't worry about throwing her high.

"She always comes down," he said.

Skating to music from  the "The Nutcracker," their only error was when she went down on a triple jump.

"All this year I have never missed my triple Salchow," Jordan said. "That is my best jump basically." I think I got too excited so I jumped too early and I went down."

Castile and Okolski had a lateral triple twist that was so high they said they have flirted with quads.

"Maybe if we worked on it long enough it would eventually come around," Okolski said.

"We almost did one today off the ice by accident when we were warming up," Castile said.

In the free skate she fell on a throw triple, even though she completed the turns easily.

"I landed it in every competition for the year. I thought I had it and just lost the edge," Castile said.

Andrea Varraux and David Pelletier (University of Delaware FSC), who received a bye into the championships, came in third and skated to a medley of music from "Casablanca."

 "We have been really working a lot, and I felt really comfortable on the ice," Pelletier said. "I am really proud of our skating and going out there and doing our job."

They hit triple Salchows in the clockwise direction, a rarity among pairs skaters. However, she crumbled to the ice on their first throw triple and then she singled an Axel.

However their final move was interesting, a swing move across the ice into a forward inside spiral.

Sydney Schmidt and Christoper Pottenger (Dallas FSC), last year's U.S. novice champions, came in fourth. They had arguably the most interesting move of the competition - a forward press lift in which he holds her overhead on his one foot. However, he lost control of her a bit and she was forced to come out of the lift early.